In April of 1985 the Campus Police Department was established. There were only 12 officers and support staff to provide for the safety and security of our schools and to answer calls for service during school hours. Our jurisdiction covers approximately 360 square miles, 60 schools, several administrative buildings, approximately 35000 students and 4500 staff including teachers and support personnel. There are schools located in every municipality and the un-incorporated areas of Chatham County with the exception of Tybee Island. In 1993, the Chatham County Police Department assigned officers as SRO to each of the districts middle and high schools. Their purpose was to interact with the students, and maintain a high visibility to deter crimes and acts of violence.
In March 1998, the Savannah- Chatham County School Board decided it would do its own policing. During the summer of 1998, twenty-six personnel were hired to fill the positions of Campus Police Supervisors, Investigator, School Resource Officers (SRO), Patrol Officers.,. In December of 1998, Captain Ulysses O. Bryant, Jr., was appointed Chief of Police.
In December of 1999 the Campus Police was awarded more than more than one- million dollars to fund positions for 10 additional School Resource Officers under the COPS IN SCHOOLS grant.
Our Communications Center includes a Computer Aided Dispatch console, a digital ID camera, and a live scan fingerprint system. Campus Police Dispatch is also an entering agency for GCIC (police agency that can enter items, persons, vehicles, etc. into the Georgia Crime Information Center computer database). Our officers completed over 6000 hours of training during our first year of service, a trend that continues to ensure our officers receive the best training available.
The SRO becomes very involved with our students, including acting as mentors. All campus activity during the regular day and after school activities involve the SRO interacting with their students in a "professionally friendly" atmosphere. Several of our SRO created Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) groups which encourage students to act responsibly on and off campus.
Currently, our department is staffed with a Chief of Police, 1 Captain (Operations Officer/Asst. Chief), 4 Sergeants, 1 Corporal Investigator, 1 Investigator, 31 Officers, 4 Communications Officers, 1 Front Desk Receptionist, an Officer Manager and 1 Office Clerk. Our vision for the future is extensive. Our officers and staff are highly motivated to ensure the children of Chatham County are provided that level of service deserving of our school system.