Talking of police in Georgia… At one point, a cab that was taking me between appointments overtook a 4×4 marked with a badge for the “Georgia Tech Police”.

Now, on my running route the day before, I’d noticed that the local University is known as Georgia Tech. So….. they have their own police force? How on earth does that work?

Let us imagine a meeting of the college’s esteemed Council some years before. Conduct on campus was becoming a cause for concern. Complains were being made by the mayor’s office that too much police time was being taken up investigating drunkenness, breaches of noise regulations and other student misdemeanours.

A deal had been suggested. The most serious matters would still, of course, be handled by the police. But less grave offences would be handled by the University itself, which would create its own cadre of officers. Matters would be dealt with in-house: fines could be levied, but girls found guilty of repeatedly breaching rules would have to be dealt with more severely. The paddle had worked effectively in the campus’s sororities for years: now it would play a more central and more official role in student life…