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ASU Police are here for students

Chief Willcox with cat5 By Ashleigh Thompson, Staff Writer Chief Wayne R. Willcox of Armstrong State’s police department believes our university is the safest in Savannah because of the communication between our officers and the students, faculty and staff. Chief Wilcox explained, “It’s a nice community feel.”

This feeling of togetherness is one of the main reasons Armstrong State is such a safe campus. Our campus police station has many different classes and services to offer its students, faculty, and staff. Having the officers connect with many people on campus helps contribute to the close-knit feeling here at Armstrong.

Among the classes offered by our police department, two of the most popular classes include “Cooking with Cops” and “Cops and Car Care”.

“Cooking with Cops” highlights cooking and fire safety, but it’s also a good way to get to know our officers. The class includes learning fire safety and cooking skills by baking cookies and getting to enjoy them afterwards with the officers.

“Cops and Car Care” teaches basic skills about taking care of your car while engaging in conversation and getting to know everyone.

Another major class held is “R.A.D.” (Rape Aggression Defense). This female-only class educates women to be aware of and avoid dangerous situations, along with basic defense training. For more information on these classes, visit the Special Initiatives section of our University Police web page.

Our police department offers many useful services to those on campus. One of these services is the ability to call and ask for a safety escort. Any student, faculty, or staff member can simply call the police station (912-344-3333) and request an escort. This escort service is not a free ride across campus during bad weather, however. This service is to get you from anywhere on campus to your destination safely. This is a 24-hour free service. For a list of more services offered, visit the Departmental Services section of the University Police web page.

When asked about new aspects or improvements for maintaining the safe environment at Armstrong, Chief Willcox mentioned two very exciting things. The first was the testing and installation of School Safety Lockdown devices. As you may have noticed, only a very small amount of doors on campus lock from the inside.

These small metal gadgets connect to any door from the inside and enable it to lock and protect against active shooters on campus. The doors can still be unlocked with a key from the outside, but remains locked and secure until then. These devices are still in testing, but Chief Willcox estimates that they will be installed sometime in the near future.

Another great improvement to campus safety is the RAVE Guardian Campus Safety App. This app is compatible with any smartphone and has multiple features to progress our campus safety even further. It includes a Panic Button, Tip Texting, and Personal Guardians.

The Panic Button not only connects to the police station, but it also shows your GPS location and personal profile information immediately.

Tip Texting is an anonymous crime tip reporting service that enables the user to connect to the police station and have a conversation to report any suspicious behavior.

Personal Guardians allows you to set a timer to get from one place to another, and if you haven’t reached that destination and turned off the timer before it goes off, a message is sent to your “guardians”, whom you select, and they can check on you.  

To sign into the app, all you need is your Armstrong email address. When asked for her opinion on the new app, Aja McGill, a junior at Armstrong said, “It seems like a good idea because their response time will be faster.” Chief Willcox stated this app is “useful and more in-tune” than our current call boxes located around campus. If you’re not impressed, consider this: “The best part about it – it’s free.”

The only problem with this app is its name. The police department is taking suggestions. It must be Armstrong related, and no more than two words. Take your ideas to the SGA office or email Elly Estrada (SGA Secretary) at ee9449@stu.armstrong.edu with your suggestions. The app is expected to be up and running during this semester.

As you can see, the Armstrong State University police department is working hard to keep our campus safe, and they are continually improving. The ASU police department has received numerous awards for their work, including the Dr. Curtis E. McClung Motorola Award of Excellence and the Governor’s Public Safety Award.

We are the only campus to have received both of those awards, which are two of the highest awards in public safety. “We want to have the safest campus in Georgia, and we want people to feel safe,” states Willcox. Their results definitely show in students’ opinions.

Amanda Austin, a freshman this year and new resident in Windward Commons, states, “I feel very safe knowing somebody is there 24/7 to help if I need them.”

The police department is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can be reached at 912-344-3333 or stop by the station located at the intersection of Arts Drive and Library Drive. For more information, visit the University Police Department web page on the Armstrong website.


About The Inkwell (1321 Articles)
A compelling news source at Armstrong State University since 1935.


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