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Jurisdictional Considerations Among Campus Police Officers Under the Clery Act

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 33 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2003 Pages: 23-26
Taiping Ho Ph.D.; Michael P. Brown Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2003
4 pages
This article discusses several extrajurisdictional issues that may arise when campus police officers perform their duties under the rules and regulations of the Clery Act, the Federal law originally known as the Campus Security Act.
The Clery Act does not restrict campus policing activities and law enforcement functions to campus boundaries. Instead, it requires campus police to monitor and record criminal activity in off-campus student organizations and housing facilities. In addition, the Clery Act requires campus police departments to institute a policy that addresses the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs both on and off campus. The Clery Act broadly defines the jurisdiction of campus policing to include not only the basic premises of the university-owned, on-campus property, but also any building or property owned or controlled by the university for the purposes of education and recreation. The Clery Act also indicates that the geographic jurisdiction of campus police includes thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities that are within the campus or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The requirements of the Clery Act, however, conflict with some State legal mandates that do not extend jurisdictional authority of campus police officers into off-campus buildings or public property. In order to overcome legal obstacles to the extrajurisdictional authority of campus police, some States may have to reconsider alternative mechanisms that assist campus law enforcement in meeting the requirements of the Clery Act. One such alternative is a mutual-aid agreement, which is an interagency agreement with the local police department that clarifies the authority of campus police to effect arrests off campus and assist cooperating police departments in providing a safe and secure environment. Another mechanism is the use of "citizen's arrest" powers by campus police officers. Although controversial, this rationale for campus police officers to make off-campus arrests has legal grounds in English common law. 14 references