Tag Archives: Public Safety

GRU, USG to launch national search for police chief

Augusta, Ga.  A national search will commence for a new Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Georgia Regents University.

GRU Police Chief William McBride will retire June 30. Major Gene Maxwell and Major Earnest Black will provide experienced leadership to the Public Safety Division while GRU works closely with the University System of Georgia’s Safety and Security Division to identify qualified candidates to serve in this important position.

As a growing comprehensive research university with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, GRU will search for qualified candidates with experience serving undergraduate student populations. The university broke ground this spring on new residence halls to help attract and retain students. The new 724-bed student-housing complex will be located on the university’s Health Sciences campus, home of the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. In an effort to conduct a thorough search for top candidates to lead the diverse needs of the campus community and academic medical center, no deadline has been set for completion of the search.

The Public Safety Division was established in 1973 to provide professional law enforcement to GRU campuses, hospitals, and clinics and is one of 31 police departments in the USG. In May, USG launched a system-wide campus safety initiative to improve training, education, implementation, tracking, and accountability. Key components include required training to help identify and prevent sexual violence and harassment, mental health education for public safety officers, and a new central website for campus crime reports.

The men and women of GRU’s Public Safety Division are dedicated to creating a safe and secure environment for education, research, service, and care in an effective, responsive, and professional manner. The Division includes the GRU Police Bureau, Key Control, and Vehicle Services. Learn more at gru.edu/publicsafety.

McBride to join other police chiefs in promoting campus safety app

On Thursday, April 23, GRU Police Chief Bill McBride will join other police chiefs in a teleconference promoting the benefits of the Rave Guardian campus safety app.

“It’s for people who are on the fence about it,” McBride said. “So they’re going to have a couple of chiefs talk about why they got it and how it’s working. I’m going to be honest and tell them that I’ve got it and I’m pushing it as hard as I can, but we’re just not having the luck we should have with the kids and the staff getting signed up.”

McBride says that while he’s been promoting the app in just about every way possible, fewer than 1,000 people have signed up for the free service.

The Rave Guardian app is a free personal safety application for smartphones that gives individuals the ability to instantly summon help. Rather than looking for one of the blue-topped emergency phone towers, the app gives you one-button access to 911 or GRU police. It also sends out your location.

“When you push that button, it sends an audible alert to my 24-hour dispatcher and also pops up on a computer map that shows within about three meters where you’re standing,” McBride said. “For me, from the safety and security perspective, we think it’s a lot better use of our resources than trying to put random blue towers in places where people won’t use them.”

The RAVE Guardian app is free to faculty, staff, and students. Basically, anyone with a gru.edu email can download the app. For Android, click here. For Apple, click here.

The Rave Guardian Safe Campus Sweepstakes kicked off this week!

During March, downloading the Rave Guardian app and creating an account with your school email address will enter you in the Safe Campus Sweepstakes. This is a great way to help spread the word about the app across your campus, and encourage students to download and sign up.  Prizes include a $1,000 credit at the campus bookstore, fleece jackets, and backpacks.

In addition, to support the efforts of spreading the word across campus, we will award $1,000 to the student government of the school with the Safest Campus (safest campus being defined as the school with the largest percentage of their student body registered with the app by March 31).

If a student is already using the app, they can win too.  If they send an email to friends on campus about the sweepstakes, they will be entered.  They can find the email template at the webpage below, we will be notifying all existing users of the app by the end of this week.

Below you will find information in an email template that you can pass on throughout your campus.   There are also additional details at www.raveguardian.com/sweepstakes

Here are some easy ways to get the word out:

  • Send a media alert to your campus newspaper
  • Send an email blast to your student body (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Involve your student government- they have the chance to win and they have a powerful voice across campus
  • Post information on your Facebook and Twitter accounts- graphics are attached and they can be downloaded at the webpage above

If you have any questions please contact us anytime at guardianapp@ravemobilesafety.com

GRU Public Safety receives certification

Georgia Regents University Department of Public Safety has received another state certification, which is good until 2017.

Only 15 percent of state law enforcement organizations have attained such certification.

“I am very proud of the folks in GRU Police for achieving this honor,” said Chief of Police Bill McBride. “It’s a lot of work and a team effort to achieve and hang on to this certification.”

The certification, which is the same certification earned by police and sheriff’s departments throughout the state, shows that the agency has codified its procedures and is following them.

“We’re putting our guidelines down in writing and we’re following them,” McBride said. “It’s 129 professional standards, but with sub standards it ends up being 400 separate things.”

GRU has 45 sworn officers.

Free app is a personal hotline to help

Chief of Police Bill McBride is puzzled and frankly a little disappointed.

He’s put up flyers, had stories in the GReport and the Daily Update, had senior leaders deliver the message to their units, and he even sent out a clever email with the Batman logo, yet fewer than 500 people have downloaded the free RAVE Guardian app.

In a crisis, this app could make all the difference.

