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  • College / Campus Police Officers

    I was recently offered a job at a university and was looking for some opinions from other officers who work in that area.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Billdozer79 View Post
    I was recently offered a job at a university and was looking for some opinions from other officers who work in that area.
    Wow, very specific all the way around.

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    • #3
      LOL. Ok. I am looking to hear from any college / campus police officers. Do you like working on campus? How are the responsibilities in relation to city patrol? Any specific complaints?

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      • #4
        its all political. you will be told specifically not to enforce certain laws that any police officer anywhere else would on a regular basis. i was told by a coworker that when he worked for a university pd that he had found a student who had been selling marijuana and cocaine on campus. he had a legit operation and it was a felony level case that would have carried a mandatory sentence. This officer was told to stop investigating and move on, they didnt want the public to know there were drugs on campus.

        you will never be taken seriously by students. there is a huge lack of respect in today's college campus. yes you are a police officer but they will tell you constantly to pound salt because they are paying your salary. prepare your angus.

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        • #5
          I used to be a dispatcher for a college campus, there's bad and good with campus PD's.

          The Good:
          Winter/Summer vacation will be a cake to work, everyone will be gone!
          Usually decent benefits
          Typically a ton of the small calls such as weed, minors drinking alcohol, vehicle crashes etc.



          The Bad:
          Politics are likely going to be knee deep
          Other university departments, such as the housing or financial aide departments, will likely have more "pull" then the university PD. Don't be shocked if the PD is the "black sheep" of their little community.
          Might use a "education" retirement instead of a "cop retirement" which typically sucks

          The Ugly:
          Colleges are often backwards when it comes to working. For example, if you want to drop off a document to a certain building...It might have go through several people and end up being taken by a "professional document mover." There's "job justification" there, if you know what I mean...

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          • #6
            What's it like working at a municipality? Depends on many factors, to include large or small, public or private, the neighborhood, the chief, the administration, etc., etc. I worked for a state university years ago; we didn't apologize for doing our jobs and the administration expected students who broke the law to be arrested. We made lots of arrests, swore out our own search warrants, processed our own evidence, etc.

            I interviewed for a chief's job at a small private university a number of years ago and, at that university, it was clear that the officers were poorly trained, poorly equiped, didn't have a sense of mission and were second class citizens.

            Expect a lot of alcohol issues, dope calls, fights, etc. Colleges are no longer insular communities, so you have outsiders coming onto campus to burglarize residential and academic buildings, steal cars, break into cars, rob people, sling dope, etc. Some campus PDs are very active and have the support of their administration while some are used as security guards with arrest powers, to everything in between.

            PM me the name of the school and I'll let you know if I know anything about it.
            Last edited by just joe; 04-28-2014, 01:16 PM.

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            • #7
              A lot depends on the school. I've worked at two universities and they were very different. The first was very small and most people in the area (to include people at the school) didn't know we even had a PD. We were not allowed to be proactive or to leave campus without the permission of the chief or LT, even at 3am while a county officer is in a fight and I was the closest unit by miles (I got beat the other units by 3-4 minuets and was going to get written up by the chief until the LT smoothed it over). Our only job was to turn the lights on at night and off in the am, but would get calls to deliver ice to meetings and such. I left as quick as I could.

              Other university was pretty big and made up half the towns population. We did a lot of building/ parking lot/ dorm checks, did some money escorts, worked traffic, and had a lot of calls for thefts n days and drugs/ alcohol at night. It was still a very political place to work but we were encouraged to lock people up, as long as they weren't alumni. A lot of supervisors micro-managed and we were under funded/ supplied (like only having 4-5 cars while there were up to 10 people on a shift) and this led to a lot of people leaving. There were about 40 sworn and know of 12 (counting me) who left in a one year period.
              Originally posted by Ceridwen
              Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by uanick View Post
                its all political. you will be told specifically not to enforce certain laws that any police officer anywhere else would on a regular basis. i was told by a coworker that when he worked for a university pd that he had found a student who had been selling marijuana and cocaine on campus. he had a legit operation and it was a felony level case that would have carried a mandatory sentence. This officer was told to stop investigating and move on, they didnt want the public to know there were drugs on campus.

                you will never be taken seriously by students. there is a huge lack of respect in today's college campus. yes you are a police officer but they will tell you constantly to pound salt because they are paying your salary. prepare your angus.
                Depends on where you are



                I have a good friend on a Big 10 campus...............he loves his job & right now is a Lieutenant who commands their SWAT team.

