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  • Campus PDs

    Being new to a campus PD, and law enforcement in general, I wanted to generate a little discussion on the nature of campus PDs and some of the fundamental differences between them and metro PDs as far as operations rather than obvious things such as jurisdiction size etc.

    Here is a comment that got me curious about this topic:

    Originally posted by Beanstick View Post
    Seems like there are people who can't competently do their jobs. Then again, campus pd's are a completely different animal.
    I notice that my department is much more service oriented as compared to the city PD that the university is located in.

    For example, we try to not write state uniform traffic citations unless it calls for it. Rather we have university citations, which are billed to the student's bursar account and it does not show up on their DMV driving history. Also we try not to automatically make arrests just because we can. We are encouraged to work out an alternate solution unless the violation is something of the nature of DUI, fights, etc - those go to jail automatically. Also, we do not do inventory searches of vehicles.

    I will say, one thing that would irritate me over time is the fact that so many civilians do not recognize campus officers as fully empowered officers. Some do it to be disrespectful, but there are so many who truly do not realize that is the case. Even my mother, who fully supports me and the police, was surprised to learn that we have no less power than any other police officer.

    "Is that gun loaded?" (my duty weapon)
    "Yes..."
    "WHAT? Even though you're just a campus cop?"

    Not that I feel as if I need their approval to validate my authority, but I feel like over the long term I would have to cease any attempts to convince the general public of my position due to sheer exhaustion on the topic.

    What's your experience?
    Last edited by headonstraight; 05-01-2011, 03:40 PM.

  • #2
    A good friend of mine is a State University police officer and I will say that the univerisity he covers is a city of its own and dealing with bunch of teen agers and early 20's crowd can get ugly at times.

    His department does run into very interesting issues as the university also includes a major hospital/medical facilities.

    Good luck with your career!

    Comment


    • #3
      We have a large student population in my city due to it's proximity to two large colleges. I've never been a campus cop nor do I really know any other than ideal conversation at the gas station. But I will say, college kids tend to be a pain in the ***. Some were raised right by their parents and are alright to deal with (even when intoxicated), but I think a lot of them do need a trip to jail. I understand the need for community policing and they are young. But if I'm trying to deal with them in public and they want to ignore authority.... trip to jail.

      Comment


      • #4
        Working a University depending on the size and location can vary greatly. Some like UCF have over 12,000 residents and 60,000 students making it a city of its own and a campus police to match with SWAT, investigations, traffic, narcotics, ect… or it can be a sleepy little college in the middle of nowhere with a PD of retired in place cops.

        If you work UCLA, ASU, UofM or the like you will have a more exciting career, and even the medium universities can be busy. The University I went to had homicides, frequent car pursuits and an officer shot and killed responding to a noise complaint when I went there.
        Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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        • #5
          We have about 20,000 students and our own zip code and city status. We have an investigations unit, K9 and patrol.

          Comment


          • #6
            I ride out at IUPUI Police Department frequently, students are mainly commuters due to the location of the college being in downtown Indianapolis with little on campus housing and area apartments are highly expensive. So, not a whole lot of PI or DUI incidents, with an exception of holidays; but other than that it is a full service police department. Day shift is busiest, night shift is fairly slow. No K9, Vice or SWAT units (all of those are provided by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department) but there is a detective/investigations unit, foot patrol (one officer assigned daily), mounted patrol and vehicle patrol.

            Majority of calls we get when I ride out are building alarms, EMS Aid, theft reports and vehicle lockouts. Can be pretty busy at times. I do agree that many people don't recognize campus police officers as state-certified police officers.
            Last edited by Indy; 05-01-2011, 07:37 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Indy View Post
              I do agree that many people don't recognize campus police officers as state-certified police officers.



              They do when you put the cuffs on them....
              Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Magic Matt View Post
                They do when you put the cuffs on them....
                LOL..They also think that you can't ticket them. Try again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Indy View Post
                  I do agree that many people don't recognize campus police officers as state-certified police officers.
                  A University of Arizona cop preformed a traffic stop on some kid who during the stop asked him if he was "a real cop". The officer said, "Run and find out," LOL!!
                  The only thing I hear when you say anything is "blah blah blah I'm a dirty whore".

                  Originally posted by Michigan
                  I don't want to sound gay...

                  But I'd do him.
                  Do you like airplanes and aviation??JOIN http://forums.officer.com/forums/group.php?groupid=20

                  My goal is to have the longest most annoying signature line ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Magic Matt View Post
                    They do when you put the cuffs on them....
                    Originally posted by Indy View Post
                    LOL..They also think that you can't ticket them. Try again.
                    Then the begging and pleading begin.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A buddy of mine works campus police...all he does is deal with drunk students and the occassional rape...needless to say he's looking to laterial to another dept. All he does is babysit young adults...haha

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are some truly badass Campus Police Departments out there.
                        And there are some truly lazy-do-nothing-but-drive-a-golf-kart Campus Police Departments too.

