Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Is your department a security or police department?

2. Why can University Police Officers make arrests?

3. What is the difference between a university police officer and an officer or deputy sheriff in my hometown?

4. How large is the University Police Department?

5. I am of legal age to consume an alcoholic beverage. May I do so on campus?

6. Am I allowed to have a firearm on campus for hunting or protection purposes? Will the university police store a firearm for me?

7. How safe will I be on campus?

8. If my car breaks down, will a university police officer help me?

9. I am interested in obtaining a degree that will help me become a police officer. May I do an internship at the university police department?

10. I am a student who needs financial assistance to attend Jacksonville State University. Do you offer student employment?

11. I am a parent whose son or daughter will be away from home for the first time. I am concerned about any potential problems they may incur. Is there anything I can do?

12. Where can I find the current list for sexual offender or predators that live in my area?

13. How can I get a copy of a police report?

14. What happens when I discover a theft or other crime?

15. How do I report an emergency or crime?

16. I was a victim of a crime. What should I do?

17. If I witness a crime or suspicious activity, what should I do?

18. How can I get information on crime statistics and safety tips?

19. Where can I find information on fines and court costs?



1. Is your department a security or police department?

For many years, our department was referred to as a security department. Even today, some people still refer to us as "security." However, in the mid-1970s, we transitioned from a security to a police department. We offer the same services as traditional law enforcement agencies. We also have officers on duty 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week. If you need to obtain information, report a crime or traffic accident, or have any needs for which we can provide assistance, please call us at 256-782-5050. If you need to report an emergency, serious traffic accident, or a crime in progress, please dial 911.

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2. Why can University Police Officers make arrests?

The President of Jacksonville State University, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, may appoint and employ suitable persons to act as police officers to deter intruders and prevent trespass upon and damage to the property and grounds of the university. Such persons are charged with all the duties and invested with all the powers of police officers. The officer may eject trespassers from the university buildings and grounds. The officer may, without a warrant, arrest any person guilty of disorderly conduct, of trespass upon the property of the university, or for any public offense committed in their presence, and carry them before the nearest district court or municipal court. Upon proper affidavit charging the offense, the person arrested may be tried by the court and convicted as in cases of persons brought before the court on a warrant. The officer may summon a posse comitatus. The officer may, with a warrant, arrest any person found upon or near the premises of the university charged with any public offense and take the person before the proper officer.

The police officers will cooperate with and, when requested, furnish assistance to the regularly constituted authorities of the City of Jacksonville. The jurisdiction and authority of the officers shall be coextensive with the corporate limits of the municipality.

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3. What is the difference between a university police officer and an officer or deputy sheriff in my hometown?

There are more similarities than differences. University police officers must undergo a stringent screening process before they are employed. In many cases, our screening process is more stringent than those found with other law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Once employed, a university police officer must attend a regional police academy where he or she trains along with law enforcement officers from municipal police departments, county sheriffs' departments, and other local or state law enforcement agencies. Once a university police officer has successfully completed the academy, the Alabama Peace Officer's Standard Training Commission certifies him or her as a law enforcement officer. This board oversees law enforcement certification for all law enforcement officers in the state of Alabama. However, there are some noticeable differences. In addition to academy training, a newly-employed university police officer must complete a 12-week field training officer program. This program integrates the academy training into practical work experience that prepares the officer to work on his or her own. Not all law enforcement agencies offer this program. Also, we have found that the university police department provides more in-service training for its officers than many other law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Finally, in addition to enforcing state laws, university police officers are also responsible for assisting in enforcing university parking rules and regulations, Housing Department rules and regulations, and the Student Code of Conduct.

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4. How large is the University Police Department?

The University Police Department has an authorized strength of 14 police officers and 5 support staff. This does not include student employees. Currently, there are three officers assigned to each of the three shifts (day, evening, midnight), and one officer assigned as a crime prevention coordinator. The remaining officers are assigned to administrative or investigative duties. Support staff functions include police dispatchers, parking clerical staff, parking enforcement personnel, and secretarial staff.

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5. I am of legal age to consume an alcoholic beverage. May I do so on campus?

Yes. The only place where you may consume alcoholic beverages is in your room.

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6. Am I allowed to have a firearm for hunting or protection purposes on campus? Will the university police store a firearm for me?

Firearms, ammunition, or dangerous weapons are not allowed in any JSU buildings or facilities. Contact the University Police for more information about the university's firearms policy.

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7. How safe will I be on campus?

Being safe means different things to different people. Some people measure safety by the amount of crime on campus. Typically, most university and college campuses experience less crime than their surrounding communities. Our crime statistics and a comparison of those between the Jacksonville Police Department and Calhoun County Sheriff's Department is available for review at http://www.jsu.edu/depart/upd/doe.html

The University Police Department, along with other university departments, has implemented a number of programs and initiatives to promote safety. These include:

– Emergency Telephones and Escorts - dial 6000 on campus.

– Full time Crime Prevention Coordinator to present programs and provide information in the residence halls and at other locations upon request.

– A full-time officer assigned to each residence hall to provide resident students with crime prevention and safety information upon request.

