VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State University Police Department celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 9-15.
Sponsored by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International and celebrated annually, National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week honors the thousands of men and women who answer emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance to the citizens of the United States.
The VSU Police Department employs six Peace Officer Standards and Training certified dispatchers that work around the clock to ensure that callers get the help and resources they need as quickly as possible. They are Michael Broam, serving since 2015; Rebecca Broom, serving since 2013; Bridgett Holcomb, serving since 2020; Steve Kocher, serving since 2022; Gabby Lamura, serving since 2023; and Rachael Sable, serving since 2021.
VSU’s police dispatchers are a lifeline, not only to those calling for help but also to the police officers who rely on them for accurate and detailed information. Dispatchers are always there to answer the call, providing an indispensable service to the university community.
In the first three months of 2023, VSU Police Department dispatchers have handled 774 calls for service, 293 officer-initiated calls, 359 traffic stops, and 5,580 property checks.
Dispatchers are the unsung heroes of public safety, the FIRST first responders.
“This week, we pause to formally recognize and appreciate the incredible work our dispatchers do for our campus community,” said Sgt. Rebecca C. Leatherberry, VSU Police Department operations supervisor in charge of records, evidence, and communications. “We are grateful for their dedication and everything they do behind the scenes to ensure our campus is protected and our police officers go home safely to their loved ones.”
The VSU Police Department is committed to doing all that is possible to build an environment that promotes a feeling of safety and security. Police officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They protect life and property, preserve the peace, prevent and repress crime, investigate reported offenses, apprehend offenders, enforce regulations and laws relating to traffic control, collect and preserve physical evidence, prepare cases for court prosecution or disciplinary action, recover lost and stolen property, provide general police services to the university community, and establish and maintain an enforcement policy that is consistent with the requirements of the law and with the best traditions of a democratic society.
The VSU Police Department offers a variety of crime-prevention programs and information sources to help the university community deal with safety issues. One such safety initiative is the police escort service. This program provides additional protection to all university faculty, staff, students, and visitors while walking around campus. It is in operation around the clock, and officers are prepared to provide a walking escort to any member of the VSU community to any location on campus upon request. Those who wish to utilize the service should simply dial (229) 333-7816 or use one of the emergency phones located throughout the campus.
Immediate police response is available by calling the emergency number at (229) 259-5555 or by dialing 911.
Of the more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies across the Peach State, the VSU Police Department is one of only 138 certified by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. This certification recognizes the university’s commitment to professionalism, positive community engagement, transparency, ethical conduct, and more.