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All law enforcement officers in Texas are certified through the state Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Officers have to pass a rigorous academy sanctioned by TCLEOSE and undergo continuing education, Ellison said. The police department of Abilene Christian University has 13 full time police officer positions and one part time officer. Of those 13 full time officers, four are retired Abilene police officers, and one is a retired Taylor County Sheriff's deputy, Ellison said. Eight have obtained their master peace officer license, the highest certification an officer can obtain through TCLEOSE.
They've responded to 1,350 calls for service off campus in that time, breaking down to about 450 calls each year and about 40 per month Hermes Belt 24mm a far cry from the 15 to 20 calls per day an Abilene police officer typically responds to.
impressed us with his desire to develop that department. If you talk to people at ACU who were there before he came, they'll tell you there's a big difference." said Jim Berry, assistant chief of the Abilene Police Department. "It's because of Chief Ellison, the support he has from everyone . the result is a police department we are proud to have a professional working relationship with."
"It should be obvious the campus is our main priority. It always has been and always will be," Gucci Belt Replica Wholesale
There are 274 years of combined law enforcement experience among the officers, a number Ellison said he is very proud of.
"There's a lower level of respect for the job campus police do. And that's OK. We understand. But that's why I feel it's important to hire seasoned, mature officers," he said.
"That's about 20 years experience per officer," he said. "It's important for the public to understand that these are well trained, well seasoned officers."
They're on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but in the three years since Abilene Christian University's police department has had jurisdiction over more than just the campus, officers have written 187 citations.
The department's main priority is now and always has been campus safety, Ellison said, not patrolling the areas off campus and writing gratuitous tickets, even as ACUPD's jurisdiction expands slightly farther into the city. 10th Street.
There is no legal distinction in the state between university police officers and municipal officers, "but the public looks at it differently," Ellison said.
ACU police expand area
"This was not something that came about overnight. It was a lot of thought, a lot of preparation and a lot of planning." Berry said. "It was not done lightly. We weighed all the issues . and saw an overwhelming advantage to serve that segment of the community. There were no losers, and that is what I believe is a real win win situation."
"Far better than we expected," he said.
"Whether its ACU, SMU (Southern Methodist University) in Dallas or UT in Austin, campus police officers are hired to do a job: enforce laws. There's no different institutional stances. Our job is to enforce the law, fairly and impartially."
More people than just those who live in northeast Abilene benefit from the agreement because ACU officers help "free up" Abilene officers when ACUPD officers direct traffic at the scene of vehicle accidents or when they respond to nonemergency calls.
Additionally, any criminal charges ACU pursues against a suspect are filed through the court system the same as Abilene police officers, Ellison said.
Made four years ago, the original agreement gives the ACUPD full police powers, including the ability to direct traffic at accident scenes, write tickets and make arrests ACU student or not within an area around the campus. The new agreement put in place last month expanded the borders of ACUPD's jurisdiction.
The ACUPD has a deep focus on ensuring its officers are well trained, certified officers who provide "quality and professional, and more importantly, impartial service to the campus and the community," said Ellison, who became chief in 2001.
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"As short staffed as we've been, we can't respond to calls as quickly as we'd like to," Berry said. Gucci Belt Snake Black
Ellison's commitment to having a well trained, well prepared department was a factor in making the agreement four years ago and a reason it was renewed, Abilene police officials said.
The agreement, Martin said, has worked out beautifully.
Experience is something Ellison looks for. An understanding that a college campus can be a challenging environment is another quality Ellison said he looks for.
Martin and other officials had to consider the increasing frequency in which the ACUPD officers were being requested for backup in areas that were not originally included in boundaries set in a 2006 agreement. Additionally, in the last four years the population of ACU faculty and staff living in and around campus had moved south.
However, ACU officers also focus on patrolling the area adjacent to the campus. Ellison said what happens near the campus can affect the safety on campus and vice versa.
The decision to allow Abilene Christian University's police department to expand its jurisdiction further into the city was not made lightly by police officials, Abilene Police Chief Melvin Martin said.
After renewing an adjunct power agreement with the Abilene Police Department, ACUPD now has jurisdiction as far west as Cottonwood Street, as far north as East Overland Trail, as far east as Union Lane off Highway 351 and as far south as East Highway 80.
"When you, as a citizen, need police assistance and it will take an APD officer 10 minutes to get there and an ACU officer within his jurisdiction can be there in three, who are you going to go with?"
Any tickets ACUPD writes are processed through Abilene's municipal court the same as a ticket written by an Abilene police officer. Any fines attached to that ticket would go to the city, said Teresa Borcik, administrator for the municipal court. ACU doesn't receive any money from fines for tickets they write, she added.
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