Campus police

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Campus police or university police in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada are often sworn police officers employed by a college or university to protect the campus and surrounding areas and the people who live, work, and visit it.


University of Guelph Campus Community Police Service University of Waterloo Police, University of Western Ontario Police, University of Windsor Police, Fanshawe College Special Constable Service, Wilfred Laurier University Police, Brock University Special Constable Service, Carleton University Dept of Safety/Special Constable Service

United Kingdom[edit]

In the UK, universities do not have a specific police force that responds to crime on university campuses, with the exception of Cambridge University Constabulary[1] and, until 2003, Oxford University Police.[2][3] Instead most universities have a police liaison officer seconded from the area's police service. The liaison officer can provide crime prevention and recruitment information, patrol of campus site and create links with community as part of the national Community Policing Strategy. It is also known for officers to take lectures in policing for students studying law, police studies etc.[citation needed] This allows students to gain first hand knowledge on policing and real life scenarios that the force faces.

Most universities will have a security team responsible for patrolling the campuses.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

Rather than traditional police colors, cruisers at some institutions sport the livery colors of the university they serve.

Some college campus public safety departments are actual police departments and able to perform all the duties of sworn police officers including make arrests, issue citations, etc. These departments operate either as individual police departments on campus in cooperation with local law enforcement, or as a part of the local police force (city or state). These officers go through the exact same training (typically 6 months full-time or more) as local police officers do, but they typically only operate within the campus property. They could, in theory, assist local law enforcement when necessary if that agreement exists between the two departments.[4]

If it is not an actual police department, officers cannot perform the same functions as sworn police officers such as arrest perpetrators or issue citations. Some college security departments have the equivalent of armed security officers that are legally allowed to carry a firearm under that state's individual licensing requirements. For example, Pennsylvania has Act 235 Lethal Weapons Certification that allows public safety officers or private security guards to carry firearms for their employment - including on college campuses. Other states have similar certifications and training requirements. Non-police officer certifications do not give them the right to perform police-specific duties, but does allow for additional security that could be essential should an active shooter or terrorist act come to fruition on a college or university campus. College campus safety officer defensive tactics should be taught to all officers who are hired to protect students on campus, regardless of if they are able to carry a firearm or not. [5]

Many university police officers are commissioned through their state Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) after completing established training and pre-licensure preparation. This is usually equivalent to that of a municipal or state police officer. They routinely attend the same police academy as local or state police officers.[citation needed]

Many campus public safety departments operate some of the same units as municipal agencies such as detective units, special response teams (SWAT or SRT), canine units, bicycle patrol units, motorcycle patrol units, and community policing units. In some cases, campus police agencies are better equipped and staffed than municipal and county agencies in their area due to the significant amount of funding available in a college environment.[citation needed]

The campus police in some state-owned schools may have statewide authority and jurisdiction similar to that afforded to state police[citation needed]. However, this will vary state-by-state.

Hawaii, Idaho, and New Hampshire are the only states in the US to not have a statutory provision for the commissioning of sworn campus police officers.[citation needed] They were joined by Oregon until 2009, when that state revised its system of campus law enforcement in Oregon.

in the 2004-05 school year, 74% of college campuses had sworn officers with the power to arrest, and 90% of these departments were armed[6]

92% of campus police departments are responsible for handling their own dispatching, which means that they are completely self-sufficient agencies. They do not rely on the city police around them to take on their responsibilities.[7]

Also, some public school districts maintain their own police i.e. Los Angeles School Police Department, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police Department, and New York City Police Department School Safety Division just to name a few.


In California several state laws establish the sworn peace officer authority for campus police agencies. Public institutions of higher education; the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges are authorized by California Penal Codes 830.2 [b]&[c] and 830.32 [a]).[8][9] Private universities and colleges (e.g., Stanford, University of Southern California, University the Pacific) are authorized under California Penal Code 830.75.[10]

California State University Police Department

University of California Police Department


Officers of the Colorado State University Police Department and the University of Colorado (Boulder) Police Department, University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Police Department are commissioned officers of the state of Colorado, but also hold commissions through the cities where their universities are based (respectively Fort Collins and Larimer County for CSU; the City of Boulder for CU; Colorado Springs and El Paso County for UCCS).[11]


Both The University of Delaware Police and Delaware State University Police are fully accredited police agencies with full police powers, equipment and Council on Police Training (State Police Academy) Certification.


