Proposal to Provide Increased Public Safety Through Enhanced Flexibility and Professionalism of Campus Security - UO Campus Policing White Paper 2008
- Summary of reports concluding that one-size-fits-all solutions are unlikely to best serve campus safety needs.
- Proposed process that will allow OUS Universities to develop a campus security model that best serves its individual needs and circumstances.
- Statutory amendments that would allow OUS Universities to choose different campus security models.
- Suggested campus security models for OUS Universities to choose from.
- Outline of some of the differences between the OUS Universities that suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be the most effective way to increase campus safety.
- Comparison of the OUS system of providing campus security to other Universities throughout the nation and the PAC–10.
Summary of Reports Analyzing Campus Security Campus security issues have received increased attention since the “Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990” was passed, and since the Virginia Tech tragedy. In the wake of Virginia Tech, The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) issued a report, which concluded that: “The issue of school and campus safety is one of enormous importance to the nation as a whole and to each and every community within it. . . . Each tragic event refocuses attention on the need to bolster the ability of our educational institutions to prevent and respond to these horrific occurrences. The issues are not new. Instead, they are once again brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness as we attempt to learn and adapt to threats both from within and without.” On June 13, 2007, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary of the Department of Education, and United States Attorney General submitted their Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy (“President’s Report”). In its “Common Themes and Observations” section, the report stated that: “. . . universal, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions are unlikely to be helpful. Rather, appropriate responses to the issues must be tailored to a wide range of circumstances, depending, for example, on whether the context is a college or university, elementary or secondary school, whether the area is rural or urban, whether the setting is a single building, an expansive campus, or integrated in a city setting, or whether the threat being addressed is from a person who is familiar to the setting, or is a stranger to it.” This observation was echoed in August 2007 by the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Campus Safety, which also found that: “Given the complexity of violent behavior and the diversity of settings, structures, cultures, and students among campuses, there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution for violence in higher education settings. Officials at each institution must design a program that meets their particular circumstances and needs.” The President’s Report further observed that “Campus police are often the first responders to campus violence, and may have the initial interactions with students or others whose behavior may indicate a potential for violence.” But despite that: some campus law enforcement officials indicated they were understaffed or lack resources for training, which may leave them less than ideally prepared for crisis incidents on campus; and some campus law enforcement officials indicated that students, campus officials, and external law enforcement counterparts do not view campus police forces as full law enforcement officers. To ameliorate those problems, the President’s Report recommended, inter alia, that schools: “Ensure the actual and perceived effectiveness of campus law enforcement through enhanced professionalism of campus police forces and joint training with federal, state, and local law enforcement.” Proposal to Increase Flexibility and Professionalism of Campus Security To help OUS Universities accomplish the goal of increasing the flexibility and professionalism of campus security, and thereby increase campus safety, we propose the following two-step process. Step One – Amend Statutes to Allow Greater FlexibilityWe anticipate that amendments to the following statutes would need to occur to accomplish the above-mentioned goals.
- ORS 181.610(12)(a) – statute defining “law enforcement unit.” “(12)(a) ‘Law enforcement unit’ means a police force or organization of the state, a city, port, school district, mass transit district, county, county service district authorized to provide law enforcement services under ORS 451.010, Indian reservation, Criminal Justice Division of the Department of Justice, the Department of Corrections, the Oregon State Lottery Commission or common carrier railroad whose primary duty, as prescribed by law, ordinance or directive, is any one or more of the following: . . .” Amend to include OUS institutions in the list of organizations authorized to have a “law enforcement unit.”
- ORS 181.610(14) – statute defining “police officer.” “(14) ‘Police officer’ means an officer, member or employee of a law enforcement unit who is employed full-time as a peace officer commissioned by a city, port, school district, mass transit district, county, county service district authorized to provide law enforcement services under ORS 451.010, Indian reservation, the Criminal Justice Division of the Department of Justice, the Oregon State Lottery Commission or the Governor or who is a member of the Department of State Police and who is responsible for enforcing the criminal laws of this state or laws or ordinances relating to airport security or is an investigator of a district attorney's office if the investigator is or has been certified as a peace officer in this or any other state.” Amend to include OUS institutions in the list of entities authorized to employ a “police officer.”
