WCU, Sylva police adopting mutual assistance agreement

Western Carolina University and the town of Sylva are adopting a mutual assistance agreement that will enable police officers from the campus and the municipality to provide temporary aid to one another during times of emergency, crowd and traffic control situations, or criminal investigations.

The WCU board of trustees approved the mutual assistance agreement Friday, Dec. 1, as part of its quarterly meeting. The agreement now goes to Sylva’s governing board for approval.

The agreement is designed to streamline the process of communication between the University Police and the Sylva Police Department and to ensure proper policies are in place so that officers from the two jurisdictions can work together when necessary, said Chuck Wooten, WCU vice chancellor for administration and finance.

“As the town of Sylva and the university continue to grow toward one another, it is important that our law enforcement agencies have the ability to provide mutual assistance during certain circumstances,” Wooten said. “This agreement will solidify the strong relationship that has long existed between University Police and our local law enforcement partners, at both the municipal and county levels.”

The university has a similar mutual assistance agreement with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.