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Weapons Authorized?

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

My first "official" post! I've posted comments here and there on various threads, but this is my first discussion post! Wanted to see what opinions are on this....


Do you think campus officers should be allowed to carry firearms or not? Our university Public Safety officers are "Not Weapon Authorized", but they do carry OC Spray and batons. 


About a year ago, I was at work in the campus library when a bunch of balloons got too close to a light and popped rapidly one after another. To a lot of us, they sounded like gunshots, and we had several moments of "OH, &%$^#!!!" panic before realizing that they were balloons. If they HAD been gunshots, we pretty much would have been screwed.... Local LEO would have taken several minutes to get there, our Public Safety office is on the other side of campus, and even once they got there, they are not armed. OC Spray and batons require one to be in fairly close contact, correct? 


In October 2006, we had an incident at my high school involving a student and a weapon; fortunately the response was immediate and no one was hurt. I've been a student role-player for our local police department's Active Shooter Training exercises 4 times since June 2007 (24 hours total), so I've had both the potential-victim perspective and the law-enforcement-response perspective. 


I realize that arming the campus officers would be a potential liability, as there would be potential for injury, but heaven forbid there would be an "incident" like Columbine or VA Tech.....


Thoughts on this??


(I don't know if some would consider this "too sensitive" of a discussion for the public forums here; if so, my apologies. I've had this discussion with LEO friends and family members, and thought I'd see what some of you have to say!)

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 I don't know how your state goes. But here in AZ the University PD's are staffed by full POST certified officers who carry firearms. Personally, I think it's smart. So when you say "Public Saftey officers" are you guys certified and trainned like your local PD or SO is? If so, I'd say get a following and take it to the the University board. 


"Law enforcement officers are never 'off duty.' They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect public safety at any time and place that the peace is threatened. They need all the help that they can get."
- Barbara Boxer

"My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces."
- Sidney

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I don't know exactly what "Public Safety Officer" means where you are. Are they LE? What kind of training do they recieve? etc...... But in general I think its a good idea for people in that kind of position to be armed. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. But if the administration is against it then it's probably not going to happen any time soon.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 Just wondering, what state is this? Because that might explain a lot?


"Law enforcement officers are never 'off duty.' They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect public safety at any time and place that the peace is threatened. They need all the help that they can get."
- Barbara Boxer

"My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces."
- Sidney

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I graduated from a university and the personnel was not armed however, wearing a police style uniform. They were non law enforcement and the university president did not want them armed. Personally, I feel with proper training they should be armed with the number of flakes in todays times.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 Ah, sorry, guess I could have specified more.


This is in Missouri.


At my university, "Public Safety" officers are not sworn police officers, but they do have Missouri Security Officer licensing and limited arrest powers. Several of the officers are former LEO's, so they have had various firearm and defense training, but our "Public Safety" as a whole is not trained or authorized to carry firearms. They are trained and certified to use batons and OC Spray. 


I've mentioned this to people; some of them are CCW permit carriers and (like me) think that our officers should be armed, others are just kind of "meh", and then there are some of the "OMG GUNS! EEEKK SCARY!" variety who are totally uncomfortable with anything pertaining to guns. Of course, most people don't think about this sort of thing until something happens....


My other problem with this is that the ID tags they wear on lanyards (prominently displayed, along with badges on their belts) specifically say "NOT WEAPONS AUTHORIZED" in bold letters. You can't see it until you're close enough to read the rest of the tag, so it's not hugely noticeable, but still.... It just seems risky to me that you would announce that. 


Like I said before, I can see how this would be seen as an extra liability and safety risk, but....?? Hmm.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 Here's my opinion on the subject. With all of the crazy stuff that can/does happen on university campuses, armed officers should be on campus at all times. Considering the drugs,  booze (wet or dry campus), and other things that happen on campus having officers with full arrest powers usually makes more sense (at least to me). Now with that being said, don't forget the funding, training, and various other things that have to be done in order to run a department. So if your University is strapped for cash, like many others claim to be, that could be a big thing holding them back. 


