IACP Statement Regarding College and University Police Agencies

On June 29th, 2015, University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted with a charge of murder which stemmed from a traffic stop in which Mr. Samuel DuBose was fatally wounded. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends, and all those affected by the loss of Mr. DuBose. 

At a press conference to announce the indictment of Officer Ray Tensing, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters made a series of broad-based, short-sighted, and inflammatory comments regarding the University of Cincinnati Police Department, saying “they’re not cops”, and “the Cincinnati Police ought to have a District 6 and make it the University of Cincinnati”, then further stated “I just don’t think universities should be in the policing business”.

 The International Association of Chiefs of Police strongly disagrees with these ill-informed comments. College and university police departments are highly trained, professional law enforcement agencies that are held to a high standard and are very capable of carrying out the mission of protecting the lives and property of their respective communities.

 According to the 2015 Campus Law Enforcement Report, released by the U.S. Department of Justice, the vast majority of four-year colleges and universities nationwide have police departments with sworn law enforcement officers protecting their communities.  Additionally, the report found that these officers receive the same academy and field training as their municipal counterparts.  In fact, many of these agencies have been accredited by state, national and international accreditation agencies. In addition, college and university police departments are subject to the same crime reporting requirements as municipal law enforcement agencies, but also have additional federal reporting requirements and are required to comply with the Clery Act and Title IX, which apply only to college and university police departments.

 College and university police departments are committed to ensuring their students, staff and faculty members are safe.  Because of the nature of their duties, college and university law enforcement officers are uniquely qualified to handle situations involving college students.  This is accomplished through the effective deployment of community and problem oriented policing philosophies and other responses that are often unique to campus policing.  However, at the same time, they must have the ability to effectively respond to violent crime when it occurs. 

 The men and women of college and university police departments are highly trained and dedicated individuals who play a unique and vital role in fulfilling law enforcement’s mission of keeping communities safe.