Police chief vies to make campus safer

Florida A&M’s police chief is taking new initiatives to elevate student safety.

After several months as the director of public safety, Terence Calloway has made it his goal to ensure students feel comfortable at school.

Students have become acclimated with many of the on-campus law enforcement, as well as the campus alert and awareness programs, such as the blue light alert towers and E2 Campus alerts.

“I feel more informed,” said Lydia Gibbs, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Pensacola, Fla. “It was annoying at first, but I [would] rather be annoyed than in danger.”

Calloway believes he has implemented plans of action to provide students with resources to make FAMU a safe campus. However, there are some things that cannot be substituted for in law enforcement.

“When it comes to on campus safety, the best thing we have here on campus is the police department itself,” Calloway said. “Nothing can substitute the physical body of a trained police officer.”

A stronger presence on campus allows students to get familiar with who is protecting them. Along with wanting to make students feel safe, Calloway wants to set the tone that crime will not be tolerated on campus.

“The highest crime here is petty theft,” Calloway said. “The only way we can eliminate crime is to prevent opportunity.”

FAMU’s police department is in close connection with the student activities office, where they work to relay the message of safety to the campus.

“We want to have that environment where students aren’t just seeing the police when bad things are happening,” said Brandi Tatum, coordinator of Greek life and student involvement.

The new Thumb Alert Application, coming later this year, will allow students to warn FAMU PD about suspicious activity or threats on campus.

Taylor Simone, a second-year psychology student from Baltimore, thinks the app will be beneficial to students.  

“That app would make me feel safe, like they made an effort to make a app to ensure that I can be easily connected with if I’m in danger,” Simone said.