Campus police officer a favorite among students
SMU Police Captain Enrique Jemmott sat across a small table in his office on the second floor of Patterson Hall. His handgun was tightly holstered on his right hip and his arms crossed.
“Call me Rico,” Jemmott said. “It’s what everyone calls me.”
Jemmott is one of 35 officers in the department who strive daily to make the campus safe. While students sleep, travel home for the holidays, or move out in the summer, the officers stay and protect.
“Officers like Jemmott are who keep this community running,” junior finance major Davis Wells said. “He goes above and beyond his job position as he interacts with the student body, informing and communicating with them about safety precautions.”
Some students may find police officers intimidating, but most students who have met Jemmott know he is there to keep students safe. One of his main campus duties is helping students become better stewards of their own safety.
Jemmott hosts self defense classes for any interested organization or group on campus. He also teaches students how to prepare for emergencies of all kinds. At a recent SMU’s National Night Out, he posed as a mock active shooter to teach students and faculty what to do in a real-life situation.
Senior human rights and psychology major Karly Zrake took his self-defense class last spring, where she learned how to defend herself in all types of situations. She said the training will stay with her wherever she goes.
“The experience was informative and practical because he not only taught us how to defend ourselves, but educated us on relevant situations,” Zrake said. “Officer Jemmott is passionate about what he does.”
Jemmott knew his goal in life was to become a police officer when he was five years old. Jemmott says he will never forget Aug. 31, 1977, when he was accepted into the San Diego Police Department, coincidentally also his daughter’s birthday.
Jemmott arrived at SMU 16 years ago and finds working with students particularly rewarding. “There’s always going to be criminals, but there doesn’t always have to be victims,” Jemmott said. “It’s my job to train students not to be victims.”