Friday, August 27, 2010
SC State University senior Chenelle Duffy smiles widely when she mentions the Bulldog Patrol, and she never hesitates when asked to proudly wear her Bulldog Patrol paraphernalia. In fact, she consistently parades around the campus adorned in this garnet and blue attire, an easy way to denote the members of an organization that is becoming increasingly popular on the SC State campus. Originated by Student Government Association president Anthony Beckett, the Bulldog Patrol is a student controlled organization with police department advisors.
According to Lieutenant Tim Smith, the Bulldog Patrol has two components. One aspect of this student-led organization is obtaining the assistance of students at University special events such as concerts, football and basketball games, and any other activities that require security. “They are our eyes and ears for the police department,” says Smith.
Duffy is one of the 15 Bulldog Patrol volunteers who say that they enjoy working in tandem with the SC State University police department. “I enjoy getting involved and helping to keep the campus safe and eliminating some of the ongoing problems,” says Duffy. In fact, Duffy’s participation led to additional incentives, including an uncanny meeting with celebrities. “I was able to meet Fantasia and I got up close to Trey Songz,” exclaims Duffy.
Although meeting celebrities is one of the many rewards from participating in the Bulldog Patrol, according to Michael Bartley, SC State University police chief, there are several primary goals of the organization. “We would like to utilize the Bulldog Patrol as a way to enhance the relationship between students and our department. With the active involvement of our student body, they will ultimately get an increased understanding of police operations,” says Bartley.
This understanding will be enforced through working with the police department during these special events, and during the preparation that is essential before any SC State student is deemed a Bulldog Patrol member. Prior to acceptance, potential members must complete various one hour classes coordinated by police officers, campus faculty and civilian instructors. Courses include, but are not limited to: criminal law and investigations, communications procedures, patrol procedures, narcotics, crime scene processing, conflict resolution, family abuse/juvenile procedures and problem solving. Students must also answer three Bulldog Patrol questions for acceptance, and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. “It doesn’t take long to be qualified,” says Smith. “We can do everything in about a month. It really just depends on how fast they absorb the knowledge.”
While current members are engaged in component one of the Bulldog Patrol, we will soon see more of the Bulldog Patrol attire on the campus with implementation of the second aspect of the program, the introduction of the Bulldog Patrol Escort Transportation Service. “Whenever a faculty, student or staff member will need a ride to a particular location, an officer will pick them up and drive them to their vehicles, or a Bulldog Patrol member will transport them in a golf cart,” says Smith. “We hope that this will curtail some criminal activity that would normally occur after dark,” notes Bartley. Once you contact the police department requesting escort service, the response time will be approximately five to seven minutes. The service is available Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Current Bulldog Patrol members are performing their duties with a golf cart or on foot patrol. However, Smith says that the department will soon receive patrol vehicles for the University and the old ones will be converted into Bulldog Patrol cars. “I like both parts of the program,” says Duffy. “I’m looking forward to the escort service, and I’m looking forward to driving the Impala soon.”
For additional information, or to become a member of the Bulldog Patrol, call 536-7188. You may also e-mail Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Major Kenneth McCaster at email@example.com.