Mississippi State Revamps Its Security Force
MSU plans to beef up its patrol with new campus security officers now that the COVID-19 dust has cleared.
As college campuses across the nation closed their doors and implemented virtual classroom instruction, the need for security on campus dwindled for some. While not a complete surprise, now that most campuses will resume normal operation in the fall, they’re realizing a shortage of security personnel and must quickly revamp.
Mississippi State University (MSU), for one, announced in June that it’s planning to add more security officers to the campus patrol.
“Being short officers puts more stress on the officers that we have here,” said MSU Police Chief Vance Rice, in a June 14 report by WCBI. “Especially when it come to athletic events and other events.”
According to WBCI and an MSU job posting, the new security officers will handle things like responding to door-prop alarms, escorting students across campus at night, performing foot and vehicle patrols of campus to monitor behavior, buildings and property, and communicating necessary campus safety information to the University Police Department.
By categorizing the new hires as campus security officers rather than full-fledged police officers, MSU hopes to speed up the process of bringing new officers on board.
Police officers must go through fairly extensive training before they can go on patrol, per MSU policy. This includes at least three months of training plus three months at the police academy.
For the addition of police officers, “We’re talking February or March before I can have an officer on the street,” Rice said.
So instead, MSU will add eight new campus security officers, who will receive two months of training internally. Rice expects this to speed up the process considerably, and at a significant cost savings to the university.
“There are many other calls that a security officer can handle, low threat, low priority type calls, that police officers are having to do right now,” he said.