Campus News

University’s police department one of 25 finalists for major international award

The university’s police department has joined some of the nation’s largest law enforcement organizations as a finalist for an award presented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The UGA department is one of 25 finalists for the Webber Seavey/Motorola Award, which recognizes law enforcement agencies throughout the world for creative and innovative community policing and public safety programs. The department is the only law enforcement agency in Georgia and the only campus law enforcement agency in the country named a ­finalist.

Other finalists include the police departments of Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Honolulu, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the New Jersey attorney general’s office.

UGA’s entry in the competition is for its bomb disposal program, known as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit. Started in 1997, the EOD unit provides state-of-the-art services not only to the UGA campus and the immediate Athens- Clarke County area, but also to 34 other northeast Georgia counties. The unit is one of 16 serving the state under Georgia’s comprehensive homeland security program.

“It is a great honor for our work to be recognized by the largest police association in the world,” says UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson. “The men and women in our department are committed to providing the very best police and public safety service possible. The EOD unit plays a vital role in our ability to provide those services and to continue to protect our neighborhoods and communities.”

The 25 finalists will be narrowed to 10, from which three winners will be chosen to receive the award at the IACP annual conference in September.