FMUPD plans U.S. attorney’s safety awareness seminar

Jasper Dewitt II, Staff Writer

Things around the Francis Marion University Police Department office have been busy as they prepare for the upcoming Safety Awareness Seminar being conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office.  The seminar will take place on Friday, March 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ervin Dining Hall.

In between the parking tickets and phone calls, each officer has been gearing up to play their personal roles for the many visitors scheduled to come on campus. The primary tasks that the officers are planning for are putting up signs on the campus, directing members to the seminars and providing security for the event. Chief of Police Operations Richard Austin said that the he is looking forward to this year’s Safety Awareness Seminar.

“One thing I find surprising is the involvement that the K through 12 students show for the activities,” Austin said. “When we first were called to help, I was under the impression that the program was aimed at higher education students like college.”

Since the early ’90s, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Columbia has been helping the federal government with educating grade school students across the state of South Carolina about safety awareness. Although the seminar is not mandated by the government, the U.S. attorney’s office makes it an obligation to provide seminars every year.

The seminars normally focus on the modern trends that are going on in the schools today. Austin said that the topic of last year’s seminar was “Behavioral Intervention.”

The seminar is expected to be packed with students from grades K through 12 who will be engaged in activities concerning safety awareness. There might also be some local extracurricular organizations participating.

“Hopefully everyone will be able to benefit this year, and all of the questions will be answered,” Austin said.

A registration fee of $25 is required of anyone who wishes to take part in the program. Once  registered, participants will get a package that includes copies of the information discussed in the seminars and a meal.  For more information concerning the U.S Attorney’s Safety Seminar, contact Chief Richard Austin at