Latest measures add to efforts to enhance lighting, cameras and police personnel

The University of Georgia is investing an additional $8.5 million over the next three years to enhance campus safety, including additional lighting, security cameras, police personnel and a nightly rideshare program for students. These latest measures augment nearly $6 million the University has already made in safety improvements over the last four years for a seven-year commitment of over $14 million.

“As President of the University of Georgia, I have no higher priority than the health and safety of our campus community—students, faculty, staff, and the many alumni and other visitors who come here each year for programs and events,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I care deeply about their well-being. While no university can ever guarantee individual safety or a complete lack of crime on campus or in the local community, my administration is committed to doing all that is within our power to help keep our community safe.”

The new funds will support the following initiatives:

  • Up to $1 million annually ($3 million total) to enhance overnight transportation options, including a rideshare program for students that would operate every night of the week. UGA is finalizing negotiations with several providers, with details to be announced following Fall Break.
  • $1.5 million ($500,000 annually) for 10 new UGA Police Department officers and civilian support staff to be phased in over the next three years.
  • $3 million in enhancements to on-campus lighting and security cameras. UGA will continue to place additional lights and cameras in areas of high pedestrian traffic in and around residence halls and in other strategic areas to help prevent crime on or near campus. These areas are identified, in part, through annual safety assessment walk-throughs of campus by leaders of the Student Government Association, UGA Police and UGA Facilities Management.
  • $750,000 ($250,000 annually) as a permanent increase to UGA’s infrastructure budget to support annual maintenance and ongoing lighting and security camera upgrades.
  • An offer of a one-time allocation of $250,000 for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACC) to address lighting and/or security camera improvements in the downtown business district and poorly lit pathways to and from campus. Recommendations for the enhancements would be made in partnership by the UGA Police and ACC Police chiefs.

“We operate a professional, full-service police department at the University of Georgia, staffed 24/7 by highly trained police officers, 911 communications officers, detectives and administrative personnel,” said UGA Police Chief Dan Silk. “Although state law limits our jurisdiction at 500 yards from campus, we actively work to extend our impact in our community through collaborative work with University partners as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and with our colleagues at the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, in particular.”

Local crimes occurring off campus are the responsibility of Athens-Clarke County Police, under the management of the Mayor and ACC Commission, but UGA Police and ACC Police frequently work together on a variety of initiatives to positively affect community safety. UGA assigned a police detective to help investigate a recent series of off-campus armed robberies in which UGA students were victims, and an arrest has been made.

The UGA and ACC police departments have coordinated other efforts to prevent crime in and around downtown. UGA also assigns an officer to focus on the safety of those traveling to and from downtown in the early morning hours, and this semester even more resources have been added to monitor high-traffic pedestrian pathways on the busiest nights of the week, bolstering the routine patrols already in place.

In addition to the $250,000 made available to ACC for downtown lighting and security cameras, the University is extending its public safety efforts by also reaching out to the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss a collaborative approach to downtown safety improvements that engages the local business community.

“It is our hope that these efforts form the genesis of future partnerships that can magnify the positive impact of the University’s safety enhancements in the local community,” said Community Relations Director Alison McCullick. “Working in collaboration to enhance the safety and security of both students and permanent residents in Athens-Clarke County will build a stronger community and maximize the impact of our collective efforts.”

In recent years, UGA has dedicated more than $5.7 million to security cameras, campus lighting improvements and personnel to help protect the UGA community. The cameras, positioned to focus on major pedestrian and vehicle pathways, have provided pivotal evidence for numerous cases, both for UGA and the greater Athens community. Lighting improvements in key pedestrian and parking areas also have greatly improved nighttime visibility for faculty, staff and students.

In addition, the University has invested in additional police positions as well as market-based salary increases to recruit and retain the most qualified officers. The University also offers the LiveSafe app to all members of the UGA community to allow them to use their phones to connect with UGA Police at any time—and while on the move—to call for assistance. These investments have been made, even in the midst of budget cuts related to the pandemic, in order to help keep the campus community safe.

 

 

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is investigating a series of off campus armed robberies that have occurred over the last several days.  These incidents have taken place in and around downtown and on commonly used pedestrian pathways between downtown and residences.  ACCPD made an arrest for Armed Robbery early this morning, but at this point it is unclear if that individual is involved in other events.   

Anyone with information regarding these crimes is urged to call the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (706) 546-5900 or by dialing 911. 

The University of Georgia Police Department urges all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the UGA campus to follow strategies designed to facilitate personal safety. These strategies should always involve having a plan for getting home safely, travelling in groups when possible, remaining aware of surroundings, traveling in well-lit areas when possible, using a designated driver, taxi or rideshare, and, if the choice is made to consume alcohol, consuming it in a responsible and moderate manner.  We also urge the community to report suspicious activity or individuals to law enforcement immediately.

Shortly after 11:00 PM on October 13, 2021, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department received a report of an attempted armed robbery that took place off campus on Williams Street near Mitchell Street.  The victim reported that two males used a handgun in an attempt to rob him, but allowed him to leave without taking anything.  The victim did not report being injured. The victim described the suspects as black males wearing black hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants, and said one suspect had light skin with dread locks. 

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to call the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (706) 546-5900 or by dialing 911.

