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Old 11-17-2011, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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I am starting this thread in light of what happened at PSU. I really donít know what information is legally supposed to go to other authorities besides the campus police departments. I do not have a legal background.

My assumption is that it is a conflict of interest to report cases (like this one) to outside authorities. Our campus police are paid by the institution and therefore would lean towards protecting the institution from scandal. I guess you could say the same about any corporationís private security force. Maybe I terribly wrong and they do have to report everything to the appropriate outside agencies? I also presume that reporting laws vary from state to state.

I hope that somebody jumps in here and either sets me straight or points out problems that we have with our reporting laws.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:46 PM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,722,131 times
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Penn State scandal puts campus police in spotlight - Boston.com

Another difference particular to Penn State: because of a state law and its unusual status as a "state related" but not fully public institution, university police records are not open to the public, as municipal police reports would be.

Indeed, perhaps the biggest difference is campus police work for institutions -- not elected officials and taxpayers -- and often report their findings into parallel campus judicial systems that are typically set up to handle student infractions.

And therein lie inevitable concerns that campus police can be sucked into a culture that prefers to handle matters in-house and sweep embarrassing crimes under the rug.

I think that university police forces should be dismantled, and they should be labeled as "Campus Security" not actual police officers. Police officers should be public paid employees. That would eliminate much of the confusion regarding reporting crimes, and the tendency for university police to deflect any negative crimes away from the university. I don't think that they are impartial.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,415 posts, read 11,725,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
Penn State scandal puts campus police in spotlight - Boston.com

Another difference particular to Penn State: because of a state law and its unusual status as a "state related" but not fully public institution, university police records are not open to the public, as municipal police reports would be.

Indeed, perhaps the biggest difference is campus police work for institutions -- not elected officials and taxpayers -- and often report their findings into parallel campus judicial systems that are typically set up to handle student infractions.

And therein lie inevitable concerns that campus police can be sucked into a culture that prefers to handle matters in-house and sweep embarrassing crimes under the rug.

I think that university police forces should be dismantled, and they should be labeled as "Campus Security" not actual police officers. Police officers should be public paid employees. That would eliminate much of the confusion regarding reporting crimes, and the tendency for university police to deflect any negative crimes away from the university. I don't think that they are impartial.
Thank you for the response. That is a good article in the link you provided.
I did not like ďuniversity police records are not open to the public, as municipal police reports would beĒ - from that link. With this high profile case it will be interesting to see if any of those closed records are opened.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,896 posts, read 42,133,814 times
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When I went to Clarion in the 1970's the Campus Police were sworn officers who filed police reports and testified in Court the same as Clarion Boro officers and PSP troopers. Events on campus were reported in the local paper just as events in the Town.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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I can tell from my experience at attending a university and then working for two universities(both well known), they have a tendency to try and sweep things under the rug.

I'm not saying they don't go reported, but crimes like rapes and assaults are downplayed for fear of impacting enrollment.

It was either Datleine or 20/20 that did a report on this a few years ago.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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I took my child to a day care at my university, and suspected something not right...I went to talk to the supervisor of the program, with some questions about a particular day, and, both she and her assistant had both been gone that day, I was just asking questions, not accusing anyone, just wanted information. The next thing I knew campus police came to my home, and accused me of abusing my child and blaming it on the day care staff. It was quite an experience, for a college student, over 25 years ago.

I felt like they did not care about investigating my information at all, it was just protect the university. Needless to say, my child never went there again. And I dropped the whole thing. They stopped going after me when I dropped it.

Believe me, there was nothing impartial or information gathering from those police, they went after me like pitt bulls, defending the University...
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,415 posts, read 11,725,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I took my child to a day care at my university, and suspected something not right...I went to talk to the supervisor of the program, with some questions about a particular day, and, both she and her assistant had both been gone that day, I was just asking questions, not accusing anyone, just wanted information. The next thing I knew campus police came to my home, and accused me of abusing my child and blaming it on the day care staff. It was quite an experience, for a college student, over 25 years ago.

I felt like they did not care about investigating my information at all, it was just protect the university. Needless to say, my child never went there again. And I dropped the whole thing. They stopped going after me when I dropped it.

Believe me, there was nothing impartial or information gathering from those police, they went after me like pitt bulls, defending the University...
Thank you for your story. I am glad that everything worked out - but you never got a chance to confront the day care workers.

I live in an area with large resorts. Especially, if you go back half a century, the large ones had their own police (security) force. Not only did they controlled the small townships; they also controlled the news. We would never hear of kitchen knife fights, sex scandals or anything that might scare vacationers away.

Today, with our modern communications, It is not as easy to cover anything up. Right after PSU fired Joe Paterno the kids rioted; there was the one picture of the news van being overturned. In that picture you could clearly see somebody with their cell phone camera taking the picture of the kids turning over the van. I’m curious if PSU suspended any of the rioters or if they were criminally charged?

The point, that I think I am trying to make, is that it isn’t just the corporations and colleges/university’s that have “security” cameras. Almost every kid/adult has their own monitoring device. The pictures can go global almost instantaneously. It is a little harder to hide when everybody sees.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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The fact that a college hires its own security force is an inherent conflict of interest. The officers are there to protect the college and its staff first, FROM the students in many cases, and if miscellaneous children are being harmed outside the context of the college, they figure it has nothing to do with them. You're going to be loyal to whoever signs your paycheck. And we don't take collective responsibility for public safety, or we would never have needed a mandated reporting laew in the first place. The general attitude about keeping all the members of a family safe is still the way regular police used to see it as none of their business when parents were abusing their kids or a husband was beating his wife.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:59 AM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,722,131 times
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In my particular case, it shows how child abusers escape scrutiny, especially if a child does not have severe bruises, or obvious physical trauma. Parents can raise a flag, asking questions, but without clear evidence, there is nothing substantial to further investigate. And if authorities are unwilling to ask questions without clear, convinicing evidence, it is clear how child abuse cases get ignored, until they are huge scandals, for example, the Catholic church fiasco. Even with overwhelming evidence, those abuse cases were covered up.

The question is, why? Does our society condone child abuse? No. So why do these perpetrators go on for years without getting caught?
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,415 posts, read 11,725,880 times
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Apparently the PSU scandal is now prompting a new legislation on campus reporting: http://paindependent.com/2011/11/lawmakers-look-to-put-sunlight-on-state-related-universities/
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