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Sheriff's deputies patrolling USI

John Gibson

Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputies are now patrolling USI full-time. 

The sheriff’s office says 5 deputies have been chosen to serve on the USI Patrol Unit, after the university and the county agreed on a $450,000 deal last year.

USI Vice President Steve Bridges told reporters the deputies will provide an “extra layer” of security on the campus…

"This is an enhancement for USI campus safety, not a replacement. Our public safety officers are on campus and they're here to serve with EMT needs and parking enforcement."

As rain began to fall, Sheriff Dave Wedding addressed the gathering…

"And our primary focus is just interacting with students, keep this place a safe community for everyone here. It's a growing campus. I think with the IU medical center coming to Evansville, I believe we're going to see the student population go up here, and I welcome that."

WNIN asked officials why the school is adding the sheriff’s deputies. Steve Bridges said it’s the right thing to do…

"We were the only public higher education insitution in Indiana without a sworn law enforcement presence.  And we felt that although we've had a very safe campus -- and it continues to be safe -- that this is the direction we should go."

Four of the deputies began serving last week. The fifth will join in October.

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