                        I'll quote something I saw on a campus near me. (3000 students)

                        *drunk kid hits Officer with beer bottle*
                        *Campus Cop arrests kid*
                        *City PD is called*
                        *Campus Cop gets a call from the Campus Chief, saying release the case over to the city..."Because we need to keep our stats low; otherwise people won't like our college."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mr. Green View Post
                          A University of Arizona cop preformed a traffic stop on some kid who during the stop asked him if he was "a real cop". The officer said, "Run and find out," LOL!!
                          The University officers in Iowa were unarmed until a few years ago................Yes fully certified officers who had issued weapons BUT were restricted from carrying them unless approved by the University President. Due to Board of Regent policy that approval was almost never given.

                          The statement about "real cops" was frequent here. The Campus at two of the Universities are right down town and the campus officers FREQUENTLY assist local PD officers on calls-------a lot of people get surprised by the Campus PD putting on the cuffs and writing citations

                          The Virginia Tech incident was the catalyst that changed the Regents policy and now allows officers to be armed 24/7

                          The campus i am close to is very proactive. The chief and the president of the university really don't care about stats-------------unless the stats show an upward trend in crime.
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by headonstraight View Post
                            Being new to a campus PD, and law enforcement in general, I wanted to generate a little discussion on the nature of campus PDs and some of the fundamental differences between them and metro PDs as far as operations rather than obvious things such as jurisdiction size etc.
                            Just like any other agency, each campus PD is different, for lots of reasons. 1 reason is the college/university administration and their wants/expectations. Ssome want their PDs to actively suppress crime and disorder forcefully, others want "peacekeepers".

                            Another reason is the Chief/department admin. Campus PDs tend to be small and like any small agency , tend to take on the "personality" of the chief/administration.

                            The chief of the small town I used to work for way back in the day was retired from a big city PD, so our Dept. was run like that big city PD. The Chief of the 1st Campus PD I worked for was a retired State Trooper, so that department was run like a highway patrol bureau lol. The Campus Police Department I work for now has a Chief who has spent most of his career in Campus Law Enforcement so our operations are very service oriented. That shouldn't be misconstrued to the idea that we never take any real enforcement actions, we sure as hell do lol.

                            Then there is the campus community. Campus Populations tend be be a bit more, shall we say, liberal, than the general population so Campus PDs usually have to take that into account a bit more than traditional agencies have to.

                            I've dealt with all the twists and turns a campus environment has to offer, and I personally like it and plan to retire from this job. But thats not true of everyone in a campus police uniform, I've worked with a good few officers who would have rather been "out on the streets" and I encourage them to pursue that rather than stay at a campus PD where they are bored to death. Being a Campus cop isn't about fun or glamor, it's about making and keeping a safe environment that students can come to and make something of themselves.





                            I will say, one thing that would irritate me over time is the fact that so many civilians do not recognize campus officers as fully empowered officers. Some do it to be disrespectful, but there are so many who truly do not realize that is the case. Even my mother, who fully supports me and the police, was surprised to learn that we have no less power than any other police officer.

                            "Is that gun loaded?" (my duty weapon)
                            "Yes..."
                            "WHAT? Even though you're just a campus cop?"
                            If you stay in campus policing, you're just gonna have to learn to ignore stuff like that, and use your contacts with people as an opportunity to politely educate them to the facts. If you have a badge/uniform that says POLICE and you get paid on time, who gives a crap what people think?

                            Over the last 15 years I've gotten that over and over and over and over again. That 1st year or so it bothered me (especially with me coming from another agency where no one ever asked me if I was "real police"), but not anymore, people are entitled to their opinions, even the opinion that I am not the "real police". They usually find out otherwise after they break the law in front of me
                            ~Gun control has always been about punishing the people that didn't shoot anyone.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess being a "campus cop" is no different than being any other kind of cop. My buddy is a game warden, and he says the same thing, people are amazed that he's a cop. I was riding with him in his marked patrol truck one day and a guy blew past us like we were standing still, until the lights/siren came on. When he talked to the speeder, he told my friend that the reason he passed us is that he didn't think the game warden was a real cop and therfore could not write him a speeding ticket. He was wrong

                              I live by a large state park, and when we moved here my wife saw the sate park police running radar out on the highway. Having never seen them before, she asked me when troopers started driving white cars, and I had to explain to her that they weren't troopers, but the state park police. She then gave me the "but this isn't a state park, its a highway...." and "are they real cops". After a longwinded speech about the state criminal procedure law as well as the vehicle and traffic law, she got the point, and hasn't asked me a cop question since.

                              I was drinking a beer with a friend who is a "city cop" and he was busting my balls about being a "traffic cop". According to him, a trooper just writes tickets and therefore did not meet his sketchy definition of a "real cop". When I asked him to define what a real cop was, he laughed and said "I dont know". So in turn I had to ask, "well how do I know you're a real cop then".
                              I make my living on Irish welfare.

                              Comment

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