On Aug. 14, GSU Police Chief Jefferson Walker and his assistant Melvin Jones were released from their duties to the university. It is still unclear as to why Walker and Jones were fired.Walker has been under fire for several incidents at the university. There were two incidents of shootings, both happening within months of each other. Late April, the campus was placed on lockdown after shots were fired near the university’s cafeteria. However, officials state that no shots were actually fired, despite eyewitnesses saying they saw a man fire a gun.
The latest shooting incident occurred over the summer when it was said that thieves breaking into a car on campus shot at an officer. The officer returned fire and chased the suspects, according to media reports. The suspects were able to escape, and it’s not clear if bullets from the thieves’ or officer’s guns found targets.
Walker also recently came under fire after a Louisiana legislative audit of the university revealed timekeeping discrepancies. According to the audit released over the summer, Walker was cited for earning “1,359 hours of compensatory time without providing adequate documentation . .”
The audit also mentioned that Walker started working at the university Dec. 1, 2005, “even though he is not a commissioned police officer by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections as required by state law and university policy.”
The audit went on to say that Walker’s noncertification was a violation of state law and university policy.
“In addition,” the audit states, “allowing the chief to hold himself out as a commissioned police officer and conduct police duties, such as providing security, intelligence gathering, patrolling, conducting investigations, and making arrests, may subject the university, the state, and the chief to potential liability.”
GSU President Horace Judson was given time to respond to the audit, in which his letter stated that Walker was scheduled to attend the first available training to qualify him for commissioning. The class began on Aug. 18.
The Gramblinite will have more on this story as it develops.