POSTED: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 5:29pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 5:32pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Baton Rouge Community College is expanding pretty quickly. With more students and more opportunities, there's a big need for security. That's why BRCC is expanding its campus police force.
The campus has officers in training, and they're planning on bringing in more. Students said they're happy to know that their safety is top priority.
Terrie Underwood's in student government here at BRCC. She said having a larger police force isn't just a want, but a need.
"Because now, no matter what time in the day you have classes, the patrol units are always visible," Underwood said. "The safety of the students is overall the most important thing on any campus, and just the availability."
Ashlee Shreve agreed.
"I'll definitely feel a lot safer coming around campus," Shreve said. "Being that there's so many people on campus, you don't really know who's going here and who's not. It's pretty much is an open area."
That's one of the reasons BRCC's decided to expand its police force, BRCC Police Department's Chief of Police Genoria Tilley said.
"So it's no longer BRCC as we once knew it, and so as a result of that, we are trying to increase the force and increase the units that we have so we will be able to travel back and forth between all of those locations," Tilley said.
In 2013, BRCC merged with other technical colleges in the area, but the expansion didn't include a bigger police department until now. They've added two new units and upgraded technology.
"The officers have the capabilities now to check warrants and check to see if vehicles were stolen," Tilley said. "In the past, those vehicles we had before did not allow that."
It's not just cars. The force added a brand new bike unit all in an effort to make sure students see them and feel protected.
"Well the bicycle patrol allows a faster response for our officers, and it also allows our officers to engage more with the students," Tilley said.
With the help of Baton Rouge Police, BRCC Police have been able to maintain a safe campus, but now Chief Tilley said it's time to take safety into their own hands.
"Well want the students to know that we're out there to provide services for them," Tilley said.
Students can expect to see more officers and more units in the next few months.