Officer Vigilance, Knowledge of School Policies Prevent Crime

Congratulations to Officers Terry Thomas and Jerome Saulsbury, who are November’s Campus Safety Heroes for expertly applying visitor policies and paying attention to detail to safely apprehend two armed individuals.

Campus Safety magazine regularly sings the praises of appropriate policies that are effectively communicated to everyone on campus, and one area for K-12 school districts where policies are particularly important is visitor management.

This summer, Bibb County (Ga.) School District Campus Police Officer Terry Thomas was able to apply his knowledge of his district’s policy to successfully apprehend two armed visitors who were carrying drugs.

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On Aug. 11, Thomas was patrolling the local high school during lunch time when he noticed two suspicious males parked in front of the school attempting to get the attention of students. When he approached their vehicle, the males indicated that they were not students and were only there to deliver lunch to a student.

Fortunately for Thomas, he was familiar with the campus’ visitor management procedures and protocol and asked them if they had signed in at the main office. They indicated they had not. Thomas then told the two that they could not remain on campus without permission and a visitor’s pass.

The two individuals became irate, and as Thomas moved closer to their vehicle, he smelled the odor of marijuana. He then radioed Officer Jerome Saulsbury for assistance.

Thomas then asked the driver to shut off his vehicle and noticed that the driver was reaching towards the floorboard of his car. Sensing that the driver might be reaching for a weapon, Thomas instructed both the driver and passenger to keep their hands up where he could see them.

Saulsbury soon arrived on the scene and reached for the keys to the vehicle to prevent the two subjects from escaping when he noticed that there were two loaded weapons near the console and driver’s seat. The passenger then escaped on foot while Thomas was subduing the driver and placing him under arrest.

The escaped passenger later turned himself in due to arrest warrants and both officers’ continued investigation of the incident.

“These officers are very deserving of the Campus Safety Heroes of the Month Award due to their vigilance, knowledge of school district policies and attention to detail,” says Bibb County School District Deputy Chief Stephanie Prater. “They are a shining example as to what campus safety is all about as they placed student safety above their own and removed a possible threat to others with weapons and drugs from remaining on the campus.”

That’s why Officers Terry Thomas and Jerome Saulsbury have been named November’s Campus Safety Heroes. Way to go Thomas and Saulsbury!

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