BYU Education & Law Journal


campus police officers, higher education law enforcement, balancing roles


The role of campus police officers at public institutions of higher education is multifaceted and not so clearly defined. Campus police officers are there to enforce the law, protect the students, and ensure campus safety. However, these officers also have to manage the responsibilities and privileges that come with holding the dual role as both a law enforcement officer and a school official. For example, while police officers at these institutions carry out many traditional police functions such as investigating criminal offenses, making arrests, and enforcing the law; they often also have additional responsibilities that fall outside of those typical law enforcement duties, such as serving on a college or university’s Threat Assessment Team or internal disciplinary council. As a result, campus police officers and departments often have to make difficult judgement calls when it comes to balancing this functional dual role. Minimal guidance exists to assist these officers, which further exacerbates the issue.