The University of Georgia Police Department urges all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the UGA campus to follow personal strategies designed to facilitate safety.  Some of these strategies include traveling in groups when possible, remaining aware of your surroundings, traveling in well-lit areas when possible, and, if the choice is made to consume alcohol, consuming it in a responsible and moderate manner. We also urge the community to report suspicious activity or individuals to law enforcement immediately.

At 2:33 AM on September 18, 2021, a University of Georgia police officer found a female lying on the sidewalk near Fulton Street and the North Campus Parking Deck. The female appeared to be unconscious, and EMS was called to render aid. A review of camera footage revealed that at approximately 2:23 am an unknown male physically assaulted her, took her cell phone, and groped her outside of her clothing. The male fled as two other uninvolved males walked into the area. 

The suspect is described as a black male of medium build with medium length hair, wearing white t-shirt and grey sweatpants, with underwear that is visible from the rear. 

Anyone who may have been in the area or has more information about this event is urged to call the University of Georgia Police Department at (706) 542-2200. 

The University of Georgia Police Department urges all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the UGA campus to follow personal strategies designed to facilitate safety. Some of these strategies include traveling in groups when possible, remaining aware of your surroundings, traveling in well-lit areas when possible, and, if the choice is made to consume alcohol, consuming it in a responsible and moderate manner. We also urge the community to report suspicious activity or individuals to law enforcement immediately.

In reference to the ACCPD press release shared yesterday concerning a shooting incident that occurred at an off-campus location in the downtown area, the suspect has been taken into custody.  Please refer to the updated ACCPD press release below for additional information. 

ACCPD Investigating Shooting-UPDATE 

On September 6, 2021, the shooting suspect from this incident, Pharoah Williams, was taken into custody in Wilkes County. Williams turned himself in at the Wilkes County jail.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is currently investigating a shooting incident that occurred at an off-campus location in the downtown area just prior to 2:00 a.m. this morning.  The incident resulted in non-life-threatening injuries to several individuals.  Please refer to the ACCPD release below for additional information. 

ACCPD Investigating Shooting 

On September 5, 2021, just prior to 2:00AM, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department responded to a shooting in the area of East Clayton Street and North Jackson Street. Preliminary investigation revealed that a large fight broke out in the area of East Clayton Street and North Jackson Street. During the course of the fight, a male suspect began discharging a firearm into the crowd that was fighting. Seven individuals were injured as a result of the gunfire. All of the injured were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.  

ACCPD detectives have identified Pharoah Devonell Williams, 21, as the suspect. Williams currently has numerous arrests warrants stemming from this incident. Williams is considered to be armed and dangerous. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to Williams’ arrest. 

 ACCPD asks that anybody with information regarding Williams’ whereabouts to notify law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1. Tips can also be made by calling the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (706) 705-4775. 

 The investigation is still ongoing and anybody with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Detective Black at (762) 400-7058 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has identified and charged a suspect in the off-campus armed robbery and sexual assault that was reported on June 23, 2021 near Foundry Street and Strong Street.   Please see the updated ACCPD press release included below for more information. 

UPDATE – ACCPD Investigating Armed Robbery and Sexual Assault 

On June 25, 2021, ACCPD arrested Quinntylis D. Teasley, 20, of Athens, on charges of rape, two counts of armed robbery, and two counts of aggravated assault. He is being held without bond at the Clarke County Jail.

The University of Georgia Police Department is assisting the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in the investigation of an armed robbery and sexual assault that occurred off-campus in the area of Foundry Street and Strong Street during the early morning hours of June 23, 2021.  ACCPD is seeking the assistance of any members of the public who may have related information.  Please refer to the ACCPD press release included below.  

ACCPD Investigating Armed Robbery and Sexual Assault 

On June 23, 2021, shortly after 2:00AM, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department responded to the area of Foundry Street and Strong Street regarding a reported armed robbery and sexual assault. Two females were approached by a subject that was brandishing a firearm. The suspect stole various items belonging to the victims. The suspect then led one of the females to a secluded area at gunpoint, resulting in the female being sexually assaulted.

The investigation is ongoing and anybody that may have witnessed this incident or has any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Poole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 762-400-7073. Tips can also be given via the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 706-705-4775. 

Anyone that has been affected by sexual assault can receive support by contacting The Cottage at (877) 363-1912.

 Informed citizens help create a safer community, so ACCPD suggests the following safety tips:

 When possible, use rideshares to travel to and from your destination(s). If using rideshares is not feasible, travel in groups, utilizing highly populated and well-lit areas. If you observe suspicious activity always call 9-1-1.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is investigating a home invasion that occurred on May 2, 2020 around 2:00 PM in the 100 block of E. Cloverhurst Avenue.

The ACCPD, with the assistance of a Georgia Bureau of Investigations sketch artist, releases the sketch of a person of interest in the case. This sketch depicts the person of interest that was seen in the area prior to the assault. Of importance to note that the wave cap or du-rag he was wearing at the time was orange in color.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call Det. David Harrison of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at (762) 400-7361 or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (706) 705-4775. A Crime Stoppers reward is being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of the perpetrator.

As the situation concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, the University of Georgia Police Department remains open. Officers will continue to patrol campus and respond to calls for service; however, they will take steps, such as social distancing, to help prevent illness.