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YSU police make checks on Sweet's Liberty home



Published: Fri, April 25, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



If officers are busy on campus, the checks are skipped.

& lt;a href=mailto:viviano@vindy.com & gt;By JoANNE VIVIANO & lt;/a & gt;

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- It's a courtesy the Youngstown State University police have afforded university presidents for decades.

And it's a courtesy also bestowed on Dr. David Sweet.

YSU police make drive-by security checks of the president's privately owned house in Liberty whenever Sweet is out of town.

Officers check the residence twice during each of three daily shifts, and the chief checks it periodically as well.

"I'm a very proactive police chief," said Chief John J. Gocala. "We're very visible."

He said Sweet has never asked for the checks.

"I understand that security measures provided for my residence are a continuation of the measures provided for the homes of previous YSU presidents," Sweet said. "I feel it is reasonable and prudent."

How it works

Campus police are notified when Sweet is out of town, Gocala said. If officers on one shift are too busy on campus to check the home, the check is skipped until the next shift, Gocala said. Crime on campus take precedence, he explained.

Gocala, who became chief in 1991 and worked for the department before the appointment, said checks were also done on the Youngstown home of former president Dr. Leslie H. Cochran and a Tippecanoe Road condominium Cochran lived in before his move to Youngstown. Checks were also done on the university-owned home of Dr. John J. Coffelt, another former president, in Liberty.

"There's a long history," Gocala said. "It's been protocol since I became chief. It was protocol before I got here."

If a house alarm were to go off at Sweet's residence, the Liberty police would respond and would notify YSU police. The YSU police chief has a key to the home and the alarm code. Gocala would also notify Sweet of any problems.

Metro colleges

Police in Boardman, Niles and Austintown also notify YSU police if something is awry at one of YSU's Metro Colleges in those areas. YSU officers would respond.

"We do have property that's not contiguous," Gocala explained.




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