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U of Minnesota Campus Police Come Under Scrutiny

February 15, 2022

A University of Minnesota campus safety committee is calling on the institution to stop deploying campus police to assist local and state law enforcement at off-campus protests against police brutality, the Star Tribune reported. The university police force is presently part of a countywide group of law enforcement agencies that support one another when necessary.

The committee, created by university president Joan Gabel, also wants university leaders to evaluate the weapons campus police use and consider “less lethal” alternatives. “There’s no question that we all want a safe campus environment, but we want it to be safe in every sense of the word,” Gabel told the university’s Board of Regents Friday.

Students began scrutinizing campus police after Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd in 2020, with some students calling on the university’s police force to be disarmed and subjected to citizen oversight, the Star Tribune reported. The Board of Regents chair, Ken Powell, told committee leaders that the university should be clear about what campus police do. “The university has a very highly trained, very skillful and very diligent force who kind of know their role and really do it well,” Powell said. “That is not always well understood or well communicated as broadly as it should be.”

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