MGC HAS MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
(Cochran, GA) – Middle Georgia College’s mutual aid agreement with the Cochran Police Department and Bleckley County Sheriff’s Department allows assistance between MGC and the CPD and the Sheriff’s Department.
The University System of Georgia encourages each school to file a mutual aid agreement with its surrounding city, county, and other campuses. According to the USG, areas covered in the agreement include, but are not limited to, the prevention of violations of the law, apprehension or arrest of anyone who violates a criminal law, and assistance in any criminal case. Assistance can also be offered in the case of a local emergency, which includes natural disasters, riots, civil disturbances, or other situations with conditions that are outside the control of law enforcement.
Charles Warren, the MGC Police Chief, said, “The agreement has been around since I have been here. It’s an understanding. Police help each other anyway.” For example, if a MGC policeman sees someone driving who they suspect has been drinking; they will pull them over and then call the CPD to come make the arrest.
Warren has been on the police force at MGC for 15 years. After serving as Interim Police Chief since October 2010, he was officially promoted to Police Chief effective July 1, 2011. Warren updated the mutual aid agreement paperwork and filed it with the Board of Regents and the corresponding cities and counties.
If the city or county has a crowd larger than the CPD can handle, such as a race or football game, the MGC police can be called in to assist. Likewise, if MGC has only two officers on duty and a situation arises, the city police can come in and help, said Warren.
The MGC police don’t go searching for law-breakers outside the campus, said Warren. “People see us downtown and think we’re out of our jurisdiction, but we have been invited,” he said.
The MGC police are also called in to help with bigger crimes, such as the recent robbery at Citizen’s Bank in Cochran. “We looked at pictures of suspects and helped with the roadblock,” said Warren.
When the MGC police issue tickets outside the campus, the money from fines does not go to MGC, but to the city and county. For misdemeanor offenses, such as underage drinking, the money goes to the city, and for felony charges, the money goes to the county.
Because of its campuses in Dublin and Eastman, MGC also has a mutual aid agreement with the Dublin and Eastman Police Departments, as well as with the Sheriff’s Department in Laurens and Dodge Counties.