First off, I want to make this clear: I am in no way demeaning campus police officers. God knows we could’ve used more of them at Virginia Tech. And I’m also not insinuating that campus cops are somehow less worthy than regular police officers. They just have different jobs and jurisdictions.
That said, SB 554 is completely out-of-bounds.
This bill, proposed by Republican Charlie Dean (who has some other questionable ideas this session), would give special powers to state university police officers to make arrests off-campus. And I’m not just talking about arresting some guy with a gun across the street from the school — which we could all agree makes sense — but also more simple offenses like traffic violations.
Already, some city and county law enforcement agencies have “mutual aid agreements” with campus police that give them some authority outside of campus. For example, I’ve seen USF police at DUI checkpoints along Fowler Avenue working alongside the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department.
But this law would allow campus police to conduct speed trap operations by themselves off campus. The law would also give them the authority to, say, raid a party at an apartment complex near the campus. Critics of this law should ask: what happens when campus police are spread thin around a neighborhood and not patrolling the university?
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5 thoughts on “Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Law would give campus police more power to arrest off-campus”
Some of the worst cases I’ve ever seen of blowhard cops abusing power have gone down around college campuses. A friend of mine was arrested and hauled off to jail outside of Fredonia State College in Upstate NY for walking down Main Street with an open container. I was with him when he got arrested and I remember walking to the jail to get him out and the woman at the front desk wouldn’t even let me in. She barked through a static-y speaker, “Your friend’s spendin’ the night, hon.”
I was like OVER A CAN OF LABATT BLUE? GIMME A BREAK! He wasn’t even drunk!
Apparently story goes – my friend gets arrested. Cop asks him what he, “does for a living.” My friend replies, “I work for Senator Hillary Clinton.” Cop says, “Sure you do.” My friend says, “I do!” (He worked in Clinton’s Buffalo office.) Cop gets pissed, assumes my friend is “getting smart” and decides to teach him a lesson by throwing him in the clink for the night.
I can only imagine what will happen if we give this kind of power to CAMPUS police officers.
Alex Pickett says:
True dat Heidi. True dat.
Great story, though
One time I was so drunk and there was no way I could walk home so I drove only 2 miles. Its not like I went on the highway. well the campus police arrested me and I think thats not right. They are out of control
I understand exactly what FBP is saying, I mean for gosh sakes, what are the chances of me killing an entire family if I only drive to my apartment across the street? What a shame…
One time my friend and I had this great idea to break into cars that were parked ACROSS the street from a college campus. Some university cop saw what we were doing, but couldn’t arrest us (thank goodness). We got away with some great stuff before the city police could even get there. Now you mean to tell me that those CAMPUS police can stop us from committing crime across the street from college campuses around the state! That’s not right!