Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier features editor
Arielle Fischer, Campus Carrier asst. features editor
The campus police are tasked with many duties, which range from patrolling, parking control and enforcement, crime prevention and, essentially, striving to protect Berry’s campus. According to Berry website’s, the department is primarily charged with “providing life safety and property protection.”
With officers on duty 24 hours a day, the department is constantly interacting with students, faculty, staff and even the campus’ local wildlife. With this in mind, the officers are bound to form special memories attached to their work life, manifesting differently for each person.
Chief of Police Jonathan Baggett’s, favorite memory revolves around opportunities to learn from other campus police chiefs. He said that he is able to visit other campuses and learn what they do differently.
“There’s people with all different amounts of experience on the different campuses,” Baggett said. “The interesting part is that no matter how big the campus, our work is similar.”
Baggett mentioned that the chiefs share similar responsibilities since campus police are, in some ways, different from municipal, or city, police. For example, he said that the campus police work more closely with the community since they are more involved with students than police are with local residents.
Baggett said the police department is able to use new ideas to connect even more with the students, like implementing similar hall programs. Even though their efforts have been hampered by the pandemic, he said they look forward to events that encourage positive involvement, like coffee with a cop.
“I think that’s the best part of it, the interaction with the community,” Baggett said.
According to Baggett, the campus police interact with the students on a more positive level which makes for a better work environment. In comparison, a city police department deals with distress calls almost every day in the form of a domestic dispute or automobile accident.
While working as a 911 dispatcher for Gordon County, which includes cities like Calhoun, Ga. and Plainville, Ga., communications officer Dienne Trimble said that she experienced much more destruction while outside the Berry Bubble.
While working for this high-paced, stressful job in the 90s, Trimble said that this is where she fell in love with helping people.
“I had left there and I never really thought about getting back into it again until I had the opportunity to apply to Berry,” Trimble said. “What I love is that I am still able to help protect and be of service to people and not have the death and destruction.”
With this in mind, she regards her role as a communications officer as one of her favorite memories. With the opportunity to give back, she is able to help students, student workers, campus police and any distressed callers needing help.
While some may assume that officers only sit at a desk during their 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift, Trimble explained it is much more than that. On a daily basis, she monitors the campus alarms, medical calls, driving violations and, sometimes, manning the main entrance gate.
“Let’s say that if we had a medical call, I have to take care of the person on the other end of the line and make sure they’re okay,” Trimble said. “Then, I have to get 911 involved like the ambulance, fire and our police department involved. I have to communicate with them while also taking care of the caller and making sure the caller is safe and everyone around them is safe.”
Able to continue doing what she loves, Trimble said that her primary job is to protect the wellbeing and safety of the people on campus.
After years of service, both Baggett and Trimble attribute the Berry community to affecting their work in the campus police department. Whether it is working an in-person meet-and-greet that allows students to get to know the faces behind the force or helping out distressed callers and student workers, when both officers look back at their time of service, they recall the people they helped.