Community College Considers Dissolving Police Force After Campus Assault
ST. LOUIS — Following the terminations of three top administrators at St. Louis Community College at Meramec for their mishandling an attempted strangulation of a student by another student in a campus restroom, the college’s board of directors is considering disbanding the campus police force.
The community college currently employs 42 full- and part-time officers on its four campuses. The board noted that if they were to disband the police force, which includes sworn officers, they would have to approach the state Legislature, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Another option would be to hire new leadership specially trained in campus policing.
Last week, SLCC fired Campus Police Chief Paul Banta, Community College District Chief of Police Robert Stewart and Vice President of Student Affairs Linden Crawford. The announcement came nearly four months after the April 18 incident when student Blythe Grupe, 19, was attacked in a women’s restroom on the Meramac campus by fellow student Jevon Mallory, 18.
Though campus police arrested Mallory, they released him shortly after the incident, giving the suspect only a verbal warning not to return to campus. Additionally, the college did not send an alert out warning the campus about the incident.
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