"Law enforcement officers are never 'off duty.' They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect public safety at any time and place that the peace is threatened. They need all the help that they can get."
- Barbara Boxer

"My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place - police, firefighters and members of our armed forces."
- Sidney

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Rated +2 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

It's my opinion that any Security should be armed. If you are wearing a uniform, you are automatically a target, just like a LEO.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Times they are a changin,,,, however I think the world of academia is still stuck in the 1960's feel good free love era. None of the schools in NYC have armed security officers. My belief is that with the advent of the "active shooter", increased terrorism possibilities etc that it behooves all colleges and universities to arm themselves. This is especially true for suburban schools who might not have large city police dept with all the bells and whistles that can respond in a few minutes.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 I work for Colorado State University as a Police Officer.  One of my biggest pet peeves is other LEO's who refer to us as "Campus Security."  I went through the same academy and continue the same ongoing training requirements as my municipal and county neighbors.  


Campus Police make felony arrests, drive patrol cars, back neighboring agencies and write tickets.  In this age of mass shootings, it would be rediculous for university police officers to do their jobs without firearms.  


I carry a pistol on my hip, a shotgun in my car and I have a carbine for those really ugly situations.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

While many colleges and universities have actual police departments with full police powers as authorized by state laws in their states, many do not.  An example in my state would be UCLA who has the University of California Police Department at UCLA as opposed by USC who has the USC Department of Public Safety.  The former has full police powers while the later (while still armed while on duty) does not.  Many colleges and universities continue to field nothing more than a campus security department.  Shoot, even the El Camino Community College and Riverside Community College Police Departments have full police powers, on and off duty.  Personally, I believe that in this day and age of Columbine and VA Tech type incidents, it is foolish for any college or university not to have a full POST Certified Police Department, regardless of the state.  These two incidents alone is a stark reminder that fecal matter can happen at any time and to any location including a suburban high school and a state university.


The department that I work for is a school district police department for a very large K-12 school district in California.  Under California State Laws, we are a POST Certified Police Department staffed by police officers with full police powers on and off duty and YES.......... WE ARE ARMED!!!!!  We operate separate from the (large) city police department and the (even larger) county sheriff's department.  We regularly train with both departments in addition to the local Cal State University Police Department that also lies within our boundaries.  Our jurisdiction and school district boundaries cover the entire city and county areas as well as a portion of the neighboring city.  We issue parking citations and enforce traffic laws.  We make misdemeanor and felony arrests.......... just like our brothers and sisters in the city and county agencies.  We have five regular high schools with a sixth currently under construction and due to open in 2012 in addition to two additional continuation high schools, seven middle schools and too many elementary schools to sit down and count at the present moment.  We are responsible for enforcing the laws within the school district boundaries and maintaining the safety of students, faculty, staff and all employees of the school district and all it properties.  Each high school has six non-sworn campus security officers, the continuation high schools one each and the middle schools two each.  The district also has one adult school campus which is also staffed by one of these CSO's.  They wear a uniform similar in appearance of the sheriff's department with tan shirts and green slacks.  Their equipment is the same as ours (minus the firearm) including a ballistic vest.  Each high school also has police officer from our department as an assigned SRO and the rest of the department is assigned patrol duties for the rest of the district.


We know that on any given day that we are a minute away from having fecal matter happen.  Our job is to go in quickly and put it down when it happens.  This is why we exist.  This is why we are so equipped.  This is why we train.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

CSU (CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT) FULL POLICE POWERS AND POST CERTIFIED...WEAPONS BASED ON EACH INDIVIDUAL CAMPUS, ON OUR CAMPUS ISSUED SIGARM P226, REMINGTON 870 SHOTGUNS, BUSHMASTER M-4 PATROL RIFLES AND LESS LETHAL...

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I work part-time as a University Police Officer and we are certified, armed and trained through our Kansas CPOST. Throughout the year all officers attend an inservice training and upon hiring attend a basic full time officers academy.  We have part-time officers that even attend a part-time officer's academy sanctioned through the State CPOST.  Unfortunately it is usually the school administration that make a policy like that due to liberal thinking or a fear that it will cause enrollment to drop or bring about negative public reactions.  It also ups the cost to the University to certify officers as LEO's and that effects student enrollment prices etc.  Tight budgets effect everything nowadays and for some wierd reason public safety always gets hit first until something happens to make administrators realize the mistake.  To make money you gotta spend money and that is basic business.


