To serve and protect
By Liz McCarthy, 803-777-2848
Sgt. Allan Bolin’s first goal when he’s on duty is to keep Carolina students, faculty and staff safe and secure. It’s a goal he has been working toward since before he graduated from USC in 2010.
As a patrol sergeant with the USC Police Department, Bolin and his team handle all incidents on campus – fire alarms, burglaries, auto break-ins.
“We’re the first responders. We’re the first ones on scene,” says Bolin, an alumnus of USC’s criminology and criminal justice department in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re also being proactive, trying to show our presence on campus.”
As a student, Bolin joined the USCPD’s Campus Safety Officers Program, which places students in various roles on the department’s staff. Bolin served as “extra eyes and ears on campus” for Carolina’s full-time officers, an experience that helped him put what he was learning in the classroom to work.
“I was learning something and then I was seeing it being applied here at the same time,” he says. “That was really cool.”
The department hires students several times throughout the year for the program, USCPD Maj. T.J. Geary says. Today, the 10 student officers on campus work a variety of assignments within the department, including escorting students when the shuttles are not running, securing property and helping with investigations.
“They’re making a difference in the community in which they live and go to school,” Geary says. “They have a vested interest in keeping things safe. It’s part of that cooperative effort between the police and the community.”
When the student officers graduate, USCPD helps them prepare for the police academy, and in many cases hires the students as full-time employees.
“It saves us money, and it’s a good recruiting ground to give students experience,” Geary says. “It allows them to build their resume and let’s us check out their work performance.”
Bolin says this experience put him ahead of others at the academy. He says he wouldn’t want to be working for another department now.
“I love it here. It’s a family atmosphere,” says Bolin, who hopes to work with a federal office one day. “I’m an alum, and I like the idea of making a difference at the place where I went to school. I want to make sure all students, faculty and staff are safe and secure, and I want to stop anybody that means us harm.”
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