Campus officials can arrest you in surrounding areas

Campus officials can arrest you in surrounding areas

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Officer-involved shootings have been making headlines, most recently when a Cincinnati campus officer was indicted on murder charges on Wednesday for shooting and killing a man during a routine traffic stop.

Now people across the country are questioning the role and boundaries of university police forces, including at schools here at home.

"This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make," said Cincinnati prosecutor Joe Deters.

Since the incident, there's been growing criticism of university police forces across the country from people like Deters.

However, despite the recent incident involving a campus officer, officials from the Columbus State University Police Department tell us on-location forces provide a level of security for CSU students that normal police departments cannot.

"Personal safety, just their comings and goings from the parking lot, but also social media programs, the dangers involved with that, and a variety of specialized programs that try and target college-aged students," said CSU Police Chief Rus Drew.

Officials tell us recent public, mass shootings targeting schools also amp up the need for security and campus police.

"Not that we think it could happen today or tomorrow, but just our preparedness for an active shooter event," said Drew.

Throughout Georgia, campus police patrol their property as well as 500-yards in the surrounding areas. CSU police officials explain their officers are trained like any other legitimate law enforcement, which means whether you're a student or not, you're subject to their jurisdiction.

"Within that jurisdiction, our authority is the same as our municipal counterpart," said Drew.

CSU Police also partner with the Columbus Police Department, especially in the Uptown area where they have part of their campus; so if you're downtown and get pulled over remember you campus officers have authority there as well.

Copyright WTVM 2015. All rights reserved.