HISTORY OF UOPD
Public Safety Office, duties widen
Additional UO public safety officers are hired and municipal code changes allow these officers to issue citations for some violations. These officers, who are non-sworn and unarmed, cannot make arrests that involve transport or jail booking, traffic stops. They also are unable to respond to domestic violence calls, dangerous subjects or other get involved in high-risk events. Total campus enrollment for the 2003-2004 academic year is 20,003.
Campus, research investments expand
The University of Oregon enrollment expands to nearly 23,000 undergraduate students. The complexity of a larger campus and growing investments in research infrastructures call for police services that go beyond the non-sworn Department of Public Safety and service contract with Eugene Police (EPD).
National trend toward campus police
The Safe Campus Initiative finds that almost all U.S. higher education institutions of similar size, and all public Association of American Universities members except the UO, have campus police. Leadership enters early planning to seek a change in Oregon state law that would allow campus police and the creation of a UO police agency
Early consideration of a police force
A working group is appointed to research and consider how a UO police department would fit into the university’s organizational structure with appropriate oversight. The working group also is charged with outreach to campus and community stake holders.
State leaders consider forces on college campuses
The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, then the governing board overseeing the state’s public universities, approves a legislative concept to allow sworn police on college campuses. The UO works with state legislators to propose a change in state law.
The UO restructures its contract with EPD for policing services.
- early 2011
Legislature considers campus police
Senate Bill 405, is introduced. The bill, if passed, would allow the State Board of Higher Education to authorize universities under board control to establish police departments.
SB 405 is approved and signed into law.
- August 2011
Measured approach to structure of UO force
UO Police Department Oversight Working Group presents different models for oversight of force. The committee model is seen as the best fit for the campus and planning begins.
- october 2011
UO police force approved
The State Board of Higher Education votes 6-3 to authorize “the University of Oregon to establish a police department and commission one or more employees as sworn police officers; however, the police officers will not be permitted to be armed without prior approval of this Board.”
- november 2011
Advisory group guides campus transition
The UO establishes a Policing Implementation Advisory group comprised of students, faculty, staff and administrators. This group meets monthly and provides advice and guidance on issues related to the transition to a university police force and the issue of arms. The Advisory Group meets regularly through October 2013.
Strict standards from inception
The UO Department of Public Safety begins swearing in officers who then are required to pursue police certification through the state police academy.
The department begins the early adoption of body-worn cameras for patrol officers and the department’s senior officers complete requirements to be certified law enforcement officers in Oregon.
- spring-fall 2012
Early community engagement on arming officers
The department holds campus meetings with constituent groups and individuals to hear community questions and concerns about police services, and discuss the potential for arming sworn officers.
- october 2012
UOPD formally established
Department of Public Safety officially changes its name to the University of Oregon Police Department (UOPD). New uniforms are unveiled to differentiate sworn police officers from non-sworn public safety officers and security officers.
- january-may 2013
Additional community outreach on arming officers
UOPD conducts extensive community engagement to hear questions and concerns about arming sworn campus police officers. At the conclusion of the engagement process, UO leadership receives a formal recommendation that UOPD sworn officers should be allowed to carry firearms per their training and certification. A formal request is sent to the State Board of Higher Education, the governing body overseeing the UO and other state institutions.
- june 2013
State approves request
The State Board of Higher Education approves UO’s request to arm sworn UOPD officers, allowing them to begin providing full police services.
- july 2013
UOPD offers full police services
UOPD sworn officers begin carrying sidearms and performing elevated duties that necessitate being armed including conducting traffic stops, responding to domestic disputes, investigating reports of suspicious conditions, transporting arrestees, and engaging with armed subjects.
- December 2013-may 2014
Feedback sought on transition
A UOPD Advisory Group is designated to provide police a campus constituents’ perspective and offer feedback on law enforcement issues and the transition to an armed police force.
Strategic plan incorporates public feedback
UOPD surveys and interviews campus partners and constituents on their desires for UOPD conduct and community services; the information is used to develop the UOPD’s first comprehensive strategic plan.