- ORS 133.005(3) – statute defining “peace officer.” “(3) ‘Peace officer’ means a member of the Oregon State Police or a sheriff, constable, marshal, municipal police officer, investigator of a district attorney’s office if the investigator is or has been certified as a peace officer in this or any other state, or an investigator of the Criminal Justice Division of the Department of Justice of the State of Oregon.” Amend to include members of an OUS institution’s police unit in the definition of “peace officer.”
- ORS 352.385 – statue authorizing campus security. “(1) The State Board of Higher Education may, at the request of any institution under its control, authorize that institution to commission one or more of its employees as special campus security officers. However, the total number of special campus security officers commissioned at the institutions in the Oregon University System shall not exceed 50. Special campus security officers shall have stop and frisk authority as set forth in ORS 131.605 to 131.625 and probable cause arrest authority and the accompanying immunities as set forth in ORS 133.310 and 133.315 when acting in the scope of their employment as defined by the State Board of Higher Education. Special campus security officers shall not be authorized to carry firearms as police officers and, except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, shall not be considered police officers for purposes of ORS 181.610, 238.005, 243.005 or 243.736. (2) The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training shall train special campus security officers at the expense of the State Board of Higher Education. (3) The State Board of Higher Education, acting by and through its special campus security officers, is a criminal justice agency for purposes of rules adopted pursuant to ORS 181.730 (3).” Amend to include the following subparts (4) The State Board of Higher Education may, at the request of any institution under its control, authorize that institution to commission one or more of its employees as peace officers as defined in ORS 133.005. Such peace officers shall have all of the authority and immunities accorded to peace officers and police officers in this state when acting in the scope of their employment as defined by the State Board of Higher Education and shall be considered peace officers and police officers for all purposes, including but not limited to ORS 181.610, 238.005, 238A.005, 243.005 243.736, and 801.395. (5) An institution that has commissioned peace officers under subsection (4) is a criminal justice agency for purposes of ORS 181.715, 181.720 and 181.730 and a law enforcement agency when acting by and through its peace officers. (6) Peace officers commissioned under subsection (4) shall not be subject to ORS 236.350 through 236.360. (7) Peace officers commissioned under subsection (4) and special campus security officers commissioned under subsection (1) may enforce administrative rules and policies of the State Board of Higher Education and the institutions under its control. (8) The State Board of Higher Education, acting through any institution under its control, may enter into such agreements with any municipal corporation or any department, agency or political subdivision of this state as it deems necessary or appropriate for the provision of mutual aid by their respective peace officers. (9) The State Board of Higher Education may adopt rules implementing this statute and may delegate any of the powers, duties or functions granted to the board under this statute to any state institution of higher education within the Oregon University System.
Step Two – Allow Universities to Choose a Public Safety Model That Best Serves Their individual Needs and Circumstances Step two would allow each OUS University to choose one of the following public safety models. The Universities would be required to select their public safety model by a date certain, as determined by the State Board of Higher Education. Option 1 – University Police Department Model
- This model would use a sworn campus police department consisting of University-employed law enforcement personnel fully certified and trained by the State Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). The campus police officers would have the full authority normally accorded to peace and police officers in Oregon. The campus police could also enter into mutual aid agreements with other law enforcements agencies, as necessary and appropriate.
Option 2 – Non-Sworn Public Safety Model
- Under this model, no outside law enforcement agency would be specifically employed on campus. Rather, campus security would act as limited-capacity first-responders and contact local law enforcement as needed.
Option 3 – Bifurcated Department of Public Safety Model
- Under this model, the institution would continue to employ limited-capacity campus security officers and contract with other law enforcement agencies to keep a detail of sworn officers on campus. OSU has such an arrangement with the Oregon State Patrol, and UO has a similar arrangement with the Eugene Police Department.
Option 4 – University Police Department Deputization Model
- This model would use a deputized campus police department consisting of University-employed law enforcement personnel whose authority would be imparted through deputization by a recognized local law enforcement agency that is certified by DPSST.
