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UHV spends nearly $70,000 to increase campus safety

Jan. 18, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 17, 2014 at 7:18 p.m.

Sgt. Rick Gammon uses his new police vehicle to remind drivers on the University of Houston-Victoria campus to slow down. Gammon has been working since August to make the campus a safer environment.

When the new semester kicked off Monday morning, many University of Houston-Victoria students and employees were reminded to be safe while driving on campus.

UHV Sgt. Eric "Rick" Gammon parked his new police vehicle near the soccer field and warned drivers to slow down and come to a complete stop at the stop sign. He said to enforce the speed limit, speed bumps recently were added to the Jaguar Village parking lots and would be installed soon near the University West building.

"My first priority is to educate people about safe driving," he said. "Sometimes, people just need a little reminder."

Gammon was hired in August as UHV's first police officer following a national search conducted by the UH Police Department. The position was made possible because of a nearly $300,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant the university received in November 2011.

He is an employee of the UH Police Department but lives and works in Victoria. As a state university police officer, Gammon has full police jurisdiction throughout counties where the UH System operates, including Victoria, Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties.

UHV has invested nearly $70,000 to help Gammon improve campus safety. The university purchased better radios that improve communication among campus officials and give Gammon access to the Victoria Police Department.

The university also purchased a new police vehicle fully equipped with the latest police technology, including video recording, GPS tracking, a laptop, radar, prisoner cage, sirens and a backup camera.

"The vehicle is a nice billboard for the community to see that we have a police presence on campus," said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for administration and finance.

Gammon's office is in Jaguar Hall, so students are used to seeing him and are more comfortable around him.

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