College of Coastal Georgia Police Officer Julianna Kittles went into law enforcement after a police officer had a positive impact on her as a teenager.
She didn’t know it at the time, but the car accident Julianna Kittles was in at 16 years old would change her life.
The help she received from a female police officer working the crash planted a seed that has grown into a 20 year career in law enforcement.
Her desire to be a police officer grew from a simple concept.
“It sounds cheesy, but I got into it to help people,” Kittles said, adding that she is still friends with the officer.
So when her high school years at Glynn Academy were nearing their end, Kittles said she knew her goal, to become a police officer after attending one of the best criminal justice schools in the country at Michigan State University.
Today, after several years with the Augusta Police Department, Kittles is patrolling College of Coastal Georgia as an officer with the campus police department, and she would not have it any other way.
With around 3,500 students, roughly 350 who campus, and more than 100 faculty and staff moving through the campus daily, Kittles said working at the college is community policing at its best. She and the dozen other officers treat the campus as a self contained small town.
Campus is a far cry from the crime ridden public housing complexes she patrolled in Augusta, but her approach to the job is the same.
“We are servants to the community. We can’t lose sight of that,” Kittles said.
On campus, the issues she deals with often are associated with growing up and being away from home for the first time, especially when it comes to students living on campus. In a given week, Kittles may deal with anything from a home sick student dealing with depression to the general mischief for which college students everywhere are known.
“A lot of them are breaking into adulthood,” Kittles said. “We have to remember they are here to get an education.”
She keeps that in mind always and remembers the positive influence a police officer had on her when she was a teenager.
Kittles is not out to put students behind bars, she is there to keep them safe. That means keeping sharp eyes out for anything that may seem out of place on campus, someone who doesn’t belong and anything near campus that may become an issue.
“It’s a different kind of policing,” Kittles said.
College officers have jurisdiction to 1,500 feet off campus, so Kittles said she and her colleagues frequently assist the city police department and also sometimes lend a hand to Glynn County School Resource Officers at and around Brunswick High School, which is across Altama Avenue from the college.
Now with two decades as a police officer behind her, Kittles said she still enjoys her job and has no plans of leaving it anytime soon.
Besides, the schedule works well for homeschooling her daughter as a single mother, Kittles added.
The Brunswick News