The work done by GSU Police Chief Howard G. Caviness and his staff continues to pay off.
The money the department was awarded through Title III grants from the U.S. Department of Education has been used to get better equipment because what was in use was “outdated,” Caviness said.
The initial grant was for $100,000, and when the department reapplied this year, it received a $99,000 grant.
In addition to updating body cameras, the department is buying more tasers and getting computers for officers’ patrol cars.
Chief Caviness credits the research done by his executive assistant, Lari Talbert, as being crucial in being awarded the grants.
Talbert said that they will have a ticket tracker that is going to interface with Banner Web. The handheld device will enable officers to input a G number, license plate number or parking decal number and atomically upload into the system.
Chief Caviness said the Department of Education has the final say on how much money the department will receive or how often they will get money.
GSUPD is already in a program where they have written a grant and a proposal for the next five years, so they department is “looking at $5000,000 over five years.”
“It’s a half-million dollars that student will not have to come out of their pockets,” he said.
There are things the department needs but cannot spend the grant money on, the chief said, including purchasing vehicles, hiring officers or increasing salaries of current officers.
Caviness said all the equipment upgrades are to help ensure a safer campus, but more needs to be done. He said he is looking into having speed bumps installed.
The chief also said the department is purchasing cellphones through its new domestic violence program. The phones are not for personal use, that they are to be used for emergency contact only.
The phones are for the use of domestic violence victims so they can call their families or police to help them escape a dangerous situation.
Talbert mentioned the need to have more patrol cars because the four the department now has is not enough.
Caviness said that the department is looking into getting SUV-type vehicles to be able to carry all the luggage and equipment needed when they are escorting teams to away games.