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'Focusing on the next level': Fort Valley State swears in Antonio Fletcher as police chief

Campus safety and commitment to the community were some of the values Antonio Fletcher talked about during his swearing-in.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Antonio Fletcher is now the new chief of police for the Fort Valley State University. The president of the university and others on campus were there to witness his swearing-in Thursday. 

Fletcher comes with almost 20 years of law enforcement experience. He used to work for the police department in Albany, Georgia. Before that, he used to be in the U.S. Army.  However, keeping the campus safe is what people are looking forward to.

"Be cognizant of their surroundings and just be aware of what's going on when they leave outside of this campus, and to make sure if we see something, we say something," said vice president of student affairs, Timothy Hatchett.

Hatchett says the recent bomb threats against Fort Valley State and other HBCU campuses are disheartening.

"We should be beyond that. We should be focusing on the next level of how do we continue and elevate the HBCU space," Hatchett said.

During Fletcher's swearing in, FVSU President Paul Jones says the new chief's work will be progressive "and an unyielding commitment to protecting public safety."

Just this year, FVSU has had two lockdowns. One was for a shooting at a residence hall and the other was for bomb threat. However, Fort Valley wasn't the only HBCU that received a threat. Spelman College, Morgan State, and Howard University also received threats. Hatchett says it's important that parents of their student know that Fort Valley is a safe institution.

"So we make sure we educate them on what are the safety measures here at Fort Valley, give them all the necessary information to prepare them to be successful and also be safe while they're here at Fort Valley."

Hatchett says he has no doubt that the new chief will keep the community and everyone on campus safe.