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Establishing Appropriate Staffing Levels for Campus Public Safety Departments

NCJ Number
Sue Woolfenden, Q.P.M., Ph.D.; Bill Stevenson, Ph.D.
Date Published
July 2011
28 pages
This report examines how campus public safety department staffing levels are actually determined; what agencies are able to achieve using the number of staff available to them; what challenges they face in this effort; and whether there is potential for developing a means of determining appropriate staffing levels for campus public safety, with attention to the implementation or maintenance of a community-oriented policing mission.
The study first provides an overview of what is known about staffing for campus public safety departments (CPSDs). This addresses how the following variables influence CPSD staffing: characteristics of the institution, community variables, and the physical characteristics of the institution's facilities and grounds. An examination of how CPSD characteristics influence staffing addresses security personnel, student employees who supplement CPSD staffing levels, and how staff are recruited and retained. Another section addresses how community-oriented policing programs might influence staffing. Attention is given to community policing in a campus setting, factors that inhibit CPSD community-oriented policing programs, and the geographic assignment of officers. In reviewing current approaches to determining staffing for CPSDs, the report concludes that the majority of CPSDs have little or no control over their staffing levels, since in most cases this is determined solely or mainly by budget considerations. This report discusses methods that can be used to determine staffing levels for community-oriented policing by CPSDs within budget constraints. This report relied on a survey of CPSDs in order to identify relevant issues and current practices in relation to staffing. 4 figures, 1 table, and 25 references