Campus police or university police in the United States and 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.
Many university police forces employ a combination of police officers, security guards and student workers.
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 and, until 2003, Oxford University Police. 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. This allows students to gain first hand knowledge on policing and real life scenarios that the force faces.
Most university police officers are commissioned through their state Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) after completing established training and pre-licensure preparation. This is usually equivalent to that of a municipal or state peace officer. They routinely attend the same police academy as local or state police officers.
Many 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.
The campus police in many state owned schools have state-wide authority and jurisdiction similar to that afforded to state police.
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. They were joined by Oregon until 2009, when that state revised its system of Campus law enforcement in Oregon.
Officers of the Colorado State University Police Department and the University of Colorado (Boulder) Police Department are commissioned officers of the state of Colorado, but also hold commissions through the cities and counties where their universities are based (respectively Fort Collins and Larimer County for CSU and the City of Boulder for CU).
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. As such, university police officers have the same authority to carry weapons and make arrests.
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.
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