Working group to set policies for campus police department

The University has established a working group to create fair policies for the incoming campus police department following the Board of Education’s approval of the force earlier this month.

University faculty, ASUO and other affiliates make up the University of Oregon Police Department Complaint Resolution Working Group, which has officially entered its second phase of planning.

The group’s current mission is to create a process that any filed complaint against the police force would go through, as well as a committee to oversee that complaint. Working group chair Brian Smith, the assistant vice president for administration, hopes the group will create a way for the community to be a part of the police transition.

“We’re working to culturally align the community with the creation of this force,” Smith said. “We started with four different models that we gave to President Lariviere.”

The committee to be formed will be asked to look into complaints filed against the new police force.

“It will encompass any complaints filed, and anyone who sits on the committee will be tasked with reviewing these complaints,”

On August 18th, they submitted their first proposal to President Lariviere. Now, with new member Katie Taylor, ASUO Vice President is pushing for an unbiased process that each complaint would go through.

“This Committee would have the right to prompt further investigations if they find that the campus police did an insufficient job,” ASUO Communications Director Andrew Rogers said in a press release.

Taylor’s fear is that officers will not be held accountable should an issue arise.

“My hope is that the outcome of this working group is to be able to investigate and deal with complaints in a way that holds the police department accountable,” Taylor said. “It has to be in a way is separate from the police department, and unbiased.”

However, that is only one portion of the group’s activities.

“The group is responsible for determining the size, how people would be appointed, who should be recommended to the president, terms of the office and those kinds of things,” Smith said.

It is this group that brings the community into the process of creating a police force. With members who are a part of various areas of faculty, four student members and people from within DPS, the group represents a large area of the community.

“I think it’s important that we have this dialogue,” Taylor said. “The faculty and students are helping spread the word and engaging the large campus community in these decisions.”

We definitely are missing some groups and certain voices — but we are doing our best to bring the community into it.”

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