Panther Security and Safety, and all the GSUPD updates

Georgia State police officers work closely with APD since they’re able to access more Atlanta areas like student housing. Signal Archives

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At Georgia State, safety is a top priority. Whether it’s after a late snack with a friend, or a never-ending study session, the Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) wants to make sure you’re safe at all times.

As the largest police department of the state, it’s hard to go far without bumping into one of the many uniformed men and women of Georgia State police, with 73 officers Downtown and 117 across all six campuses.

In the past year, Georgia State has had some major developments in security and safety measures. The new GSUPD Chief Joseph Spillane has big plans for Panther security, and he’s already set them into action. Chief Spillane has increased security presence through the department’s partnership with the Atlanta Police Department (APD). The two departments have worked hand-in-hand in cases off-campus but involving the Georgia State community.

Fingerprint scanners similar to those in the dining halls were also implemented in the University Library. Fingerprint registration is in Student Center West and only takes a couple of seconds. The scanners came as a safety response to ensure library safety, but police officers continue to patrol the entrance at all times. If you don’t want to scan your fingerprint, you can use your Georgia State Panther ID to enter the building.

But Chief Spillane’s plans don’t stop there. He wants to implement PantherCard scanners inside 25 Park Place, the academic advisement office, in order to restrict access exclusively to students and faculty. However, the attached buildings such as the SunTrust bank and Highland Bakery will continue to have public access.

Numbers to keep

404-413-3333 – Georgia State Campus Police

404-413-2100 – Non-emergencies and Safety Escorts

404-413-3234 – Information Desk

404-413-3203 – Hearing Impaired

Spillane’s focus for GSUPD this year is to build a relationship with the Georgia State students they protect, and make sure the community feels comfortable around its officers. He said he wants to create a safe place for students to relax before, in between, and after classes. He has already started to clean up Hurt Park and Woodruff park to increase accessibility to students and create a relaxing environment there as well.

Officers are also ditching their cars to go on foot, and take the time to talk to the Panther community. Spillane announced at the beginning of his term that more bikes will be in use in order for officers to be more visible to students and more approachable.  But besides that purpose, the move is also a step towards helping the environment, along with his suggestion of using electric vehicles.

GSUPD also rolled out the LiveSafe app this year, which allows students to report crimes immediately and get in touch with the department faster. And if that’s not enough, a couple dozen call boxes are found all over campus, to alert police of an emergency, and send them directly to your location. And if you’re walking alone, call a university escort to get you to your dorm or car safely.

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