The school administration will have to be sold on this issue and lots of research into the pros and cons needs to be done and presented.  The very changing times should be enough to make them realize that stuffs getting worse and the Mayberry days of dealing with criminal issues does not necessarily apply to todays society, demographic and economic strife.  I know of a few small Universities here in Kansas that do not have LEO's but instead Security that are not armed, but the schools are in the middle of the city and the PD is real close.  Look at crime stats in your city and area and then review crime on campus, rates of crime and solvability and overall public opnion, student body opinion and basic research.  Be a bulldozer for positve change if it warrants.  Just my opinion and everybody has one...

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

SkoolCop says ...



While many colleges and universities have actual police departments with full police powers as authorized by state laws in their states, many do not.  An example in my state would be UCLA who has the University of California Police Department at UCLA as opposed by USC who has the USC Department of Public Safety.  The former has full police powers while the later (while still armed while on duty) does not.  Many colleges and universities continue to field nothing more than a campus security department.  Shoot, even the El Camino Community College and Riverside Community College Police Departments have full police powers, on and off duty.  Personally, I believe that in this day and age of Columbine and VA Tech type incidents, it is foolish for any college or university not to have a full POST Certified Police Department, regardless of the state.  These two incidents alone is a stark reminder that fecal matter can happen at any time and to any location including a suburban high school and a state university.


The department that I work for is a school district police department for a very large K-12 school district in California.  Under California State Laws, we are a POST Certified Police Department staffed by police officers with full police powers on and off duty and YES.......... WE ARE ARMED!!!!!  We operate separate from the (large) city police department and the (even larger) county sheriff's department.  We regularly train with both departments in addition to the local Cal State University Police Department that also lies within our boundaries.  Our jurisdiction and school district boundaries cover the entire city and county areas as well as a portion of the neighboring city.  We issue parking citations and enforce traffic laws.  We make misdemeanor and felony arrests.......... just like our brothers and sisters in the city and county agencies.  We have five regular high schools with a sixth currently under construction and due to open in 2012 in addition to two additional continuation high schools, seven middle schools and too many elementary schools to sit down and count at the present moment.  We are responsible for enforcing the laws within the school district boundaries and maintaining the safety of students, faculty, staff and all employees of the school district and all it properties.  Each high school has six non-sworn campus security officers, the continuation high schools one each and the middle schools two each.  The district also has one adult school campus which is also staffed by one of these CSO's.  They wear a uniform similar in appearance of the sheriff's department with tan shirts and green slacks.  Their equipment is the same as ours (minus the firearm) including a ballistic vest.  Each high school also has police officer from our department as an assigned SRO and the rest of the department is assigned patrol duties for the rest of the district.


We know that on any given day that we are a minute away from having fecal matter happen.  Our job is to go in quickly and put it down when it happens.  This is why we exist.  This is why we are so equipped.  This is why we train.



Small problem with your comparison of Universities.  California State University systems do have POST certifed police, so do Community Colleges.  USC is not a state university it is a Private university and therefore can only have licensed security officers.  Granted the name can be deceiving, but it is not part of the California State College system. 


 


As for the OP That's probably where the difference is with you in Missouri, State University systems can allow for state certified police force, while private universities can't  and have to use either employed security officers or a contract security company to provide security, either way the liability issues are different.  A certified police officer is protected, provided he does not abuse his authority, under federal law from civil suits.  A security guard is not protected from civil suit at all.  Generally police that do their job right, and someone is injured or lawfully uses deadly force, will be represented by the attorney of his agency.  A security officer causes injury or uses deadly force will not. 


God is a Ninja with a sniper rifle waiting to take you out

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

GIOSTORMUSNRET says ...



SkoolCop says ...



edited.



Small problem with your comparison of Universities.  California State University systems do have POST certifed police, so do Community Colleges.  USC is not a state university it is a Private university and therefore can only have licensed security officers.  Granted the name can be deceiving, but it is not part of the California State College system. 


 edited



I do believe that I mentioned "POST" in my answer to the OP's question and I am aware of the fact that USC does not have POST certification and that they are a PRIVATE institution and not part of the UC (University of California) or CSU (California State University..... not college) systems.  But thank you for your input anyways.

