Captain Nicholas Lott supervises all aspects of the department, which consists of state-certified police officers responsible for the prevention and detection of criminal activity within and surrounding the university campus.
All officers are appointed and commissioned as state constables by the State of South Carolina Governor. They are empowered to enforce the laws of South Carolina with statewide jurisdiction and arrest powers. They are under the regulatory control of the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). All officers must complete the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy before performing their duties as University police officers.
The university selects officers not only for their traditional police abilities but also for their ability to perform effectively in a multicultural and educational environment. In addition to their powers of arrest, university police officers have unique discretionary options that allow them to use the University's Judicial Affairs System. This system allows a Judicial Affairs Officer to handle individuals charged with a crime or university violation. The USC Aiken Police Department investigates all crimes committed on University property with outside assistance from local, county, and state agencies when needed.
The University Police Department has established and enjoys strong working relationships with other agencies having jurisdiction close to the campus: the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, SLED, and the GVW Fire Department.