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University Student Officer Program

January 31, 2018
By: SO Lieutenant Kyle Kolcharno

This article originally appeared in The Dispatch, The University Police Department's newsletter.

Most members of the University community are familiar with the Student Officer Program. These are the students often seen walking around campus in their blue polos, black pants, two-way radio, with keys in hand. They are recognized for patrolling campus, supporting University Police with an active fire alarm, or assisting a community member who needs to gain access to their room/building. However, few understand the pivotal role SOs play on campus, and how much they assist the Police Department in maintaining a safe and healthy atmosphere for the University community.

Unbeknownst to some, Student Officers are on campus year-round and support University Police in performing many public safety functions such as traffic details, annual inspections of the emergency call boxes, and monthly fire-safety inspections on all university-owned buildings. This task consists of visually inspecting all fire suppression apparatus and all Automatic External Deliberators (AEDs) to ensure they are in proper working order. In addition to this, SOs assist University Police to answer questions from students and their families about campus safety during all First-Year Orientation sessions and help UPD by supporting the logistics of the event. Student Officers also assist in instructing “Active Shooter” Training to the incoming student class during their Fall Welcome.

Student Officers are of major assistance to University Police and Admissions staff during the Fall Open Houses and Accepted Students Day in the spring. Generally, 12-14 SOs are positioned to guide guests to parking lots, and their assistance allows traffic to flow smoothly on and around campus. This supports the 3-5 UPD officers on shift for the event and permits them to be available for other tasks and respond to emergencies should they arise. Student Officers are also vital to the University for Move-in Day, where they too, manage traffic, direct families to designated areas, and serve as a point of contact for those students and parents requiring assistance.

On a regular shift, Student Officers patrol campus including academic buildings, the library, and residence halls, as well as maintain a presence at sporting and community events. SOs also respond to fire alarms and/or medical calls on campus and are often the first on-scene to these events depending on the proximity of the incident to a designated patrol zone. Student Officers assist in building evacuations during the fire drills that are conducted each semester and oversee parking enforcement during the day. Most significantly SOs are involved in community outreach programs run by UPD including ‘Coffee with Cops’ ‘Campus Safety Awareness Day’, Pedestrian Safety Events, and other collaborative programs hosted by departments within the University. These events often require additional hands on deck, and regardless of the task, we are happy to be able to support University Police in everything they do.

 

To read more from The Dispatch, click here.

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