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

We have both sworn LEO's and non-sworn Security Officers. When I need  a sworn Officer on the other side of campus, one arrives within minutes. Would I feel better if armed, YES. I have had firearm training, but several of our SO's have not. I can understand why we do not carry, but I would be willing to go through the added training that it takes. 

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I worked for 30+ years at  the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. Our campus police are just that. They are armed and have full powers of arrest. As far as I know nobody thinks twice about it.  In the city of Philadelphia you would be nuts not to have your security with police powers.


Doc


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
Troll Hunter, "Doc", LEO Supporter.
It's not the falling down, it's the staying down.

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Rate This | Posted about 3 years ago

 

The colleges that are in the area here use certified officers. Instead of working for a town, it is the college. They are required to do the same training as the police or sheriff's deputies. With that being said, they do carry a gun.

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

In Michigan all of the University's have thier own Police Departments. All the LEO's are MCOLES (Michigans version of the POST) certified and through an academy. They are exactly the same as a city, county or state Police Department. Alot of the bigger community colleges are even going to Police Departments.


Sometimes there's Justice and Sometimes there's Just Us.

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

The college I work at in Pennsylvania provides us with what is known as PA Act 235 training. If you pass the training you receive the title of "State Police Special Officer". It allows one ot carry a lethal weapon in the course of public and private security duties. You may carry a firearm, shotgun, revolver or semi-automatic, straight stick, ASP, cuffs and utilize hands on take downs. You have to get OCAT for spray and Taser for a Taser device. As I said, the colleg epays for us to get this, something like $600 or $700 each, but doesn't authorize weapons use on campus. I can't explain it except it might be something about insurance. In the wake of so many school shooting, you would think that they would authorize it to save lives and not put a dollar figure on a human life.

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Rated -2 | Posted over 1 year ago

 

campo8235 says ...



The college I work at in Pennsylvania provides us with what is known as PA Act 235 training. If you pass the training you receive the title of "State Police Special Officer". It allows one ot carry a lethal weapon in the course of public and private security duties. You may carry a firearm, shotgun, revolver or semi-automatic, straight stick, ASP, cuffs and utilize hands on take downs. You have to get OCAT for spray and Taser for a Taser device. As I said, the colleg epays for us to get this, something like $600 or $700 each, but doesn't authorize weapons use on campus. I can't explain it except it might be something about insurance. In the wake of so many school shooting, you would think that they would authorize it to save lives and not put a dollar figure on a human life.


This post is not accurate.....


@ Campo8235, Passing and being certified under PA Act 235 does NOT in any way grant anyone the title of "State Police Special Officer."


Act 235 is nothing more than a training standard for persons that are seeking to carry weapons during the course of PRIVATE employment. Act 235 does not give you a title of Special police officer, just as Act 120 does not grant the title of police officer. Act 120 is a training standart that must be met for all municipal police officers.


Your employer, who is a Private College, is considered a Nonprofit corporation, and under Pennsylvania Law, may petition the court to appointment certain employees as Private Policeman, and on the badge of those policeman must be the title, "Special Officer"


A person does not receive their law enforcement authority until they are "sworn in" by the court of common pleas for the county that their corporation resides in and that police commission be filed with the Prothonotary Office.


I would have assumed that your College Public Safety Department would have trained and educated you in all of this, seeing as you are a sworn law enforcement officer and do have powers of arrest. I for one do not think it reflects poorly on you, but on your department. Any person who has been granted the authority to arrest someone and take away their liberties ought to very well educated about the authority they possess so as not too abuse it.


 I assure you Sir, if you end up in a court proceeding and are asked where your authority derives from and you answer wrong, well, more than likely your case will be dismissed and your agencies credibiltiy in that court will be tarnished.


I have copied and pasted the beginning of PA Title 22 Chapter 5 for you. I also have PA case law concerning private police officers in colleges in PA, if you are interested in it, let me know and I will email it to you.



CHAPTER 5


PRIVATE POLICE


 


Sec.


