"Chattahoochee Tech has grown so rapidly," Willis Wade, director of public safety, said. "It just means that the level of service, as far as campus safety and security and the ability to handle the toughest of circumstances, is much easier now that we have the certification.
"As a recognized agency, we can work more closely with our local agencies [near each campus] ... and we're getting up memorandums of understanding of where we mutually assist each other."
Wade noted that students will continue to receive the same services as provided by campus safety, but more of a police presence will be seen throughout the campuses as patrol units are fitted with blue lights.
"When the public comes on board and sees the marked patrol units, it deters crime a lot," Wade said.
Among the changes brought on by the certification are the means to handle internal investigations.
"Normally, we would depend solely on the local jurisdictions to handle them for us," Wade said. "[But] our jurisdictions [such as Bartow County] are so large and they have a lot of customers. When we have a problem here we get to be at the front of the line because we are our own first customer."
As their own department, Wade said that handling potentially serious issues will be easier for campus officers.
"The problem we had before was being able to respond to the most serious circumstances," he said. "This way, we'll have more of a police base than a security base. If a tragedy event such as a campus shooter came up, we're trained to handle that as a team and we train with adjacent jurisdictions to work hand-in-hand with [those officers]. We've got highly professional people here."