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Campus Policing in an Urban Environment

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
17 pages

Proceedings are reported for a 2017 forum in Charlotte, North Carolina, sponsored by the National Center for Campus Public Safety (NCCPS) and attended by campus safety leaders, federal officials, and subject-matter experts, who met to identify and address challenges specific to campus policing in urban environments.


Forum proceedings aligned with the NCCPS's role as a nationwide resource for addressing critical issues in campus safety. A total of 36 campus safety leaders attended from 17 institutions of higher education (IHEs) across the country. They included university and college chiefs of police and student administrators, representatives from the federal Department of Homeland Security, and members of several campus-safety professional associations. Forum participants identified the following five areas that pose distinctive challenges for urban campus police department: 1) campus access; 2) resources; 3) relationships and partnerships; 4) students' welfare while off campus; and 5) communications. The forum identified and discussed factors, tactics, and strategies for addressing these challenges; however, forum discussions did not evaluate specific policies and practices of particular IHEs and did not evaluate individual campus policing programs. Five core issues facing IHEs located in urban environments were the forum's focus. First, they must address exceptional challenges in managing access to campus facilities. Second, many urban campus police departments lack the funding and leadership support needed to be effective in improving campus safety. Third, the security efforts of urban campus police departments typically involve safety concerns in geographic areas that may extend miles off campus boundaries. Fourth, urban campus police departments need to develop ways to work more effectively with local law enforcement agencies and community groups. Fifth, urban technology and infrastructure often create issues that interfere with campus police response and coordination with other local law enforcement agencies.

Date Published: July 1, 2018