                The students know very well that you WILL be arrested by the campus POLICE and that for the most part the college administration backs the cops

                The director of public safety is a University Vice-President which gives a bit of punch to the job.


                Some use the job as a stepping stone, others as a career.......................either way the ones I know----like their job (GREAT scenery by the way)


                I picked up some evidence at their PD one day & was treated great..............
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • #9
                  i was told by a coworker that when he worked for a university pd that he had found a student who had been selling marijuana and cocaine on campus. he had a legit operation and it was a felony level case that would have carried a mandatory sentence. This officer was told to stop investigating and move on, they didnt want the public to know there were drugs on campus.
                  On the flip side, the community college PD when I attended academy pulled more drugs off the public road that ran thru campus, mostly off students, than the entire mid-size town department that surrounded the campus.

                  So it depends on the school and the chief.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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                  • #10
                    I am not a sworn officer, but I have worked at a University PD and now work for the city. Here our university police officers are great. They are very proactive, and work well with the city. They patrol university property, as well as the University Impacted Area. They get a lot of drug calls, OWI's, pub. intox, fights, and dometics. A lot of the officers there have been using it as a stepping stone. One thing to note, is the the summer months are very slow, but this allows for extra training.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'm going to give it a shot. Have to get my psych and physical and that should be that. Will update with the results.

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                      • #12
                        I figured I'd throw in my 2 cents.

                        Each campus PD is going to be different depending on the college and state, so a lot of what people are saying here isn't really relevant to the department I work for.

                        The big difference that I have seen between a University and other PDs is the federal reporting requirements. I am not an administrator, so I don't even fully understand this stuff, but there are a few different federal requirements for tracking crimes, and informing the community about crimes which occur on campuses.

                        For example, if robberies are being committed on campus and they are targeting people walking alone, then we are required to issue a warning to the community to tell them that they may be robbed if they walk alone. Failure to do so in a timely manner will result in the department being fined tens of thousands of dollars, which we can't afford to pay. This fine is for each incident which we don't give a timely warning on. There are frequent audits to ensure that there is compliance.

                        What does this mean for the University patrol officer? Every report that I write needs to include details that would be considered irrelevant at any other department. Each report that I write will probably be read by at least three supervisors and administrators in order to ensure that the event doesn't require any special tracking or notification.

                        In my department, if any of these supervisors want me to make any additions/corrections to my report, then they send it back to me so that I can fix it. And then I make the changes and re-submit it. Then it will probably be read by three different supervisors/administrators, and any of them can ask me to make another change, which re-starts the whole process.

                        Other campus PDs may not run things the same way, but they have the same reporting requirements that municipal PDs don't have the deal with. The bureaucracy is so think that I am pretty sure that this is the reason that campuses have their own PDs; municipalities can't deal with the federal bureaucracy.

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                        • #13
                          Can't hurt to add my two pennies I guess.

                          Like most of the far more experienced folks here on the board have said, it HIGHLY varies from state to state, college to college. In some states, Campus Police are literally just armed security with no real arrest powers, cannot run traffic, etc. Here in PA, it varies from college to college.

                          At the University that held some of my academy classes, the department is an extremely professional, fully accredited law enforcement agency. I have a very good friend who works there. They have full police powers, serve search warrants, handle evidence, run traffic and they respond to calls for the city if they're close by. On top of all that, they have some of the best equipment and training I've seen and while my municipality is just finally giving up patrol shotguns for M4s, they've had them for years along with a constantly evolving active shooter training program. The school administration is VERY pro-police.

                          There is some politics, but I wouldn't say that it's any more than I deal with at my department, it's just a different kind. There are things that I would arrest for 100% of time that they will instead handle in-house. If you have on-campus housing, expect lots of drunk kids and medical calls.

                          Good luck with whatever route you take.

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                          • #14
                            I'm at the end of the process for a Community College PD and am excited, even though its unarmed its a start, and it carries County benefits.
                            Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
                            USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                            "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                            Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD

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                            • #15
                              I forgot about this thread so I figured I'd go ahead with an update. After the initial offer came in for the Campus PD, a few others presented themselves. I decided on a different department a little closer to home. So far it has seem to fit quite nicely. The strange part is that after I started with the current department, several others that I had forgot I had even applied to started calling. I guess when it rains, it pours. Lol.

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