TJC Police Department moves into new building, adds campus security cameras

The Tyler Junior College Police Department has relocated to a new facility across the street from its former location near the corner of Baxter Avenue and Lake Street.

“The previous building had been the TJC Police Department for more than 20 years,” TJC Police Chief Michael Seale said. “That building has been demolished and will now be an additional parking lot and green space.”

Earlier this year, TJC acquired a residence adjacent to its existing annex building on Baxter and reconfigured it into the new station, located at 1019 S. Baxter Ave., complete with additional lobby space.

The new lobby will come in handy as more students and staff are stopping by for new IDs and parking permits in preparation for the fall semester.

The main station lobby hours are 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.

The TJC Police Substation, located on the second floor of Rogers Student Center on the main campus, will be open during residence hall move-in days: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. When classes begin Monday, Aug. 22, substation hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

TJC police lobby

The new TJC Police Department includes an expansive lobby for students and staff picking up their campus parking permits and IDs.

To obtain parking permits at either location, students and staff will need to provide their license plate number, driver’s license number and TJC ID.

Seale said plans are also in the works for additional hours of operation at the new main station.

“Currently, the lobby is open until 8 p.m.,” he said, “but in the upcoming fall semester, we plan to keep the lobby open until 10 p.m. We have a few more security features to add, but we eventually plan to have the lobby open 24 hours a day.”

He said this will allow anyone to come into the station at any time, pick up the lobby phone and have direct contact with the TJC dispatcher.

A constant presence on campus
With TJC’s fall semester starting Monday, Aug. 22, Seale would also like to remind students and staff of the services offered by the TJC Police Department.

“One thing I do want to emphasize is that we are a fully functioning police department,” Seale said. “Counting myself, we have 18 licensed police officers, four public safety officers, five dispatchers, and three or four civilian workers, plus student workers. So, all told, we have between 33 and 35 people working at the TJC Police Department — more than half of which are sworn law enforcement officers.”

The department keeps a constant presence on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and TJC recently increased the number of video-surveillance cameras in and around buildings across campus.

“We are always on duty protecting this campus,” he said. “Even on holidays, we’re always available for coverage and calls for service.”

Asked if he had any advice for students and staff who are new to TJC, Seale said, “We want everyone to feel safe on our campus and to let them know that we offer a safe walk program. For instance, if the library closes at midnight and you don’t want to walk across campus to your residence hall by yourself, call us and we will either give you a ride or walk with you to your residence hall.”

TJC Police also provides vehicle assists and unlocks, so if someone on campus locks their keys in their car or if their car won’t start, they can call for assistance.

For safe walks or vehicle assistance, staff and students can call 903-510-2800, and the dispatcher will send an officer to help.

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