  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Police
  • Florida Atlantic University Police
  • Florida Gulf Coast University Police
  • Florida International University Police
  • Florida State University Police
  • Miami University Police
  • New College of Florida Police Department
  • Pensacola State College Police
  • University of Central Florida Police
  • University of Florida Police
  • University of North Florida Police
  • University of South Florida Police
  • University of West Florida Police


Campus police for public universities in Kentucky are regulated by sections 164.950 and 164.955 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes and are generally granted the same authority and powers of a county sheriff, including power of arrest, on property owned or occupied by their university of employment as well as any public street running through or adjacent to said property. In certain circumstances, campus police officers in Kentucky may exercise their law enforcement authority outside of their statutory limitations. These include, but are not limited to, situation where campus police officers are investigating potential criminal activity within their jurisdiction, are operating under a mutual aid agreement with another agency or where they are operating at the request of the chief of police or sheriff in the city or county where the university is located or statewide at the request of the Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police. Campus police officers in Kentucky, like municipal police officers and deputy sheriffs, must be trained and certified as peace officers through the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Law Enforcement Training Center at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, unless they have previously completed another recognized police academy. [12][13]


Campus police officers for public universities in Louisiana have full police powers on and near their campuses as well as while investigating campus crimes away from the campus grounds.




The University of Minnesota employs its own campus police, the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD). UMPD enforces law on all University property, and works closely with the Minneapolis Police Department to enforce the law in neighborhoods within close proximity to the University, such as Dinkytown. Additionally, UMPD employs a part-time student security force known as the Security Monitor Program, which provides security escorts around the campus area, patrols campus property, and works with UMPD to enforce University, Minneapolis, and Minnesota law around the campus area.


Missouri state statutes give the University of Missouri System the authority to appoint and employ as many university police officers as it may deem necessary to protect persons, property and to preserve the peace and good order in the public buildings, properties, grounds and other facilities and locations over which it has charge or control.[17] Officers of the UM System are empowered with the same authority to maintain order, preserve peace and make arrests as is now held by peace officers.[18]

Missouri state statutes also give the board of regents or board of governors of any state college or university the authority to appoint and employ as many university police officers as it may deem necessary to enforce regulations under section 174.709 and general motor vehicle laws of this state in accordance with section 174.712, protect persons, property, and preserve peace and good order only in the public buildings, properties, grounds, and the other facilities and locations over which it has charge or control and to emergencies or natural disasters outside of the boundaries of university property and provide services if requested by the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.[19] Officers appointed by a state university or college are empowered with the same authority to maintain order, preserve peace and make arrests as is now held by peace officers.[20]

New Jersey[edit]

New York[edit]

North Carolina[edit]

Campus police can be under two options: Private colleges have police agency status under GS 74E (Company police act) while state university system officers and community colleges have state law enforcement powers, such as mutual assistance, extraterritorial jurisdiction of one mile, the same as municipal police and can also enter into mutual assistance agreements. All police officers must be NC Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) certified and pass all state standards for peace officers.

North Dakota[edit]

The University of North Dakota (UND) Police Department is the department that is primarily responsible for patrolling and responding to calls on the UND campus. The police force is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The police force also works with students and campus organizations to prevent and educate students about crime and the laws that are most applicable to students.


State law in Ohio authorizes the board of trustees of a university to appoint police officers to serve their institutions and jurisdictions. All police officers in Ohio, including university police officers, are trained and certified to the same standards, as overseen by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.[21] As such, university police officers have the same authority to carry weapons and make arrests.[22]

  • Ohio State University Police Department[23]
    • 53 sworn officers, 9 dispatchers, and 26 support personnel[24]
    • Special Response Team (SRT)[25]
    • Two Canine Units
    • Patrol and Investigations Units
    • Bicycle Patrol
    • CALEA accredited[26]
  • Ohio University Police Department [27]
    • 31 sworn officers, 5 dispatchers, and 2 clerical support staff [28]
    • Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)[29]
    • Patrol and Investigations Units
    • 2 Canine Units [30]


Campus law enforcement in Oregon


University of Pennsylvania Police

Drexel University Police

Temple University Police

Penn State (University Park) Police

Rhode Island[edit]

University police at public institutions in the State of Rhode Island are sworn police officers.


