Beware of Speaking with Campus Police, No Matter How They Dress or Act

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

A recent report in the widely read online journal Inside Higher Ed describes how campus police are trying to take a softer approach to improve their interactions with students. Campus police departments are responding to public outcry over notorious public examples of police brutality, like the George Floyd case. According to the Inside Higher Ed report, campus police departments are “demilitarizing” their appearance and approach with measures like removing uniforms in favor of casual clothing and driving school-colored squad cars without flashing lights. The strategy is one of “approachability” to defuse tensions that can trigger dangerous and even violent or deadly interactions. Khakis and polo shirts instead of uniforms, anyone? The changes may make it harder to identify and call on police in an emergency, but the hope is that it produces better police/student relations.

The Role of Campus Police

Campus police generally have the powers of other police officers who are not associated with a college or university but instead a city, county, or state. But campus police also generally take a very different role. Campus police seldom pursue criminal charges against students in the local criminal courts. Instead, campus police report student misconduct, misbehavior, and antics to school disciplinary officials. If a campus police officer sees you doing something illegal or dangerous, you probably won't face criminal charges, but will almost certainly face school discipline. That may sound like a good thing, but unfortunately, school disciplinary proceedings can have a much greater effect on you than a local criminal court case. For one, your college or university need only prove their charges with a preponderance of the evidence (a little more evidence than evidence in defense). You lose the protections of the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt criminal prosecutor's burden of proof and all the other criminal court constitutional protections. Students can also suffer immediate suspension and other sanctions right up to dismissal, especially if they don't get the college misconduct defense attorney advisor representation they need.

What to Do Around Campus Police

You should definitely obey campus police. They are law enforcement officers who deserve your obedience and respect. But don't take their new approachability as a reason to let down your guard, engage in antics when around them, or submit to their casual interrogation against your better interests. See this clear information on whether to speak with campus police on patrol or speak to police conducting an investigation. Be careful when speaking with campus police, not so much out of concern for a criminal charge but because they may use whatever you say to pursue a school discipline case against you. National college misconduct defense attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have successfully defended hundreds of students nationwide against false and unfair college or university misconduct charges. If you face school discipline involving campus police reports or other allegations of wrongdoing, Attorney Advisor Lento and his expert team are available nationwide to help. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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