Aug 122010
 
Authors: Rachel Childs

_Correction: Information about which CSUPD employees monitor residence halls was incorrect. The error has been corrected. _

The sight of a police officer sometimes strikes fear in young adults. CSU police officers try not to elicit that kind of reaction.

While patrolling campus and residence halls and scouring Old Town, Fort Collins for crime and mischief, the CSU Police Department’s officers look to build meaningful relationships with the entire community.

“We really are ambassadors, and we are very visible ambassadors to the university, to the public at large and to visitors,” said Cpl. Scott Anthony.

CSUPD began as a parking program under former CU-Boulder patrolman Marvin Wayne Teegarden. The department has grown during the last 55 years into a full-service, state-accredited police department that employs more than 40 officers.

The department strives to include itself in the CSU community and its police officers are assigned to specific residence halls in order to maintain peace within the buildings.

Anthony also supervises the Campus Service Officers program. The individuals who take part in the program staff services like Safe Walk.

“We truly believe in a community-oriented style of policing,” Anthony said.

Located at Green Hall on the north side of campus, CSUPD is responsible for campus safety and crime prevention.

Police will intervene in hall conflicts that involve drugs, alcohol or medical emergencies. Otherwise they are available to answer questions and check in on student well-being.

“The officers have direct relationships with the RAs,” said Emily Seems, Corbett Hall residence director. “They really work very closely together on student concerns.”

The program also coordinates educational activities with the hopes that it will foster positive relationships between students and police.

“We absolutely support the overall academic mission of the university,” Anthony said.

Events such as Ask-a-Cop invite students and faculty to sit and chat with officers about what they do and how they handle certain situations.

An officer is also provided periodically to the Lory Student Center iBox to answer questions.

“I know the students really appreciate that, and I know the officers do too,” Anthony said.

Crime prevention plays into much of what CSUPD tries to teach, especially on issues like theft.

More than $40,000 worth of technology and personal items were burgled from academic buildings last year that left doors unlocked. Simply locking doors and hiding valuable belongings, Anthony said, can prevent smaller-scale theft.

The Women’s Program also utilizes CSUPD’s services to assist sexual assault survivors. Officers respond to situations brought to them by the Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team.

“I think it’s critical, because if survivors want to seek justice within a formalized setting, then it’s important to have a good relationship with the police department,” said Monica Collins, coordinator for the Sexual Assault Education program.

Officers are also commissioned to Fort Collins Police Services and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, which allows them to assist with off-campus activities.

CSUPD currently has an agreement to patrol Old Town during night hours as a way of cracking down on traffic and drunk driving.

Anthony also emphasizes that CSUPD appreciates the help community members give. Questions and tips are crucial in keeping officers active.

“Many times that turns into a presentation or training opportunity for us,” Anthony said.

Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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