Mississippi Valley State University’s new police chief  hopes to prepare students for the real world as well as ensure their safety on campus.

Director of Campus Police Xavier Redmond’s first day on the job was Dec. 18. An alum of Valley who played on the football team and graduated in 1996 with a degree in criminal justice, Redmond replaced Alex Granderson, who was fired in September.

A native of Greenville, Redmond worked for the Greenville Police Department for 22 years and was promoted to lieutenant in 2006.

Though there are differences in the number and nature of calls handled by a police department that oversees a municipality compared to a college, Redmond said, “law enforcement is law enforcement, I don’t care where you are.”

The chief said he comes from a department where police would receive 80 to 90 calls in a single shift.

Most of the calls received from campus concern parking or alarms, he said. According to MVSU’s Police Department Crime Log, incidents reported to the police in the past 30 days have included simple assault, hit and run, unauthorized moving in, and missing items, to name a few.

In August, a shooting involving non-students occurred on campus. After that incident, the university began replacing old light fixtures with LED lights, a process that is continuing, Redmond said.

The chief said the police department has also increased its presence through patrols and installed security cameras across campus.

“You show me these things that happen in front of the presence of a law officer. It’s very, very, very rare. So, that’s the purpose of an officer’s presence,” Redmond said.

He added that the department is working on beefing up security at MVSU’s entrance from U.S. 82 but declined to elaborate, explaining he would share the developments with students first.

Redmond said he never felt unsafe at MVSU when he was a student and believes today’s students there feel the same.

He also wants to do more than just enforce the law. He wants to teach students “how to deal with law enforcement outside of the campus environment, out here in the real world, because it’s totally different.”

The chief said that initiative is still a work in progress but will teach students to follow officers’ commands and not be confrontational with them.  

Though still new to the job, Redmond is grateful to be back at his alma mater.

“For me, it’s a gratifying position, an opportunity for me to come back where I went to school and implement some things that will keep moving Valley forward and ensuring the safety of our students,” he said.

“The students are some of the best people I’ve been around.”

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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