Category Archives: ECU Police

ECU Police organize parade for young cancer patient

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt's last treatment. (contributed photos)

ECU Police organized a parade with neighboring departments to celebrate Colt’s last treatment. (contributed photos)

In August 2016, just before his fourth birthday, Colt Cowell was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. One year later, family and friends celebrated his last chemotherapy treatment with a parade of first responders in his honor arranged by the East Carolina University Police Department.

Colt was greeted by police officers and K-9s from ECU, the City of Greenville, Town of Winterville, Town of Ayden, Vidant Health Services and Pitt Community College. Pitt County Basic Law Enforcement Training students, Greenville Fire and Rescue, and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office also participated.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Greenville Fire and Rescue brought Engine 2 to carry the guest of honor during the parade.

Lt. Chris Sutton, ECU Police, worked with Vidant staff members to plan the parade around the hospital. He knew Colt loved law enforcement, fire and EMS.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

ECU dance team members helped celebrate with Colt.

“I met Colt and his family last year about this same time, when they began their journey through chemo. They were special guests of the ECU PD at a November football game in 2016,” Sutton said. “When he neared the end of treatment it seemed like giving Colt a parade around the health sciences campus and Vidant was just the right way to honor him.”

The escort included over 18 police cars, and the guest of honor got to ride in a fire engine from Greenville Fire and Rescue. The fire truck led the way from the transportation entrance of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital and pulled over down the road so Colt could see the police cars drive by with the lights flashing.

Many in Colt’s inner circle wore matching T-shirts that read “Colt Strong” with a Bible verse: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9.

Members of ECU football, women’s basketball and dance teams, as well as Vidant employees, were among those helping celebrate Colt’s big day.

Personally knowing Colt or just hearing his story made no difference to those participating in the parade. Dry eyes were hard to come by.


Family and friends celebrated Colt's last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.

Family and friends celebrated Colt’s last chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 17, 2017.


-by Morgan Tilton, ECU News Services

Four sworn in as ECU police officers

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department gained four new officers as Adrian Baker, Jonathan Bryant, Meagan Johnson and Megan Johnson were sworn in during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 21 at the Greenville Centre.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Joined by friends, family and fellow officers, the newest members took an oath before everyone and received their badge.

Lt. Chris Sutton gave advice to the recruitsin saying, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this Earth,” a quote made famous by Shirley Anita Chisholm.

“That’s a quote that I use when teaching students as they go through their basic law enforcement training (BLET),” Sutton said.

Bearing the same name with different spellings (and no relation), Meagan and Megan Johnson graduated from ECU with bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice. Meagan Johnson completed BLET training at Beaufort County Community College, and worked two years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office before joining ECU.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

“It’s good to be back. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit for me and I love everybody on the staff already,” Meagan Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I was little.”

Megan Johnson completed law enforcement training at Pitt Community College. She holds an associate degree from Louisburg College.

Meagan Johnson with her father Darren Johnson.

Meagan Johnson watches her mother Gail Johnson pin her badge.

After the ceremony, Bryant explained that it was a great feeling to be sworn in. He completed law enforcement training at Craven Community College, where he also earned an associate degree in business. Bryant worked during the past year with the Winterville Police Department. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at ECU.

Baker worked with the Kinston Department of Public Safety two years before joining ECU and completed basic law enforcement training at Lenoir Community College.

“They’re going to be great assets for the police department and when we have great assets for the police department, then we have great assets that we can offer to East Carolina University,” Sutton said.

“The service aspect for the job that we do sometimes gets overlooked,” he added. “We need to be mindful of the service role that we play within our communities and never feel like we’re above or beyond being able to offer someone help.”

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.


-by Bre Lewis for ECU News Services

Severe Weather Awareness Week at ECU

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, East Carolina University will conduct a test of the ECU Alert emergency notification system at 12 p.m. Friday, March 10.

The test will assess multiple communication systems including the ECU homepage, e-mail, indoor and outdoor loudspeakers, LiveSafe push notifications, VOIP phone (text and voice), text messages, computer pop-up notifications, and messages on digital displays.

People on campus will hear an audible alert on their office telephones and on loudspeakers that will identify this as a test of the ECU Alert emergency notification system. Employees, students and parents will also receive ECU Alert test emails to registered accounts. Digital screens located throughout campus will carry a test message. Users who have registered for ECU Alert cell phone messages will receive a text message.

Campus computer users are reminded that the university has a pop-up notification system, AlertUs, which will fill the computer screen with the ECU Alert message when activated. After the users have read the message, clicking “Acknowledge” will close the warning.

Registration for cell phone messaging is available by selecting the register tab in the purple bar at

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to download the free safety app LiveSafe at LiveSafe allows users to discretely and anonymously report suspicious activity and safety concerns to ECU Police.

ECU Police welcomes new officers

As students begin the fall semester, four new police officers will begin their careers at East Carolina University.

Officers in line for swearing in

B.A. Ferguson, Joanie Ferguson, D.A. Richardson, Pastor Donald Foster, A.C. Johnson, Andra Blue, N.C. Reynolds, J.L. Sugg, and Vickie Joyner, ECU Police recruitment coordinator. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


Daryl Richardson, Neill Reynolds, Andrew Ferguson ‘16 and Anastahia Johnson were sworn in as officers during a ceremony Friday, Sept. 2 at the Greenville Centre. The new group will join approximately 55 officers on ECU’s police department which makes it the largest sworn police force in the UNC system.

“The ceremony is important because it marks the transition from trainee to officer. We want to introduce them to our community so people know who they are and understand they are not just officers but people who can help them solve problems,” said Jason Sugg, ECU’s interim police chief.

Officers took an oath and had badges pinned on their uniforms by friends, family members or fellow officers. Afterwards, the officers posed for photos to commemorate the end of training and the start of their career.


Richards receives a hug from Vickie Joyner, ECU Police recruitment coordinator

When Reynolds and Richardson reflected on why they chose ECU, a big reason was their desire to work on campus and serve the community. Reynolds added that he “appreciated the comradery and morale of the officers he worked with.”

Ferguson is originally from Roanoke Rapids and graduated from ECU last May. He decided to work with ECU Police because he wanted to stay in Greenville. His mother pinned his badge and other family members were there to show their support.

The officers will begin their duties Labor Day weekend which also happens to be ECU’s first home football game of the season.

–Jamie Smith

ECU Police announce leadership change

On Monday, July 18 the East Carolina University Police Department said farewell to Chief Gerald Lewis during a reception in his honor.


Chief Gerald Lewis (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Lewis announced his resignation in early July after accepting the position of associate vice president/chief of police at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His last day at ECU is July 20.

“I have worked with wonderful people…the administration and other officers,” said Lewis. “Leaving ECU was a difficult decision but was the best decision for my family.”

ECU Police officers and members of the community recognized Lewis with gifts and words of appreciation for his leadership and community involvement while in Greenville. “We were privileged to have his experience, work ethic and commitment,” said ECU Police Lt. Amy Davis.

While ECU conducts a nationwide search for a new leader, Deputy Chief Jason Sugg has been appointed interim chief.

Sugg has 17 years of law enforcement experience with the ECU Police Department and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma and East Carolina University and is completing a master’s degree in public administration at Penn State University.

Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for the office of environmental health and campus safety, said the search for a new police chief will take several months to complete.

–Jamie Smith