OR Senate approves armed UO police

4/19/2011: From Saul Hubbard in the RG. The vote was pretty much split on party lines: Democrats for, Republicans against. When the Oregon Republicans vote as a block against a law and order bill because they think it it in an unconscionable infringement on the liberties of those uppity pinko hippie pot smoking college students and professors down in Eugene, a thoughtful person would pause, and ask if pushing this legislation so hard was really a good idea:

“It will permit the department and its officers to enforce not only criminal laws that are on the books in Oregon but also any Board (of Higher Education) or university administrative rules,” added Prozanski in his explanation of the bill.

Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, took issue with the concept of police departments being created and held accountable by an appointed — not elected — board. Members of the state Board of Higher Education are appointed by the governor, subject to Senate approval.

That’s unlike any other law enforcement arrangement in the state of Oregon, he said.
Boquist added that allowing university police departments to enforce any administrative rule and policy established by the board or a university would set a dangerous precedent.

This is the only bill President Lariviere and his legislative VP Michael Redding managed to get through the Senate this session. Pushing it through without consulting the students and with a liars’ budget* behind it destroyed the students’ trust in Lariviere, which contributed to decisions by Amelie Rousseau and the Oregon Student’s Association to fight his new partnership. What a disaster. The OSA is still fighting the police bill in the House. Good for them. And good for Senator Boquist for calling Prozanski out on this insanity.

* A Liars’ Budget is the spreadsheet you make up to justify the decision you’ve already made – or so the economists tell me.

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10 Responses to OR Senate approves armed UO police

  1. Anonymous says:

    OSA’s opposition to the New Partnership is not related to the police bill- it’s about political power. A local board would make OSA irrelevent. Why would students need to pay a $112,000 contract for a lobbying organization when the Legislature is no longer the primary decision makers for UO funding and governance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yup, and the police bill bought the OSA a guarantee of years more of that support from UO students. They will mine this seam for years.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If the students are going to stop this insane bill from passing they will need to take the fight straight to Salem. Campus cops mean higher tuition for a department that has had a 110% increase in budget and that umber will only increase and will only cost the students more money in the end. Didn’t U of O formerly contract with Eugene Police for services? How much was that compared with what it will cost to have campus cops? God forbid anyone working late at night is mistaken for a thief if this bill passes.

  4. hitch says:

    My gift is the obvious. This morning a RG editorial wrote about how much crime there is on campus’ around the country and how few Colleges and Universities still have unarmed campus safety offices. But wait – what does the RG mean? Do schools with armed police experience a higher crime rates? The paper unwittingly begs the question; Does arming a campus safety act as a deterrent to campus crime? The RG was quick to name the Virginia Tech incident, but will arming DPS make one individual less frustrated, alienated, and mentally ill? Or, does having an armed police force only draw those mad individuals out to where they can be martyred in “death by cop” and the rest of us – collateral damage.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Think we have budget problems now? Wait until someone sues the school for civil rights violations or excessive force or false arrest. Search google for campus police lawsuit and see what you get. Complaints on any of those levels mean time and money and lots of both. Can public safety stop cars for running lights or similar things? If not just wait until they become police and you will see students and faculty getting pulled over so public safety can add to the coffers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You are all so misinformed. Amelie is a joke.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think the problem with this entire situation is that many people have no idea why DPS is trying to become a police force. It isn’t so that they can be armed. Rather it is so that they are able to fully do their jobs instead of having to work around the bureaucratic bullshit that they have to do now. If anyone has ever worked WITH DPS, they fully advocate for this measure to be passed. Many times situations arise that DPS needs to take certain actions and aren’t allowed to because they are not police officers. It wouldn’t change much in the lives of students, but overall it allows for the campus to be safer from unwanted individuals who enter campus.
    Even mentioning the New Partnership is unrelated.
    Saul needs to do some more research before he is making wild claims about what he knows to be right.

  8. UO Matters. says:

    This “unwanted individuals” and “bad characters” bit has been the consistent message from DPS. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Crime is down nationally. down in Eugene, and down on campus to the extent a trend can be measured, given the very small number of dangerous incidents.

    DPS is just trying to justify more funding and money for themselves. SB405 will give the university police officers a huge perk: The right to retire 5 years early with full PERS benefits. No wonder they are posting arguments like the one above all over the web.

  9. Anonymous says:

    One of the unspoken reasons for the bill is probably to keep students with concealed handgun licenses from carrying on campus. Currently, Oregon law allows people with CHLs to carry in almost any public building (no exception for campuses), but UO administrative rules make that a strict no-no. By allowing sworn cops to enforce state statutes and UO rules, they could bypass that whole inconvenient thing about state law superseding university rules.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Save money and use an established police depart like the EPD. Stop wasting our money and time. Do you know that a law is already on the books that lets all OUS schools hire cops? Google is amazing. All the time and money being poured into this is a waste since there is a law in existance now that will let them hire cops at any time they choose. Let the Orgon government address more serious issues and stop wasting time!!