FAQ Campus Safety & Reform of UC Police
- What progress has been made to change the UC Police Department since the shooting death of Samuel DuBose? The university is committed to transparency, fairness and change. New leadership has been appointed including a Vice President for Safety & Reform, Director of Police Community Relations, Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police and Assistant Chief of Police. A team of nationally renowned policing experts conducted an exhaustive review of the UC Police Department (UCPD) and provided a detailed plan outlining needed reforms. The university is now hiring an external monitor to oversee the reform efforts and ensure changes are implemented. Police officers are receiving additional training and recruiting efforts are underway to better diversify the department.
- Are UC Police Officers still patrolling off-campus? UC Police still engage in visibility patrols but do not conduct traffic stops unless there is a threat to safety. For example, if someone was driving the wrong way down a one-way street, UC Police would conduct a traffic stop to prevent harm to others.
- How has UC changed its policing practices? UC Police have implemented a service-driven mission with an emphasis on fair and impartial policing and community engagement. UC Policing is based on six principles: transparency, legitimacy, accountability, fairness, collaboration and innovation. Results from the change in policing philosophy are evident. In the seven months prior to the shooting death of Samuel Dubose (Jan 1- July31, 2015), UCPD made 230 arrests and issued 935 citations. During that same time period in 2016, UCPD officers arrested 72 individuals (a 70 percent decrease) and cited 43 individuals (a 95 percent decrease). Even with this change, crime continued to decrease during this time period. In the approximate ½ mile surrounding campus, property crime was reduced 14% and violent crime reduced 29%. This demonstrates that police strategies can be simultaneously effective at reducing crime, and fair and impartial toward citizens.
- How can you ensure UC Police treat everyone fairly? As stated above, UCPD has implemented a service-driven mission with an emphasis on community engagement. All officers have completed implicit bias training and are receiving training on constitutional policing, data driven/evidenced based policing, community policing, and de-escalation training. Additionally, the department began using contact cards to track the gender and race of individuals involved in encounters with police. This information is regularly reviewed and monitored. An Early Warning System, which is used to flag patterns of officer behavior, such as use of force, is also used to track officer performance.
- How do you plan to diversify the police department? UCPD recently hired four underrepresented minority police officers, including Chief of Police Anthony Carter. All hires will be conducted in phases to ensure proper training and supervision. The department is now reviewing applications for open positions and plans to launch a targeted marketing campaign after the first of the year to recruit additional officers. Additionally, the UCPD has developed an apprentice program, which allows individuals to work for the department while they attend the police academy.
- What work has been done to rebuild trust with the community? In October 2015 the university established the Safety & Reform Community Advisory Council (CAC) to provide community input regarding reform efforts of the UCPD. The 19-member board, chair by retired Judge John A. West and comprised of faith, civic and community leaders as well as UC faculty, students and staff, is designed to bring together diverse perspectives to ensure meaningful and sustained transformation of the UCPD and restore trust with the community. Members of the CAC work closely with UC’s Director of Police Community Relations, S. Gregory Baker, and Vice President for Safety and Reform, Robin Engel, PhD. Two university-wide surveys, four public forums and dozens of invited meetings and presentations have been given throughout the past year to engage, inform and listen to members of the UC and Cincinnati communities.
- Is the UC area safe? The safety of all members of the UC Community is of the highest priority. The Department of Public Safety has been working for several years with community partners to reduce crime. Crime off-campus is at a 15-year low. Since 2006 alone, violent crime (e.g., robbery or assault) has been reduced by 73- percent and property crime (e.g., theft or burglary) has decreased by 53 percent. The off-campus reductions are attributed to enhanced street lighting, safety services such as NightRide, educational outreach, strategic police patrols, and community-police partnerships among others.
- Will people gather, rally or protest on campus? Leading up to and during the trial of former UC officer Ray Tensing, people may choose to gather and express their concerns. Several protests have occurred on campus over the past year, and all have been peaceful gatherings that encourage individual and collective expression and respectful, civil discourse. UC Public Safety respects all viewpoints and will work to protect everyone, including protesters. Our goal is to maintain a safe environment while carefully safeguarding the constitutional rights of all.
- Will UC close during the trial or if there are protestors on campus? UC will not preemptively close before, during or after the trial. The university will close only if there is an immediate threat to public safety. If the university must close, the campus community will be notified via the emergency voice notification system, test message, email, electronic signage boards, website and social media.
For more detailed information, visit www.uc.edu/safety-reform.