Bill S610-2011

Directs the trustees of the state university to appoint a commissioner of state university police

Directs the trustees of the state university to appoint a commissioner of state university police, who shall be the supervisory and administrative head of all university police forces; prohibits any further appointments of police chiefs of campus police forces.






TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to directing the state university trustees to appoint a commissioner of state university police

PURPOSE: The bill improves the administration and professionalism of the public safety agencies that serve and protect the campuses and facilities of the State university of New York, ensures standard training and equipment for each such agency and effects significant cost savings for system wide public safety services.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill lays out the legislative intent to create a more rational and effective system of administration for campus police forces at the state university of New York.

Section 2 of the bill amends Education Law section 355(2) (1) by adding new language directing the Trustees of the State University of New York to appoint a Commissioner of State University Police who shall have full administrative authority over the campus police agencies on all SUNY campuses.

Section 2 of the bill provides that it shall take effect on the first day of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

JUSTIFICATION: The men and women of the State university Police serve and protect a community of half a million students, faculty, administration and other employees and a statewide infrastructure of research and technological facilities worth many billions of dollars. This system is crucial to the global competitiveness and future prosperity of the state and people of New York. It is imperative and much in the public interest that members of those campus police forces be given leadership and direction commensurate with their responsibility to provide the level of service this world class university system requires.

As currently administered, police services to the campuses of the SUNY system are operated under a decentralized structure. Each of the twenty-eight campuses currently maintaining a police force operate under its own policies, procedures, practices, budgets, resources and levels of efficiency and preparedness. Some are, as a result, inadequately equipped and trained and unable to put the number of boots-on-the-ground that is required to police a large and populous campus community. Certainly, capability to respond to instances of violent situations and disasters is unacceptably uneven among campuses.

SUNY Systems Administration currently maintains the position of Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Police and Director of Public Safety. This position is of an advisory nature and cannot mandate specific or

standard policy or procedure applicable to all campus police departments including such basic and critical matters as staffing, arming, equipping, training, allocation of resources and critical incident response preparedness. This structure is inefficient both in carrying out the State University's obligation to provide for public safety and to do so in the most administratively efficient and fiscally responsible manner possible.

This legislation will centralize and streamline the administration of the currently existing twenty-eight campus police agencies and save the state an initial $3 million a year. The reorganization would place responsibility for administering a system-wide force of 500 Police Officers, Police Investigators and Police Supervisors with a SUNY Police Commissioner qualified by background, training and experience and appointed by the Trustees. This will provide for a State University Police to be operated in a centralized, paramilitary format with designated rank structures and a centralized chain of command.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010 - S.6928B - Referred to Higher Education; Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Centralizing the administration of twenty-eight SUNY Campus Police Forces will reduce costs and realize savings through standardization affecting many expenses for equipment, training and so forth. It is estimated that the bill will realize a savings of $3 million a year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The first day of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 610 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, STAVISKY, MAZIARZ, SAVINO, STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to directing the state university trustees to appoint a commissioner of state university police THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds and declares that maintaining a safe environment for individuals studying on the campuses of the state university of New York is of critical impor- tance, and that a well trained and well organized campus police force is vital to ensure that safety. The legislature also finds that the current structure of the campus police force at the state university is ineffi- cient, subject to an excessive and unpredictable management salary structure, and does not ensure an equal level of security and protection at the many campuses across the state. The intent of this act is to create a system of police organization at the state university that borrows the lessons learned by other successful police forces, such as the state parks police, and creates a unified and clear rank and file and command structure that empowers individuals with law enforcement experience to make decisions based on good policing practices. The legislature acknowledges the individual character and physical layout of each campus and finds that it is possible for a central police command to manage diverse campus needs. The legislature urges the chancellor and the board of trustees of the state university of New York to take steps to create a more systematic police rank and file and command structure at the various campus police forces and to make better use of the inval- uable experience that campus police officers gain as they get to know their own individual campus needs.
S 2. Paragraph l of subdivision 2 of section 355 of the education law, as amended by chapter 424 of the laws of 1998, is amended to read as follows: l. To appoint university police officers who shall have the powers of police officers and to remove such police officers at pleasure; provided, however, that any person appointed a police officer must have satisfactorily completed or complete within one year of the date of his OR HER appointment a course of law enforcement training approved by the municipal police training council in consultation with the university. It shall be the duty of such police officers to preserve law and order on the campuses and other property of the university, including any portion of a public highway which crosses or abuts such property. THE TRUSTEES SHALL APPOINT A COMMISSIONER OF STATE UNIVERSITY POLICE WELL QUALIFIED BY BACKGROUND, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE, WHO SHALL EXERCISE SUPERVISION AND ADMINISTRATION OF ALL UNIVERSITY POLICE FORCES FROM A CENTRAL OFFICE. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THERE SHALL BE NO FURTHER APPOINTMENTS TO THE POSITION OF POLICE CHIEF OF A UNIVER- SITY POLICE FORCE AT ANY COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY. Subject to the approval of the chancellor, the president of each state-operated campus of the state university shall enter into a written agreement with adjoining law enforcement agencies establishing protocols for the exercise of authority by such university police officer off-cam- pus, including mutual aid and assistance. Such written protocols shall not be deemed to supersede the authority of other police officers. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any of the state insti- tutions and property referred to in section five thousand seven hundred nine of this chapter. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.


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