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UC Releases Comprehensive Report of University Police Department


The Exiger report serves as a roadmap for change to reform the UC Police. Recommendations to improve UCPD include enhanced training, policies to prevent bias, increased diversity, and establishment of Use of Force and citizen complaint review processes, among others.

Date: 6/7/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Michele Ralston
Phone: (513) 556-5663

UC ingot  
The University of Cincinnati today released a comprehensive report about its police department (UPCD). The report includes 14 Fundamental Findings with 25 corresponding recommendations needed to establish a foundation necessary for reform to develop UCPD into a national model for urban campus policing. 

The University proactively hired Exiger, the nationally renowned police-monitoring firm, on Feb 1 to conduct an extensive audit of UCPD.

UC President Santa J. Ono called for an exhaustive review of UCPD following the July 19, 2015 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose. Vice President for Safety and Reform Robin Engel coordinated the review, in consultation with the University of Cincinnati Community Advisory Council (CAC), chaired by the Honorable Judge John West, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

“The report is comprehensive and sets forth a road map for continuous improvement of the UC Police Department. The university is fully committed to taking the necessary steps to become a national model for campus safety,” said UC President Santa J. Ono. 

Exiger’s audit included an in-depth assessment of all UCPD policies, procedures and practices, a review of data and data collection methods and interviews with UC students, faculty, staff, administrators, UC Police and Cincinnati Police officers, community residents and members of UC’s Safety and Reform Community Advisory Council (CAC).

Exiger utilized a diverse 12-member team of policing experts, led by Jeff Schlanger, managing director and president of Exiger’s Advisory Group and former deputy primary monitor for the Los Angeles Police Department consent decree, to conduct a detailed audit of the UCPD. Other team members include Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and co-chair of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and Roberto Villaseñor, chief of the Tuscon Police Department who also served as a member of Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. 

“The university recognized that change was needed and has been working since the events of July 19 to reform the UCPD and rebuild trust with the community,” said Engel. “We told Exiger that we wanted to become the best and this report will help get us there. It serves as a blueprint to build a system of accountability and oversight to transform the department into a national model for voluntary reform and urban campus policing.” 

“This report confirms that a better future is ahead,” added Engel. 
 
Key recommendations included in the report needed to transform the UCPD include: 
Adopt a mission statement to serve as a foundation for on-going reform efforts. 
Establish internal audit service to audit the department and develop an annual audit plan.
Develop a monitoring function to track reform efforts and ensure they are implemented. 
Update policies, including training policies and procedures, to reflect campus law enforcement best practices and create an on-going review process.
Traffic and pedestrian stops should not be used as a crime fighting tool by UCPD. 
Office of Safety and Reform should continue to collect and analyze all relevant stop data
UCPD should fully implement a policy on biased policing, develop curriculum on the biased policing policy, institute training on the policy and include implicit bias training.
Draft and implement a single Use of Force Policy that outlines when force is permitted. The policy should emphasize de-escalation.
Consider providing UCPD officers CEDs (tasers).
UCPD should update hiring policies to attract a diverse pool of candidates throughout the recruitment process.
Develop a Complaint Initiation Procedure.
Integrate data collection systems into one data base to allow UCPD to search, review and analyze data.

“With proper training, equipment and technology UCPD will be best positioned to serve the diverse needs of our community,” said James L. Whalen, director of public safety at UC. “Training our police officers on how to engage in effective, fair and equitable policing guided by evidence-based practices using the least intrusive means possible is paramount.”

“We have been engaging members of the UC and Cincinnati communities throughout our reform efforts to rebuild trust and will continue to do so as we move forward,” said S. Gregory Baker, UC’s director of police community relations.  “This report will allow us to heighten our focus on community oriented policing and be more responsive to community concerns and issues so that we can provide a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, visitors and community members.”

According to Exiger’s final report, UC has already been working to implement many of the recommended reforms.

The hiring last week of Anthony Carter, chief of police, and Maris Herold, assistant chief of police, is the latest action taken by the university as part of its reform efforts. Carter and Herold complete the university’s reform team, which will lead efforts to implement recommendations outlined in Exiger’s report.

Other reform efforts include establishment of the Safety and Reform Community Advisory Council (CAC), which played an integral part in the development of the RFP for the Exiger review and the selection process. The CAC began meeting in October of last year. That same month all UC police officers received fair and impartial policing training. In August of 2015, UC assembled a team of experts to lead safety and reform efforts and UC Police implemented an Early Warning System, which is used to flag patterns of officer behavior, such as use of force, for review. Contact cards have also been implemented to track the gender and race of individuals involved in policing instances with UCPD, and direct field supervision has been added.

To view a copy of the final report, click here