ECU, Greenville Police working together to make city safer

GREENVILLE, Pitt County - East Carolina University police officers used to respond only to situations on campus and the areas directly surrounding campus. But that's changing.

Now, ECU Police can monitor all of Greenville, helping the community feel much safer. "What it means to the public is that an ECU police officer will have the same jurisdictional authority all throughout the city as a Greenville police officer," Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said. It's been in the works for years and now it's a reality. Alyson Sparks, owner of Uptown Nutrition, has her business in the heart of Uptown Greenville. "I walk in at usually 6:15 in the morning, I'm probably pretty much the only one in Uptown," Sparks said. The new jurisdiction means more eyes will be on Uptown late at night and early in the morning. "There have been occasions where ECU police officers roll up on something, a crime in progress, and they would actually have to ask through their communications to our communications for the authority from our supervisor to take action," Holtzman said. "Well, you can imagine what happens in the meantime: the bad guy gets away and the citizen is not helped." That's the goal of the agreement, for ECU officers to help with more serious crimes and make sure Greenville residents, especially students, feel safe as they continue to move on campus and in the city. "My friends and I are sometimes scared to walk around by ourselves downtown," said Courtney Price, a junior. "We always want to travel in packs with boys and things like that so I think it's awesome that its en extra safety net." Both Bill Koch, Campus Safety Associate Vice Chancellor, and Holtzman said in addition to downtown, the jurisdiction will help with protecting the lab school that started this year at South Greenville Elementary and will also help monitor the area from main campus to the medical campus.

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