501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


 


Enactment.  Chapter 5 was added November 15, 1972, P.L.1063, No.271, effective in 90 days.


§ 501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


(a)  Appointment authorized.--Any nonprofit corporation, as defined in 15 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. C (relating to nonprofit corporations) maintaining a cemetery or any buildings or grounds open to the public, or organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, may apply to the court of common pleas of the county of the registered office of the corporation for the appointment of such persons as the corporation may designate to act as policemen for the corporation. The court, upon such application, may by order appoint such persons, or as many of them as it may deem proper and necessary, to be such policemen.


(b)  Oath of office.--Every policeman so appointed shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe the oath required by the sixth article of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. Such oath, together with the decree and order of the court, shall be recorded by the recorder of deeds of each county in which it is intended that such policemen shall act.


(c)  Powers.--Such policemen, so appointed, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in this Commonwealth, in and upon, and in the immediate and adjacent vicinity of, the property of the corporation. Policemen so appointed for a corporation organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in any county in which they may be directed by the corporation to act, and are hereby authorized to arrest persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children or aged persons. The keepers of jails and other places of detention in any county of this Commonwealth shall receive all persons arrested by such policemen for purposes of detention until they are dealt with according to law. Every policeman appointed under this section, when on duty, shall wear a metallic shield with the words "special officer" and the name of the corporation for which appointed inscribed thereon

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

TreeHugger719 says ...



campo8235 says ...



The college I work at in Pennsylvania provides us with what is known as PA Act 235 training. If you pass the training you receive the title of "State Police Special Officer". It allows one ot carry a lethal weapon in the course of public and private security duties. You may carry a firearm, shotgun, revolver or semi-automatic, straight stick, ASP, cuffs and utilize hands on take downs. You have to get OCAT for spray and Taser for a Taser device. As I said, the colleg epays for us to get this, something like $600 or $700 each, but doesn't authorize weapons use on campus. I can't explain it except it might be something about insurance. In the wake of so many school shooting, you would think that they would authorize it to save lives and not put a dollar figure on a human life.


This post is not accurate.....


@ Campo8235, Passing and being certified under PA Act 235 does NOT in any way grant anyone the title of "State Police Special Officer."


Act 235 is nothing more than a training standard for persons that are seeking to carry weapons during the course of PRIVATE employment. Act 235 does not give you a title of Special police officer, just as Act 120 does not grant the title of police officer. Act 120 is a training standart that must be met for all municipal police officers.


Your employer, who is a Private College, is considered a Nonprofit corporation, and under Pennsylvania Law, may petition the court to appointment certain employees as Private Policeman, and on the badge of those policeman must be the title, "Special Officer"


A person does not receive their law enforcement authority until they are "sworn in" by the court of common pleas for the county that their corporation resides in and that police commission be filed with the Prothonotary Office.


I would have assumed that your College Public Safety Department would have trained and educated you in all of this, seeing as you are a sworn law enforcement officer and do have powers of arrest. I for one do not think it reflects poorly on you, but on your department. Any person who has been granted the authority to arrest someone and take away their liberties ought to very well educated about the authority they possess so as not too abuse it.


 I assure you Sir, if you end up in a court proceeding and are asked where your authority derives from and you answer wrong, well, more than likely your case will be dismissed and your agencies credibiltiy in that court will be tarnished.


I have copied and pasted the beginning of PA Title 22 Chapter 5 for you. I also have PA case law concerning private police officers in colleges in PA, if you are interested in it, let me know and I will email it to you.



CHAPTER 5


PRIVATE POLICE


 


Sec.


501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


 


Enactment.  Chapter 5 was added November 15, 1972, P.L.1063, No.271, effective in 90 days.


§ 501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


(a)  Appointment authorized.--Any nonprofit corporation, as defined in 15 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. C (relating to nonprofit corporations) maintaining a cemetery or any buildings or grounds open to the public, or organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, may apply to the court of common pleas of the county of the registered office of the corporation for the appointment of such persons as the corporation may designate to act as policemen for the corporation. The court, upon such application, may by order appoint such persons, or as many of them as it may deem proper and necessary, to be such policemen.


