Attitudes of campus students and campus police personnel toward campus law enforcement at UW-Stout
Revels, Wesley D.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
Benkowski, Joseph A.
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College and university campuses were traditionally held to be sanctuaries of high learning where violations of university policy were commonly judged and punished by the institution’s administration. The increased outbreaks of campus violence on many campuses during the late 1960’s and the crime trends throughout the United States in general forced colleges and universities to begin to reexamine the safety and security needs of their students, faculty and visitors. Technological, cultural and economic changes in the world directly influenced many of the problems confronting the administrators. Today, college and university law enforcement agencies have many of the same concerns and problems of other law enforcement agencies. Violent crimes, disruptive behavior and property damage can and does occur in their jurisdiction (Neilsen, Pander and Powell 1994). Colleges have discovered the need for and have created enforcement agencies made up of sworn law enforcement officers. The problem of developing an effective and meaningful law enforcement agency is a problem not to be taken lightly. Campus law enforcement officers are responsible for the safety and protection of a community within a community. The officers must perform their duties and enforce the laws in a manner consistent with that of the Constitution. The campus law enforcement officers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of a safe environment for all that choose to utilize the university. The purpose of this study is to compare the attitudes of students and police officers toward campus law enforcement at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. It is hoped that the information gathered in this study can assist the students, police officers and administration in identifying some of the problem and concerns expressed by the participants. Creating a safe environment on a college campus is of the utmost importance. In most instances this is the first time that these young students will be living on their own. Their parents do not want them to be victims of crime. With this in mind the following questions are asked: Where should the campus police focus their attention and resources? What do students and police officers perceive as the present and future function of campus law enforcement? What services and programs are needed to enhance the effectiveness of the police department? Is there communication between campus law enforcement and the students? Do the students feel comfortable going to the police officers when they need assistance and is there a feeling of security on the campus?