On July 19, the Greenville City Police Bike Patrol Unit conducted bike training on the university campus for the first time. This four-hour training, which included crowd control and bike formation along the streets, gave experience to officers with a unique role in the community.
In 2012, Joe Mulnix, the former director of public safety, initiated the partnership between BJU and local law enforcement. Said David Champ, the current public safety commander: “He really started this process with us, more of networking in wanting to collaborate more with other jurisdictions in the area.”
Each month BJU public safety would attend a chiefs’ meeting with other police chiefs in the area at the Law Enforcement Center downtown. Over time the relationship grew to include an investigators’ in-service for Champ, active shooter and dignitary protection training with Greenville County for full-time public safety staff, and requests for Greenville City Police and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department to train in campus facilities.
“As far as the collaborative effort and the working relationship, we totally . . . support the Greenville City Police, and we’re very law enforcement friendly here on campus,” said Champ. “We just seek to host if they contact us regarding training.”
The partnership between law enforcement and BJU has brought a variety of official training to campus. Several times a year, the University accommodates the combined interests of the City of Greenville and Greenville County through active shooter, SWAT, K-9 unit training and now bicycle training. According to Champ, “they’ll bring other jurisdictions in to train with them on campus, as well,” especially with the K-9 unit. Whether they’re using Barge Hospital, the Davis Field House pool or the campus streets, local officers complete real-life scenarios in a controlled, safe environment. Said Champ: “They like to use the buildings, which is very helpful because that’s mainly what they’re working in.”
Additionally, members of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department have performed active shooter scenarios with students in the criminal justice and School of Health Professions programs. During these exercises, law enforcement officers teach students how to respond to a dangerous situation and its aftermath.
Since BJU lies within the jurisdiction of the City of Greenville, it can rely on support from the police department, if necessary. “Whenever we need assistance here on campus,” said Champ, “they’re more than willing to come and help and assist however if it’s a call for service.”
This partnership between BJU and local law enforcement has opened the doors for further collaboration within the Greenville community.