University police not appreciated by students
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The University Police Department and the Chico Police Department both facilitate different needs of the public domain. While the University Police Department focus more on the students they aren’t as respected as the Chico Police officers.
According to Campus Safety, there are five important ways campus officers differ from a traditional cop, such as those who serve the city of Chico.
Although many university police officers are former police officers, the roles that both types of police play in their respective communities vary greatly.
The University Police Department tends to work on developing relationships and getting the opportunity to teach students and faculty.
This makes the University Police Department more valuable to students. While the Chico Police Department is seen as the “real law,” campus police are still respectable officers that are actually there to help students by fostering relationships.
These police officers are building familiarity with the community and university. This makes the community become tight-knit and officers are more aware of prevalent issues that need to be addressed.
When I was a first-year here at Chico State, the University Police Department gave a presentation in the dorms regarding the safety of alcohol intake and sexual harassment. The slideshow was very informative and was given by three police officers who worked at the University Police Department.
They were able to present this information with statistics and personal experience from the crimes they have dealt with.
When University Police Department does have to deal with severe crimes, in many cases officers have a decision to make if whether or not they should arrest someone or refer them to the dean of students.
Chico Police officers do not have to consider going to the dean of students, but instead, focus more on either putting them in jail or sending them home to their parents. Campus Safety wrote that the role of the University Police Department is not just one of law enforcement, but one of guidance.
The department focuses greatly only students making great decisions rather than just locking up the individual.
Kevin Quinn, the president of the National Association of School Resources Officers stated that campus police is more than just making arrests, its prevention by dealing with kids, doing presentations in the classrooms, doing crime prevention, doing site surveys and assessments on campus. It’s possible that these campus police officers are secondary teachers.
Because these officers must have a closer relationship with the community than the city police do, these campus police officers must undergo different training in order to be able to work well with children and young adults.
Campus Safety wrote that it’s important to understand that campus police training may not focus on certain kinds of policing, such as traffic stops, as much as traditional police forces.
Campus police officers also receive more training on non-lethal force procedures than traditional officers do.
While Chico police officers focus more on investigations, and other criminal activity and law regulations, the University Police Department focuses more on engaging with the community, helping with crime prevention and informing students on these different topics.
Students shouldn’t take the University Police Department for granted since they are the ones that are specifically trying to help students and keep them safe.
Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @rachhreyes on Twitter.