Police Reach Out to Community
By Jeannine Manning Hutson
Since arriving at East Carolina University earlier this year, Police Chief Scott Shelton has done his fair share of community outreach.
He’s faced headlines for a post-football game celebration and answered questions at a student forum about how suspect descriptions in campus communications are handled.
Plus he has handled all the day-to-day police operations at a university with more than 27,000 students, nearly one-fifth of whom live on campus.
“We are working to open the lines of communication with students from talking to fraternities or sororities to presentations of personal safety information,” Shelton said. “Crime prevention is a priority for me.”
Working with Kemal Atkins, assistant provost for student affairs, the police department has begun a concerted effort to reach students in a number of venues.
“As part of our commitment to the safety and security of ECU, we are working to increase our communication and awareness efforts and to strengthen our partnerships with student groups and organizations,” Atkins said.
“Since the beginning of the fall semester, the ECU Police Department has partnered with the Student Government Association, the Tar River University Neighborhood Association, Student Health and the Black Student Union – among others – to advance our prevention awareness initiatives,” he said.
Shelton said that in the past decade, police and campus officials have stepped up efforts to educate students about safety and personal responsibility. ECU officers continually offer workshops on self-defense, alcohol and drug awareness and personal safety. However, Shelton said, there is still work to be done. “It bothers me when I see people walking back through neighborhoods at 1 or 2 a.m. by themselves,” he said.
For more details on the ECU Police Department Education and Awareness Programs, go to www.ecu.edu/studentlife/police/programs.cfm.