However, being safe is often based on common sense and following those well-known rules that your parents and others have taught you. These include:

Don't trust strangers.
Always travel with those you know.
There is safety in numbers.
Don't leave valuables unattended (not even for a minute).

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8. If my car breaks down, will a university police officer help me?

University police officers are not trained mechanics or locksmiths. However, they will try to offer assistance to any stranded motorist, but services are limited to unlocking vehicles and escorts.

Generally, the complexity of late model vehicles requires a person with special training, and who is bonded and insured to reimburse you for any damage that may be caused to your vehicle while it is being serviced. While the university police department cannot offer this level of service and protection, there are many garages and service stations in Jacksonville that can help you when you have a problem with your vehicle. We recommend that you ascertain which motor clubs are recognized by the local garages and service stations, and obtain a membership in one of those organizations.

Regardless of whether a university police officer can assist you with your vehicle's problem, we recommend that you call and notify us of your situation. If you have concerns about being stranded in a remote area, a university police officer can transport you to another campus location of your choice while you await assistance.

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9. I am interested in obtaining a degree that will help me become a police officer. May I do an internship at the University Police Department?

All internships are assigned through the Criminal Justice Department at Brewer Hall.

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10. I am a student who needs financial assistance to attend Jacksonville State University. Do you offer student employment?

We offer a limited number of part-time student positions. Generally, we hire students at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. If you are eligible for work-study assistance and interested in a position, please contact the Sergeant of Patrol Operations at 256-782-5050.

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11. I am a parent whose son or daughter will be away from home for the first time. I am concerned about any potential problems they may incur. Is there anything I can do?

Moving from home and being on your own for the first time is a major life step for most young people. They must accept a higher level of responsibility for their behavior and safety. This is part of the maturation process through which they become responsible adults.

One thing parents can do to help their son or daughter successfully progress through this process is to remain involved. Parents may wish to consider the philosophy that is practiced by many student affairs departments: support and challenge.

Young people need support to help them make good decisions and address issues in a responsible manner. Parents should stay in contact with their student(s) and discuss important life issues such as the use of alcohol, tobacco products or drugs, dating, or personal safety. Students should be encouraged to contact the police department with any questions or problems they may have. The Crime Prevention Coordinator can be reached at 256-782-5239.

However, young people also need to be challenged to take responsibility for their lives and actions. Parents are encouraged to help their student(s) make good decisions. Part of the adult learning process is for students to understand there are consequences associated with bad decisions. This includes decisions that result in unacceptable behavior. Parents should constantly remind their student(s) of this fact, and that the student(s) are accountable to parents, the university, and themselves.

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12. Where can I find the current list for sexual offenders or predators that live in my area? 

To view a list of individuals who have been reported to the Alabama Bureau of Investigations as being sexual offenders or predators, visit www.nsopr.gov and follow the instructions. This database provides what is perhaps the most current list available. Jacksonville State University currently uses 36265 as its primary zip code, and a search can be completed for it. All other inquiries can be made by calling the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office at 256-236-6600.

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13. How can I get a copy of a police report?

Contact the Records Office of the Jacksonville State University Police Department at 256-782-5287. There is currently no fee.

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14. What happens when I discover a theft or other crime?

Thefts or other crimes are reported to University Police for investigation. Resident Assistants play a major role in reporting criminal activity in the residence halls, and are required to keep a log of incidents occurring during their shift. When appropriate, staff from Housing or Student Affairs may be involved in answering a call for assistance.

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15. How do I report an emergency or crime?

Contact the University Police by calling 6000 on campus, and 911 if you are calling from off campus. In an emergency, call 911 from any phone. Be prepared to give:

• Your Emergency or the Nature of Call
• Your Location (Know Where You Are)
• Who You Are
• Suspect Information When Available
• Answers to Other Questions The Dispatcher May Have

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16. I was a victim of a crime. What should I do?

If you are a victim of a crime, notify the University Police immediately. Call 911 for emergencies and 256-782-5050 for non-emergencies. Do not disturb any evidence. Information that could assist police in resolving the case:

• Name of Victim
• Exact Location of the Incident
• Injuries or Need for Medical Attention
• Description of the Scene
• Description of Any Suspect
• Description and License Numbers of any Involved Vehicles

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17. If I witness a crime or suspicious activity, what should I do?

If you witness a crime or suspicious activity, notify the police immediately. Call 911 for emergencies and call 256-782-5050 for non-emergencies. Do not disturb any evidence. Information that could assist police in resolving the case:

• Name of Victim
• Exact Location of the Incident
• Injuries or Need for Medical Attention
• Description of the Scene
• Description of Any Suspect
• Description and License Numbers of any Involved Vehicles


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18. How can I get information on crime statistics and safety tips?

The University Police Department publishes a compilation of campus crime statistics each year. This information is available online by visiting our Crime Statistics page. If further information is required, please contact the Crime Prevention Officer at 256-782-5239.

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19. Where can I find information on fines and court costs?

Fines and court costs can be found on the fines and court costs page. All traffic fines and misdemeanor arrests are handled by the Municipal Court of Jacksonville. The Municipal Court Office can be reached at 256-435-6960. All felony arrests are handled by the Calhoun County District Court in Anniston. The District Court of Calhoun County can be reached at 256-231-1750.