I have partied in several of the college towns/cities, and the police in Athens are significantly worst than any others I encountered. Hell, in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the cops were nothing but helpful when I approached them drunk. In Athens, my friends and I have been harassed numerous times. If you or a friend is seen jaywalking (walking across the designated space in the road without cars coming, the walking man is just not lit up), your entire group will be stopped, questioned, every ID will be checked and probably called in to see if it is fake, and after you all pass every test he can think of, he will write the jaywalker a jaywalking ticket and everyone public intoxication tickets.
There is little real crime in Athens, so the police choose to completely ignore it and set up multiple cops to monitor every street/intersection. Their over-aggressive nature has been the subject of much criticism from the student news paper, especially when a rape or murder is reported with no suspects and no idea what happened because the jail was full of 20 year old sorority girls they picked up after the entire force was called in to raid a bar after a social.
Also, Athens is one of the few towns where the campus security is deputized and essentially are regular police officers. These guys are an even bigger pain in the ass than the local police. If you are walking through campus after midnight on Thursday-Saturday, you can expect to be stopped and interrogated. They will pull your car over on campus for any BS reason they can come up with. They love to write tickets for not wearing a seatbelt and failure to yield to a pedestrian. During the day, there is a good bit of foot and vehicular traffic on the campus.
This is a true story from last year. My roommate was turning right at an intersection. He had a green light and no walking signal was lit up in any of the four corners. A girl began crossing the road as he turned, but when she saw him, she immediately backed up. A cop gave him a failure to yield ticket then gave her a jaywalking ticket. Another fun story: I received a no seatbelt ticket when I began backing up from my spot IN the parking lot of the restaurant I had just eaten at. I was not even on the road when the cop, who was of course hiding, turned on his lights.
There is a lot of animosity here between the students and police. There is no respect going either direction, but their blatant abuse of their badges combined with a >30,000 student body brings in a lot of money for the city. This leads to nothing being done to fix the problem. The police are in on it, the judges are in on it, and the local lawyers are in on it. That sentiment comes from me, as a resident of Athens and graduate of UGA, but I have also heard that spoken by many students, professors, campus officials, and an actual lawyer himself.
This is not an exaggeration, but neither is it written with intent to scare away or deter. Athens is a wonderful city and UGA is an amazing school. The power-tripping cops are one of the very few negatives and not something you will encounter every day.