(b)  Oath of office.--Every policeman so appointed shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe the oath required by the sixth article of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. Such oath, together with the decree and order of the court, shall be recorded by the recorder of deeds of each county in which it is intended that such policemen shall act.


(c)  Powers.--Such policemen, so appointed, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in this Commonwealth, in and upon, and in the immediate and adjacent vicinity of, the property of the corporation. Policemen so appointed for a corporation organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in any county in which they may be directed by the corporation to act, and are hereby authorized to arrest persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children or aged persons. The keepers of jails and other places of detention in any county of this Commonwealth shall receive all persons arrested by such policemen for purposes of detention until they are dealt with according to law. Every policeman appointed under this section, when on duty, shall wear a metallic shield with the words "special officer" and the name of the corporation for which appointed inscribed thereon


TreeHugger,


    I was informed by the gentleman who wrote Act 235, Keith Gebler (sp?), back in the '70's that  when you passed the state's required training that since the PA State Police was hte accrediting agency you received the title of "Agent" on your card, but you were in fact a special officer under the PSP. I don't know how other interpret the Act and how it reads, but that's what the man said. I understand Section 501, this usually applies to SPCA cops and Conrail cops as far as I know. All I can say is that when I was first fired, our shields had both the words "security" and "police" on them, much like the Air Force security police badges. Out marked patrol vehicles had red lights and audible systems. As I said, to this day we still write citations, for not only policy violations, but also moving violations (stop signs, not stopping for pedestrians, etc.) I did go to the very school I now work at for Criminal Justice, and do understand the laws. I carry both Title 18 (crimes code) and 75 (vehicle code) in my duty bag everyday. All I know is I will do as I'm told to do so long as it's not in direct violation of any law I know. I was also told by a judge who teaches at the school that since we don't have Act 120 (municipal police training, similar to POST) we are not allowed to call ourselves law enforcement officers. He did say that since we are there to keep the peace and enforce good social order that we would be considered Peace Officers under PA state law in his opinion.


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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

campo35 says ...



TreeHugger719 says ...



campo8235 says ...



The college I work at in Pennsylvania provides us with what is known as PA Act 235 training. If you pass the training you receive the title of "State Police Special Officer". It allows one ot carry a lethal weapon in the course of public and private security duties. You may carry a firearm, shotgun, revolver or semi-automatic, straight stick, ASP, cuffs and utilize hands on take downs. You have to get OCAT for spray and Taser for a Taser device. As I said, the colleg epays for us to get this, something like $600 or $700 each, but doesn't authorize weapons use on campus. I can't explain it except it might be something about insurance. In the wake of so many school shooting, you would think that they would authorize it to save lives and not put a dollar figure on a human life.


This post is not accurate.....


@ Campo8235, Passing and being certified under PA Act 235 does NOT in any way grant anyone the title of "State Police Special Officer."


Act 235 is nothing more than a training standard for persons that are seeking to carry weapons during the course of PRIVATE employment. Act 235 does not give you a title of Special police officer, just as Act 120 does not grant the title of police officer. Act 120 is a training standart that must be met for all municipal police officers.


Your employer, who is a Private College, is considered a Nonprofit corporation, and under Pennsylvania Law, may petition the court to appointment certain employees as Private Policeman, and on the badge of those policeman must be the title, "Special Officer"


A person does not receive their law enforcement authority until they are "sworn in" by the court of common pleas for the county that their corporation resides in and that police commission be filed with the Prothonotary Office.


I would have assumed that your College Public Safety Department would have trained and educated you in all of this, seeing as you are a sworn law enforcement officer and do have powers of arrest. I for one do not think it reflects poorly on you, but on your department. Any person who has been granted the authority to arrest someone and take away their liberties ought to very well educated about the authority they possess so as not too abuse it.


 I assure you Sir, if you end up in a court proceeding and are asked where your authority derives from and you answer wrong, well, more than likely your case will be dismissed and your agencies credibiltiy in that court will be tarnished.


I have copied and pasted the beginning of PA Title 22 Chapter 5 for you. I also have PA case law concerning private police officers in colleges in PA, if you are interested in it, let me know and I will email it to you.



CHAPTER 5


PRIVATE POLICE


 


Sec.