A personal safety application for smartphones, it gives individuals the ability to instantly summon help. When you pull it up on your phone, it gives you one-button access to 911 or GRU police, and that one button also sends out your location.

“When you push that button, it sends an audible alert to my 24-hour dispatcher and also pops up on a computer map that shows within about three meters where you’re standing,” McBride said. “For me, from the safety and security perspective, we think it’s a lot better use of our resources than trying to put random blue towers in places where people won’t use them.”

Those blue-topped emergency phone towers that are still scattered around the Summerville Campus are expensive, impractical, and according to McBride, they’ve never been used to report an emergency.

Never.

“This app is kind of like having that blue tower in your pocket,” McBride said. “Now, nobody’s going to have to walk 200 yards to hit a blue tower phone when they can just whip out their cell.”

GRU also uses GR Alert, a mass notification system that sends messages, including texts, to students, faculty, and staff in emergencies. While that is a notification system, RAVE Guardian is like a personal hotline to help.

The RAVE Guardian app is free to faculty, staff, and students. Basically, anyone with a gru.edu email can download the app. For Android, click here. For Apple, click here.

Other features include a trip alert feature, where the user can configure the app to notify specific people if they don’t check in at a certain time, making that 10-minute walk through the dark campus not quite as lonely.

Of course, none of that matters if you haven’t downloaded the app.

Pedestrian safety tips

Pedestrian Crossing Sign_original“To ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we ask that drivers continue to monitor their rate of speed and slow down at crosswalks and intersections. Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers and not assume drivers will obey the law and stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk,” said Bill McBride, GRU Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police.

Additional traffic signs will be placed on Laney Walker to remind drivers to slow down, and crossing guards will be added during critical hours — when most people are arriving and leaving work or school.

The GRU Police Department increased enforcement of traffic laws in 2008 after a student was struck at the intersection of 15th Street and Laney Walker Boulevard.  Officers currently use radar on both streets, where the posted speed limit is 25 mph.

“Safety is a top priority,” McBride said. “Foot traffic on Laney Walker has only increased with the opening of the new College of Dental Medicine and will only grow when the J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons opens next fall.”

Additional pedestrian safety tips from GetStreetSmart.org:

1. Cross the street only at intersections. Do not jaywalk.

2. Use marked crosswalks where available.

3. Do not cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars. Drivers are not expecting pedestrians to cross mid-block, and you are more likely to be hit if you do this.

4. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets and continue to watch out for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk: Your life may depend on it, regardless of whether or not you have the right-of-way.

5. Remember, don’t take those “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED” signs for granted. Always check for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb — motorists make mistakes too.

6. Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.

7. Stop at the curb and look left, right, and left again before you step into the street. Be sure to evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you step out into the street to ensure that a vehicle has adequate distance in which to stop safely.

8. At intersections, scan over your shoulder for turning vehicles. Make eye contact with the driver of a stopped car while crossing in front or in back of it — making sure that the driver knows you are there. It is also important to follow these rules for cars that might be backing out of driveways.

9. Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.

10. Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.

11. Always look for signs that a car is about to move (rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of motor, wheels turning), and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up.

12. Children should not cross streets by themselves or be allowed to play or walk near traffic. Kids are small, unpredictable, and cannot judge vehicle distances and speeds.

13. Always hold your child’s hand. Never allow a child under 10 to cross the street alone.

New at GRU

Police departments merge

The public safety departments for the Summerville and the Health Sciences campuses have merged into a single unit. This will give the campus extra flexibility and allow for greater security, according to Police Chief William McBride.

“We have 35 officers on the Health Sciences Campus and 14 on the Summerville Campus, but we are now working to train them so the officers can work on either campus,” McBride said. “This will be especially helpful when there are large events or during security issues, where we can call in extra officers if needed.”

The Summerville officers are also completing state certification training.

“All of the officers seem excited about the changes,” McBride said. “It has gone better than I expected, so far.”

Of course, they are still working on the logistics of the consolidation, getting new uniforms, new patches and remarked cars. The department is also working on basic security repair and upgrades, like repairing the guard gate at University Village.

HCCU available

While the Health Center Credit Union is not new to the Summerville Campus, some people may not be familiar with the institution and what it has to offer.

“It’s a pretty well-kept secret it seems, but we want to change that,” HCCU Financial Services Representative Kyle Scott said. “We have been on campus in Summerville since 1987, but a lot of people don’t know a lot about us.”

HCCU has an office in E104 Allgood Hall, and Scott wants to make sure that people know exactly what the credit union offers and how to take advantage of it.

“We’re a full-service, member-owned financial institution,” he said. “And since we are member owned, we can offer great rates for loans and low fees, sometimes no fees, for some services.”

The institution also serves education systems in the area.

For more information, visit www.hccu.coop or stop by one of the offices:

  • 1467 Harper Street (Health Sciences Campus)
  • 524 15th Street (Annex II, room 2200C, Health Sciences Campus)
  • Allgood Hall, room E104 (Summerville Campus)
  • 2260 Wrightsboro Rd. (Trinity Hospital)