New police cruisers make grand entrance
Lexi Scicchitano – General Assignment Reporter
Southern police department is introducing updated cruisers to campus, said Joseph Dooley, Chief of Southern police.
“We are currently in the process of setting up the vehicles and transitioning the old out and bringing in the new,” said Dooley.
According to Dooley, of the six marked vehicles in the fleet, five were due for replacement.
The supervisor’s car was the first one to be updated visually and equipment wise, introducing Southern’s color blue onto the vehicle and the Southern’s mascot, the owl, and a flag, on the back of the car. said Dooley.
“Our graphics are a modification of what we had before with the white cars, the color is kind of more of a gray scale,” said Dooley
Dooley said he is happy with the new logo design.
“Between the computer system, the lights, the siren, the radio systems, there’s a lot that goes into building the car once we receive it,” said Dooley.
The officers have a mobile office in their cars with all the equipment in it, with a laptop, printer and every officer wears a body camera, and also a mobile camera in all of the marked cars, said Dooley.
“We’re pretty engaged with the community and the community is engaged with us,” said Dooley.
Four new Ford Explorers were picked up two weeks ago with the graphics already put on them, Dooley said. Making the fleet more modern is always a plus, according to Dooley, when the university police department overhauls their equipment.
“When the supervisor’s car was done in the spring, it was kind of a big hit with the students who saw it,” said Dooley. “We’re getting a lot of positive feedback with colleagues in the area.”
Being visible is a benefit for Southern because it for traffic safety and our visibility out on the roadways helps keep the campus safe, Dooley said.
Judy Behler, an information desk attendant at the Adanti Student Center, said that any kind of update is good.
“The multitude of crosswalks, the potential for crime, we are always looking to avoid the opportunity for the crime to occur,” said Dooley.
The police are pretty visible on the campus, especially on the roadway, Dooley said. The campus is large, Dooley said, but not large enough to lack ample coverage across all parts of campus.
“It’s nice to have new stuff, it adds to the safety of the staff and the safety of the campus,” said Behler.
Clark Herring, a junior communications major, had other things to say about it the new cruisers on campus.
“We have more important stuff to worry about it,” Herring said.
Herring specifically noted safety issues such as cracks in the pavement in the academic quad that are more important to him.
The Southern Police Department updates their fleet about every six years, according to Dooley, the last time being 2012. He noted that the Department of Administrative Services paid for the updated cruisers. Students don’t pay for the cruisers, Dooley said.
“Our cars are distinct looking,” said Dooley. “We pride ourselves on high visibility, we’re out there on a regular basis.”