New police chief wants to bring ‘trust and a certain familiarity’ to Grambling State

17 people shot, 4 lives lost to gun violence in past 5 years at GSU
Grambling State University students gathered Oct. 22, 2021, to hold a gun violence awareness...
Grambling State University students gathered Oct. 22, 2021, to hold a gun violence awareness walk following two deadly shootings on campus during homecoming week. Seventeen people were shot and four lives were lost to gun violence in the past five years at GSU.(KSLA)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 11:33 PM CDT
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GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) — After investigating more than 200 homicides as a Shreveport police detective, and after three seasons of the popular true crime series “Murder Chose Me,” Rod Demery has stepped up for yet another law enforcement leadership role.

This time, as the new police chief at Grambling State.

By our count, the university has had at least seven shootings over the past five years, including some that proved to be deadly.

KSLA News 12′s Jade Myers went one on one with Demery and his new assistant police chief, Albert Ernest, to learn how they want to change that narrative.

RAW INTERVIEW:

“The infrastructure for security has been completely revamped,” explained Demery, who’s been a police officer his entire adult life, most recently 14 years as a homicide detective in Shreveport.

“We had the Department of Homeland Security come in. Then we had the National Guard come in. So we’re looking at our physical structures,” the new campus police chief added.

“In addition to that, we’ve launched G-SAFE, which is an app that basically allows students to communicate with each other, share their location. Show when they are safe.”

Assistant Police Chief Albert Ernest expounded on that approach.

“Part of that proactive and prevention mode is getting the community involved, getting the students involved where they can tell us what’s going on and being ahead of those things.”

What does Demery’s law enforcement experience bring to Grambling State?

“My work in Shreveport showed me a lot of different things. And one thing it did show me, people have to be able to rely on their law enforcement. And they have to have a trust and a certain familiarity. That’s what we want to bring here.”

There’s a passion and a certain dedication that’s required, and he and Ernest have that, Demery said.

The duo officially will begin working at GSU on June 6.

Demery takes over a department that has investigated seven shootings in the past five years, most recently two shootings during homecoming week.

• On Oct. 16, eight people were shot, killing one.

• One Oct. 13, one person was fatally shot and another was wounded.

• In August 2020, one person was shot during a large fight on campus.

• In October 2019, two people — including a campus officer — were shot near a party.

• A year earlier in October 2018, one person was shot on a campus basketball court.

• In October 2017, two people were shot near a dormitory. Both died.

• And in September 2017, one person was shot during an argument inside a dorm.

That’s 17 people shot and four lives lost to gun violence during that time frame.

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