How universities are moving to reform campus police

"If we start from scratch, what does that look like?" UC Davis chancellor asks

College and university leaders will seek input from faculty and students to reform campus police departments as George Floyd’s death continues to fuel nationwide protests against racism and inequality.

At Binghamton University in New York, students, faculty and staff will form a Campus Citizens Review Board to update its police department’s policies and procedures, President Harvey Stenger said in a statement.

And a portion of the Binghamton University Police Department’s funding will be reallocated to other emergency-related campus services, such as mental health care, Stenger said.

The university also supports state and federal police reform legislation proposed in New York state and by the NAACP.

“Not only do we support these calls for change, but our campus will take action on them by immediately applying them to our police department and personnel,” Stenger said.

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Binghamton is also establishing a George Floyd Memorial Scholarship—with a starting endowment of $1.5 million—to “support future African American leaders who seek racial justice and endeavor to make a positive impact on the world.”

The scholarship will become a fundraising priority for the university, which plans to support underrepresented graduate students further by reallocating $200,000 to the annual budget for the school’s Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships.

Coast-to-coast campus police reform

At UC Davis In California, a task force comprising students, faculty and staff will join a task force to reassess the role of policing in an educational environment, Chancellor Gary S. May announced.

The Next Generation Reforms to Advance Campus Safety Task Force will consider how campus police should interact with the community and how they will be held accountable—even asking “If we start from scratch, what does that look like?” May said in a statement

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“As law enforcement departments across the country are scrutinized—and justly so—for how they respond to and interact with others, I’m calling on our community to come together and examine what we can do to improve our community policing,” May said.

Renetta Tull, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Kevin Johnson, dean of the School of Law, will lead the task force.

“I encourage the task force to seek out members of our community who represent the most critical views of policing, as well as those who have positive associations,” May said. “We must hear from people with a variety of opinions to develop common ground on which to build.”

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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