You have probably seen him at the entrance gate, or maybe you have sped by him on the yard, or perhaps you have even witnessed him writing a ticket or two… but what do you really know about the man Dillard University recognizes as “Action Jackson.”
With this superhero title and uniform to match, it would be easy to conclude that campus police officer, Anteal Jackson Jr., also known as “Action Jackson,” is appreciated by everyone on Dillard’s campus. After a quick chat with this Louisiana native and 17-year U.S. Army Veteran, there were two things that became obvious: this conclusion was correct and despite it all, this man loves his job.
Prior to Jackson’s six years at Dillard, he received his degree in criminal justice at Cameron University (now a part of Oklahoma State University), joined the police force and became a correctional officer at Angola State Penitentiary. After working there for a few years he decided he wanted “a new challenge” and became interested in working with students and faculty as a whole. “I had many options but I chose to come to Dillard because I wanted to be closer to home and because I thought it was my best bet,” said Jackson.
As a devoted campus police officer, Jackson’s duties are: to make sure all of the officers are put out on post, officer patrol procedures are maintained and conducted by officers, tickets are given, and to make sure he supervises officers in a way to ensure safety among the officers, the university and staff, and the students. Nonetheless, despite Jackson’s and other officers’ tireless efforts to keep the university safe, Jackson wants it to be known that they are daily faced with rude comments, smacked lips, rolled eyes and gritted teeth. “When something is ever said about us it’s always bad. But if they sit back and watch the job that we do with the small amount of manpower we have, they’ll see what’s really going on,” said Jackson.
Jackson admits he has noticed a positive change in most students today than of those in the past year in regards to education, but said the freshmen, coming right out of high school, normally give the officers the most problems on following policies and procedures.
According to Jackson, freshmen do not understand and complain when a guest drops them off at a gate and they have to walk back to their rooms, or when they do not want to buy a decal but still want to park on campus, or when their noise level escalates and they are told to lower it or they can be ticketed, they complain about that also.
“They also have been known to throw university equipment around. But I try to talk to them in a positive manner and use tactful means when telling them the more stuff that you tear the more tuition is going to rise, because that equipment has to be paid by somebody and because of this fact, tuition normally rises,” said Jackson.
Jackson also said that a lot of students go out to the club and bring in all types of individuals to Dillard as their guests. Often, those guest range from those who have been to jail, are on crack, drugs, or either on “the whole nine yards.” According to Jackson’s experience, they are just using Dillard students to get on this campus so that they can try to sell their drugs, steal and attempt by any means necessary to corrupt this campus.
Therefore, it is the police officer’s job to wonder what those guests are going to get back there and do, as well as provide overall safety for the institution. “We have to remember we have already had nine arrests, plus one more which makes ten, this semester alone. That’s why the officers are really cracking down on them; but, the students only think we’re putting a whole lot of pressure on them by not letting them do what they want, when we are really doing our best to filter out the good from the bad,” said Jackson.
Another misconception that Jackson feels most students have of Dillard’s police officers is that they are security guards. Jackson informs us that everyone at Dillard has been hand picked to work at Dillard, everyone carries real weapons, and everyone is afforded the same boundaries as the New Orleans Police Department. “All we ask is that we are at least given a little credit and that others realize most officers have families of their own so we do understand and are doing our best to provide safety for the university,” said Jackson.
Jackson also wants it to be known that when dealing with a job like this the life expectancy is zero. He knows that anyone who may be trying to get on the campus will want to knock the officers down first because they withhold the weapons and can prohibit access to the campus.
“So when you’re leaving your wife and kids at home, there’s no definite that you’re coming back home, or what officer has put someone in jail and maybe that person has decided to come back and try to get revenge, or perhaps follow that person home and take care of that person’s family. You see this is the beast of the streets!” exclaimed Jackson.
As a father, a husband and a dedicated Dillard police officer the Courtbouillon felt it was time for Jackson’s and the entire Dillard University Police Department’s voices to be heard. In addition, because Jackson has acknowledged the new police chief, Chief Bumpas, and feels she and Dr. Hill, are making tremendous progress within the Police Department, they too deserve recognition.
Although Jackson is not nationally known as a superhero, he and the other police officers on Dillard’s campus, with the recognition of Chief Bumpas and Dr. Hill, will always be Dillard University’s superheroes.