University police at public institutions in the State of Texas are sworn police officers, and are vested with the same authority as other police officers in Texas.[31]

  • University of Texas at Austin Police Department
    • 2 canine units[32]
    • Investigations and Patrol units[33]
    • Honor Guard [34]
  • Texas A&M University Police[35]
  • University of Houston Police[36]
  • University of North Texas Police
    • Investigations and Patrol Units[37]
    • Two canine units[38]
    • CALEA and IACLEA accredited[39]


In Virginia, state law 23.234 authorizes university police officers to be armed and vests them with the same authority as other types of police officers in the State. All police officers must complete academy training mandated by the Department of Criminal Justice Service. In Virginia campus police departments can obtain concurrent jurisdiction with the local police and patrol off campus with circuit court approval. [40][41][42]

Virginia Tech Police Department


University of Washington Police

University of Washington Police Car

West Virginia[edit]


  • University of the Philippines Diliman Police (UPDP)[43]
  • University of the Philippines Los Baños - University Police Force (UPF)[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Constabulary: Proctors: University of Cambridge". University of Cambridge website. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Straw rejoices as Oxford's Bulldogs are put down, The Daily Telegraph, 15 October 2002
  3. ^ Oration by the Senior Proctor, Oxford University Gazette, 27 March 2003
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Wilson, Charles (2011). "Perceived Roles of Campus Law Enforcement: A Cognitive Review of Attitudes and Beliefs of Campus Constituents". Professional issues in criminal justice. 6 (1): 29–37. 
  7. ^ Bromley, Max (1998). "Comparing campus and city police operational tactics". Journal of Security Administration. 21 (1): 41–54. 
  8. ^ "California Penal Code, Part 2, Title 3, Chapter 4.5, § 830.2(b) and (c). Peace Officers: University of California and California State Universities". 
  9. ^ "California Penal Code, Part 2, Title 3, Chapter 4.5, § 830.32(a). Peace Officers: California Community Colleges". 
  10. ^ "California Penal Code, Part 2, Title 3, Chapter 4.5, § 830.75. Peace Officers: independent institutions of higher education". 
  11. ^
  12. ^ KRS 164.950 Police Departments and Officers Authorized
  13. ^ KRS 164.955 Police Officers - Powers and Duties
  14. ^ Fenton, Heidi (12 November 2015). "Night patrol officer finds meth lab in Ferris State parking lot". Mlive. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Johnson, Bob. "Detroiter, SVSU student facing felony waited to pull over in brightly lit area" (6 June 2015). The Saginaw News. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  16. ^ University of Michigan Police Department
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  22. ^ "Ohio Revised Code". Authority to Arrest Without Warrant. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  23. ^ "Organizational Chart" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  24. ^ "OSU DPS History Book" (PDF). Ohio State University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  25. ^ "Ohio State University Department of Public Safety". Archived from the original on 2014-03-15. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  26. ^ "The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  27. ^ "Ohio University Police Department". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  28. ^ "Ohio University Police Department". Retrieved 2016-07-12. 
  29. ^ "Outlook". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  30. ^ "The Post". New Faces, More Badges. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  31. ^ "Texas Penal Code". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  32. ^ "University of Texas Police Department". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  33. ^ "University of Texas Police Department". Criminal Investigations. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  34. ^ "University of Texas Police Department". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  35. ^ "Texas A&M University Police". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  36. ^ "University of Houston Police". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  37. ^ "University of North Texas Police Department". Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  38. ^ "University of North Texas Police Department". UNT Police K9 Unit. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  39. ^ "University of North Texas Police Department". UNT Police Accreditations. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  40. ^ "Code of Virginia". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  41. ^ "Code of Virginia". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  42. ^ "Code of Virginia". Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  43. ^
  44. ^

External links[edit]