GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) -This week is Community Policing Week for the city of Greenville.
One of the largest departments being recognized is ECU’s.
This department is full of resources and protects nearly 30,000 students.
Lieutenant Chris Sutton with the ECU police department said, “Patrol is obviously our larger division, we have an investigative division that handles larger cases, a K-9 that’s an explosives detection that also allows us to offer a different layer of security.”
That’s just the start of it.
Sutton said their department offers top of the line protection for a very specific community.
“I think it does give us some unique opportunities to work with a very diverse group of people,” said Sutton.
Students being the primary community for ECU police can cause them some unique challenges.
Sutton said, “Restricted in some of the information that we can release because it’s a student. FERPA regulated issues, we have crimes that we have to provide notification based off of Clery and the Department of Education.”
ECU police have expanded jurisdiction through the entire city of Greenville.
They can better protect students and assist GPD if needed.
Lieutenant Sutton said their relationship with students is crucial.
“If your community is watching and they’re being vigilante and they see something they say something and alert us than that allows us to be able to give quicker response to certain types of crimes,” Said Sutton.
For Sutton, their work is about more than just policing.
He said, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this earth.”
It’s a mantra of sorts, keeping his department grounded and reminding them of the meaning behind their work.
Sutton added, “When law enforcement understands their role as public servants than it allows us to not just be and enforcement capacity but to be service oriented.”
Sutton said they have incorporated technology like “Ride Safe” apps to better serve their students.