501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


 


Enactment.  Chapter 5 was added November 15, 1972, P.L.1063, No.271, effective in 90 days.


§ 501.  Appointment by nonprofit corporations.


(a)  Appointment authorized.--Any nonprofit corporation, as defined in 15 Pa.C.S. Pt. II Subpt. C (relating to nonprofit corporations) maintaining a cemetery or any buildings or grounds open to the public, or organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, may apply to the court of common pleas of the county of the registered office of the corporation for the appointment of such persons as the corporation may designate to act as policemen for the corporation. The court, upon such application, may by order appoint such persons, or as many of them as it may deem proper and necessary, to be such policemen.


(b)  Oath of office.--Every policeman so appointed shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe the oath required by the sixth article of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. Such oath, together with the decree and order of the court, shall be recorded by the recorder of deeds of each county in which it is intended that such policemen shall act.


(c)  Powers.--Such policemen, so appointed, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in this Commonwealth, in and upon, and in the immediate and adjacent vicinity of, the property of the corporation. Policemen so appointed for a corporation organized for the prevention of cruelty to children or aged persons, or one or more of such purposes, shall severally possess and exercise all the powers of a police officer in any county in which they may be directed by the corporation to act, and are hereby authorized to arrest persons for the commission of any offense of cruelty to children or aged persons. The keepers of jails and other places of detention in any county of this Commonwealth shall receive all persons arrested by such policemen for purposes of detention until they are dealt with according to law. Every policeman appointed under this section, when on duty, shall wear a metallic shield with the words "special officer" and the name of the corporation for which appointed inscribed thereon


TreeHugger,


    I was informed by the gentleman who wrote Act 235, Keith Gebler (sp?), back in the '70's that  when you passed the state's required training that since the PA State Police was hte accrediting agency you received the title of "Agent" on your card, but you were in fact a special officer under the PSP. I don't know how other interpret the Act and how it reads, but that's what the man said. I understand Section 501, this usually applies to SPCA cops and Conrail cops as far as I know. All I can say is that when I was first fired, our shields had both the words "security" and "police" on them, much like the Air Force security police badges. Out marked patrol vehicles had red lights and audible systems. As I said, to this day we still write citations, for not only policy violations, but also moving violations (stop signs, not stopping for pedestrians, etc.) I did go to the very school I now work at for Criminal Justice, and do understand the laws. I carry both Title 18 (crimes code) and 75 (vehicle code) in my duty bag everyday. All I know is I will do as I'm told to do so long as it's not in direct violation of any law I know. I was also told by a judge who teaches at the school that since we don't have Act 120 (municipal police training, similar to POST) we are not allowed to call ourselves law enforcement officers. He did say that since we are there to keep the peace and enforce good social order that we would be considered Peace Officers under PA state law in his opinion.



I never stated anywhere in my post that you were NOT authorized to enforce Title 18 or 75. Quite the contrary, I stated that you do possess the powers of arrest, as the statute you are commissioned under states you are a policeman and SEVERALLY possess all the powers thereof.


All I stated is that ACT 235 does NOT grant you the title of anything to do with police. Look on your ACT 235 card, it states Certifed Agent. Title 22 is where you derive your authority from and where your "Peace Officer" status comes from, not ACT 235. If you were an armed guard working on an Armored car, yes you would be armed, but you would not have the law enforcement authority that you have as a sworn officer at your college. That is because it is your status as a Private Policeman at the college working under Title 22 that makes you a special police officer, NOT 235.   Ask your Chief I am sure he will tell you that you are operating under that statute, as every private university in Pennsylvania that has sworn officers is using that statute.


Believe me when I tell you I am not trying to belittle or berate you. I use to be a sworn officer under that statute and I used to teach this. I am only trying to help you, as I feel the field of college policing at private colleges needs good officers who are properly INFORMED and trainied to do their jobs.


Only trying to help you bro, lower your guard and take a little advice from a more experienced officer who has been there before.


 


P.S. If you dont mind me asking, what College do you work at? You can PM it to me if you dont want to put it on here. I only ask becasue I know a lot of the folks and Chiefs who work at a lot of private colleges in Pennsylvania and would love to bring some better training your guys way.