Outline of Differences Between OUS Universities The reason OUS Universities should be granted flexibility to choose between the above-mentioned options is because Oregon’s Universities are not similarly situated. For example: a. Student enrolments differ i. Eastern Oregon University enrolment – 3,433 ii. Oregon Institute of Technology enrolment – 3,318 iii. Oregon State University (Corvallis) enrolment – 19,753 iv. Portland State University enrolment – 24,999 v. Southern Oregon University enrolment – 4,836 vi. University of Oregon enrolment – 20,376 vii. Western Oregon University enrolment – 5,037 b. Geographic regions of the Universities differ i. Eastern Oregon University – La Grande, population 12,540 ii. Oregon Institute of Technology – Klamath Falls, population 20,720 iii. Oregon State University – Corvallis, population 53,900 iv. Portland State University – Portland, population 562,690 (metro area 2 million) v. Southern Oregon University – Ashland, population 21,430 vi. University of Oregon – Eugene/Springfield, population 203,595 vii. Western Oregon University – Monmouth, population 9,125 c. University properties and facilities differ i. Portland State has city-park property that overlaps into campus property; ii. Eugene and Portland have high transient populations; iii. UO, OSU and Portland State have athletic events that draw large crowds; iv. Crime rates in the regions differ substantially; v. Oregon State has a nuclear reactor on campus; vi. Facilities owned and/or operated by the UO and OSU are spread out in their respective cities and over the state. d. Research at the Universities differ, some of which is more controversial than others, which in turn creates special security needs for the laboratory facilities and the researchers. e. Incidences of criminal activity and misconduct differ, as indicated by arrest rates and disciplinary and/or judicial referrals that are reported under the Clery Act for the 2006 school year. i. Eastern Oregon University On campus arrests – 7 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 68 ii. Oregon Institute of Technology On campus arrests – 3 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 57 iii. Oregon State University On campus arrests – 247 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 0 iv. Portland State University On campus arrests – 15 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 280 v. Southern Oregon University On campus arrests – 71 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 222 vi. University of Oregon On campus arrests – 267 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 1,534 vii. Western Oregon University On campus arrests – 29 On campus disciplinary/judicial referrals – 179 f. Incidences of criminal offenses differ, as indicated by the list of offenses reported under the Clery Act. i. Eastern Oregon University: on campus crimes – 3 ii. Oregon Institute of Technology: on campus crimes – 4 iii. Oregon State University: on campus crimes – 61 iv. Portland State University: on campus crimes – 64 v. Southern Oregon University: on campus crimes – 11 vi. University of Oregon: on campus crimes – 56 vii. Western Oregon University: on campus crimes – 7 Brief Comparison of OUS Campus Security With Other SchoolsAccording to a 1995 report published by U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, at the national level:
- Over 95% of the agencies serving a campus of 20,000 or more students used armed officers.
- Approximately 42% of those serving a campus of 2,500 to 4,999 students used armed officers.
- About 25% of all campuses used some contract personnel, but just 3% outsourced all law enforcement services.
- Private security firms (69%) were the most common source of contract personnel, followed by local law enforcement agencies (26%).
- Approximately 75% of the campus law enforcement agencies serving U.S. 4-year colleges and universities with 2,500 or more students employed sworn police officers with general arrest powers granted by a State or local government. The remainder relied on non-sworn security personnel.
In April of 2007, the Magellan Research Corporation completed a public safety report on behalf of the Eugene Police Department. That report noted that: “[a]ll of the Universities [in the PAC-10], except for the University of Oregon and Oregon State University have a separate University Police Department to perform the policing activities for the University. Oregon State University contracts with the Oregon State Police to provide law enforcement services to the campus. Similarly, the University of Oregon contracts with the EPD [Eugene Police Department] for police services.” The Magellan report also revealed that the University of Oregon, followed by Oregon State University, has the lowest rate of “sworn police officers” per 1000 students in the PAC–10. Indeed, as seen in the following chart, the rate of sworn law enforcement officers per 1000 students at the University of Oregon is more than six-times below the PAC–10 average. Id. Conclusion In sum, violent, and sometimes deadly, situations occur on university campuses. Tragically, this was recently seen again in the shooting at Northern Illinois University. Furthermore, campus security issues have received increased attention since the Clery Act was passed and since the Virginia Tech tragedy, and attention to this issue will likely be redoubled in the wake of Northern Illinois University’s losses. As a result, universities are likely to see an enhanced duty to provide greater campus security, and liability if they fail to do so. To meet this duty, OUS Universities need increased flexibility in order to develop a more professional campus security model that meets the unique needs of each campus.