Campus Security Guidelines: Recommended Operational Policies for Law Enforcement

The Major Cities Chiefs Police Association has just released Campus Security Guidelines: Recommended Operational Policies for Local and Campus Law Enforcement Agencies.

Some of the most important suggestions that resulted from this project are:

1. Policies and Formal Agreements: Local and campus law enforcement agencies should have both policies and formal agreements to define general and specific roles for all types of incident response.

  • Policies assist local law enforcement in defining roles and enforcing a culture of respect and cooperation with campus public safety. For example, if a local law enforcement department has a policy describing the campus public safety chain of command and which officers have the authority to make decisions, this policy provides guidance to officers and highlights the authority of campus public safety.
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) should be developed to formalize responsibilities and protocol (i.e., an MOU on roles during critical incident response).
  • MOUs should be tailored to the needs of individual campuses in the jurisdiction. Local law enforcement should work with campus public safety in determining what issues need to be addressed in the MOUs.

2. Coordination Plans: Local and campus law enforcement must coordinate with each other in order to be prepared to respond to critical incidents.

  • Local law enforcement should designate a Campus Liaison Officer to serve as the primary point of contact with campus public safety.
  • Regularly scheduled meetings, joint training, exercises, and patrols on campus must take place to promote cooperation and prepare for critical incident response.
  • Local law enforcement and campus public safety should coordinate in developing, reviewing, and implementing emergency response and business continuity plans.

3. Interoperable Communications: Local and campus law enforcement must find solutions to achieve interoperability.

  • Local law enforcement should work with campus public safety to acquire the equipment necessary for interoperable communications between the agencies.
  • Local and campus law enforcement should address the governance issues with interoperability (i.e., identify a coordinator for law enforcement communications).
  • Campus public safety should be included in all planning sessions and exercises regarding interoperable communications in the region.

4. Potential Risks and Threats: Local and campus law enforcement should work together to improve information-sharing and threat assessments in their jurisdiction.

  • Local and campus law enforcement should collaborate to address potential threats on and off campus.
  • Law enforcement must be allowed to share records with other departments in order to fully evaluate potential threats.
  • Campus public safety must be included in area fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces as a means to share intelligence and information.

5. Media and Public Relations: Local and campus law enforcement should plan and practice joint media and the public relations scenarios, as perceptions of competency and coordination are paramount during a critical incident on campus.

  • Preparation and plans should be made to work with the media before, during, and after incidents.
  • Messages released to the media should be coordinated between local law enforcement and campus public safety.
  • Local and campus law enforcement should reach out to members of the campus in order to build trust and improve relationships with students.

To read the full report, click here.

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