The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 3rd, 2015
The security roles of campus police forces and municipal law
enforcement inevitably intersect, and in many situations the two groups
collaborate effectively. But the fatal shooting
last month of a 43-year-old man by a University of Cincinnati police
officer who was conducting an off-campus traffic stop has highlighted
some of the complexities of that relationship, as well as the
often-murky boundaries that define their respective authorities.
To alleviate confusion, most municipal and campus law-enforcement
agencies have signed agreements, known as memoranda of understanding,
that vary in scope but usually spell out general protocols for taking on
cases and leading investigations. One benefit of the agreements is that
they require all parties to come to the same table and have a
thoughtful conversation, says Steven J. Healy, managing partner of
Margolis Healy, a consulting firm on college security.
But those agreements are not, and should not be, the only instances
in which they collaborate, police officials say. Effective work requires
case-by-case coordination and constant communication.