Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about UOPD, our standards and our values.

The men and women of UOPD are proud to be a part of the University of Oregon and are dedicated to providing fair, equitable, and trusted policing as we keep our campus community safe.

Disturbing events across the nation have undoubtedly eroded trust and heightened scrutiny of how our law enforcement systems work.  

At UOPD, we unequivocally stand against racism or discrimination of any kind in the work we do. We also have implemented many reforms aimed at more responsible policing, including the eight specific policies championed by the 8 Can’t Wait campaign.

We seek every opportunity to listen to you and to be transparent with you about our work.


How did UOPD come to be?

The University of Oregon Police Department was formed through an incremental, deliberative, and community-involved process, beginning in the early-2000s, in response to interest in having a campus policing model that focused on the UO community and its unique needs.

In 2011, the Oregon Legislature approved a process to allow for the creation of university police departments. In 2013, the then-State Board of Higher Education approved UO’s request for a fully-sworn, full service police department.

Prior to the creation of UOPD, the university contracted with Eugene Police Department to provide policing services to campus, with limited support from the UO’s Department of Public Safety. Nationally, UO was one of the few institutions of its size to not have its own police force at that time.

What value does UOPD provide to the campus community?

UOPD officers do their police work on campus with a knowledge of the university, its communities, and its culture. This knowledge is vital and is something that officers from an outside agency don’t have. And the department is accountable directly to university administrators, faculty, and students.

First and foremost, the department is community-oriented in its approach to policing. In recent years, UOPD has launched a broad range of new programs and initiatives to best serve students, faculty and staff; to focus on equity and diversity; and to ensure best practice standards.

These initiatives include: equipping all officers with body cameras; expanding “safe ride” services for students; creating a Policy Advisory Workgroup to allow students and faculty to engage directly on campus law enforcement issues and policies; implementing a new student and community panel process for recruiting and interviewing all potential UOPD officers; involving UOPD officers in the GLIDE Leadership Program, an immersive training that connects officers with people impacted by racism, homelessness, and drug use;and launching a student cadet program to help diversify the law enforcement pipeline in Oregon.

To what standards are UOPD and its officers held?

UOPD is a double-accredited police department, which means it meets the clear and demonstrable police and public safety standards established by two accrediting institutions. Accreditations measure performance and accountability of police agencies based on best practices standards.

The department is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA), known as the Gold Standard in Public Safety, and by the Oregon Accreditation Alliance – a standard that fewer than one-third of Oregon law enforcement agencies meet.

What training do UOPD officers undergo?

UOPD employs a mix of sworn police officers, community service officers, civilian staff, and student employees.

Only sworn, commissioned UOPD officers are equipped with firearms. Those officers undergo the same required training as all other sworn law enforcement officers in the state at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

That training involves a 16-week, full-time course in application of state law, police practices, field judgment, physical fitness and agility, appropriate use of force and officer tools. After completion of that course, UOPD police officers must then complete another 16 weeks of field training, to apply policing skills in the real world, under the supervision of an experienced officer.

UOPD has implemented additional training for officers—including training on cultural competency, implicit bias, handling calls involving people diagnosed with autism, de-escalation techniques, and federal reporting mandates such as for the Clery Act and Title IX.

Why are UOPD’s sworn officers armed?

National law enforcement standards dictate that some key services are performed only by armed officers. These include transporting arrestees, making traffic stops, confronting armed and dangerous individuals, making certain arrests, serving warrants and doing investigations at unknown or unsecured locations.

UOPD can only operate as a fully-fledged police department and provide the benefits to campus described above if its sworn officers can perform all the key law enforcement services.

All Pac-12 institutions have armed police on campus. So do more than 90 percent of public universities, according to the most recent comprehensive national survey. Police officers equipped with firearms have always been on the UO campus, whether through contracted, dedicated Eugene Police Department service; general Eugene Police Department service; or UOPD.

Does UOPD work with CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets), the mobile crisis intervention service in the Eugene/Springfield area?

UOPD believes our local community is very fortunate to have CAHOOTS and the innovative service it provides to people in crisis. The department works hand-in-hand with CAHOOTS on a regular basis, recognizing that police officers are not the appropriate resource to respond to every situation.

On average, UOPD officers call on CAHOOTS for assistance 80 times a year. For safety reasons, CAHOOTS does not respond directly to calls from members of the public. Instead, the service is dispatched through the Eugene police-fire-ambulance communications center, after an initial assessment of a situation by law enforcement.

Where does UOPD stand on the eight reforms proposed by the 8 Can’t Wait campaign to reduce instances of police violence?

UOPD agrees with all the reforms proposed by the 8 Can’t Wait Campaign. Those policies—on police use of force, required de-escalation, officers’ duty to intervene, comprehensive reporting, and others—are all already part of UOPD’s policy or practice. The department is currently reviewing its policy manual to make those rules and restrictions abundantly clear. See more details below.

What is UOPD’s use of force policy?

UOPD’s use of force policy states that officers “shall use only that amount of force for the duration which reasonably appears necessary given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”

The department’s use of force training program includes specific instructions requiring officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force.

UOPD policy and practice requires officers to exhaust all other reasonable means before resorting to deadly force and to provide a verbal warning before the use of deadly force, where feasible. Additionally, UOPD officers are not permitted to use any type of chokehold during an arrest, absent a justification for deadly force.

UOPD policy explicitly states that members of our department have an affirmative duty to intervene if they observe another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable.

UOPD has never used deadly force, nor has it had an incident where an officer’s use of force caused serious bodily injury.

Does UOPD own or use “military-grade” law enforcement equipment?

No. The department does not possess any equipment or firearms that are not available for civilian purchase.

UOPD does not deploy tear gas, pepper balls, rubber bullets, or use military style vehicles.

UOPD has not participated in the U.S. military’s 1033 program, which transfers excess military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies, and does not have any funds allocated for the future purchase of that type of equipment.

Does UOPD or the university contract with the Eugene Police Department for services?

UOPD does not contract with Eugene Police Department to provide law enforcement services anywhere on our campus, with the exception of the additional staffing required for the safe operation of football games or other large events.

The UOPD only requests support from Eugene Police Department on the UO campus during an emergency or critical incident where the event exceeds the department’s resources or capabilities. All police agencies rely on their peers from time to time in emergency situations – a practice commonly known as “mutual aid.”  There is no formal mutual aid agreement between our agencies, however.

What is UOPD’s process for addressing complaints?

UOPD takes complaints from the community it serves seriously and all complaints against officers are formally documented, regardless of the final outcome.

The UOPD has a Police Complaint Review Committee made up of university faculty, staff, students and administrators that reviews all complaints, how they were investigated, and the findings of those investigations.

Complaints are initially investigated by a member of the UOPD professional standards unit, a UOPD supervisor of the employee(s) involved, or by an outside counsel retained by the police chief.

Investigations are conducted in a timely manner and all complainants receive a factual finding of their complaint either in person or writing.