Support services expanded
The UOPD begins expansion of support services and joins a sexual assault response compact with Lane County District Attorney, Eugene Police and other agencies, to rapidly and thoroughly investigate reports of sexual assault, coordinating to minimize re-traumatization of survivors.
Active partner investigating Title IX allegations
UOPD partners with the Title IX/Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance, Office of the Dean of Students/Office of Student Conduct on coordinating investigations and taking appropriate action on serious allegations.
- April 2015
Process established to investigate complaints against UOPD
A Complaint Resolution Committee is established and meets for the first time. Representative of students and employees, the committee looks into complaints against sworn police officers and complaints about police policy, and ensures all complaints are investigated quickly, fairly and legally.
- september 2016
Chief Carmichael ushers in new era
Matthew Carmichael is hired as chief of police following a national search; Carmichael, with 33 years in policing, brings valuable experience to the UO having been the police chief at the University of California at Davis.
- october 2016
Student engagement expanded
Chief Carmichael creates the Student Assistants to the Chief program which employs students from primarily under-represented backgrounds to assist with department student engagement.
- november 2016
Campus safety a priority
The Pizza with the Chief monthly program launches providing an avenue through which the chief or UOPD staff can meet with students and employees to discuss how the UO campus can be safer and more welcoming.
First Student Advisory Council to the Chief convened to hear ideas and receive concerns from student representatives.
- April 2017
UOPD accepts oversight of student ride programs
ASUO leadership asks UOPD to assume operation and oversight of two evening safety shuttle programs: Safe Ride and Designated Driver Shuttle. UOPD maintains the student-led program structure while expanding ridership and upgrading safety.
- April 2017
Staffing expands to meet needs
UOPD expands staffing and capabilities to investigate more serious crimes against students and employees that otherwise might be delayed or impossible.
- june 2017
UOPD begins 2-year accreditation process
At Chief Carmichael's direction, the department begins a two-year process to become an accredited police agency. Accreditation is a process that measures performance and accountability of police agencies based on best practices standards; fewer than one-third of Oregon law enforcement agencies meet the Oregon Accreditation Alliance standards.
- december 2017
Body cameras, additional equipment instituted
Police officers begin wearing grant-funded body-worn camera systems, and Taser brand stun devices are adopted following months of study, policy revision, and officer training. The stun devices are an industry-standard less-lethal tool and an alternative to handguns in situations requiring extreme force. Officers are issued patrol rifles for their vehicles, another industry-standard tool to deal with extreme threats such as active shooters.
Student shuttle launchedUOPD launches the UO Campus Shuttle, a fixed-route van service in the campus area to offer more free, as-needed ride options to students.
- march 2018
K9 program introduced
UOPD launches its K9 program with Onyx, a black Labrador rescue dog trained to sniff out explosives. The K9 program allows the UO to respond to explosives concerns and to prepare safely for dignitary visits, athletic events, concerts and other large events without relying on outside agency bomb dogs.
- march 2019
Recommendations on police policy sought
The UOPD Policy Advisory Group is established. Comprised of students, faculty, staff, neighbors, department employees and legal counsel, the group meets regularly to review and make recommendations on police policy.
- may 2019-september 2019
Internal audit recommendations adopted
At Chief Carmichael’s request, the UO Office of Internal Audit conducts a full review of UOPD functions and delivers recommendations in September 2019; UOPD adopts all the suggestions.
- september 2019
UOPD awarded accreditation
UOPD completes its two-year accreditation process and is awarded accredited status by the Oregon Accreditation Alliance, one of only 50 agencies in the state to meet this standard.
- october 2019
Independent audit commissioned
Chief Carmichael engages an outside consultant to perform an independent audit of the UOPD for the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- february 2020
Complaint committee’s role expands
The UOPD Complaint Resolution Committee recommends a name change and endorses expanding its charge to review complaints about any UOPD personnel, including non-sworn community service officers.
- may 2020
New council established
UOPD receives findings of the diversity, equity and inclusion audit and begins implementing changes; a department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council is established.