The CSU Police Department is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the campus community. Officers patrol over 90 acres of state property in addition to surrounding city streets. Security is provided for 47 buildings containing over 3,750,000 square feet of building space. On any given day, over 35,000 students, faculty, staff, and visitors may be on campus at one time. The CSU Police Department operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Police Commander leads a department of 20 sworn full-time police officers. These officers include Lieutenants, Sergeants, Detectives, and Patrol Officers. In addition, part-time officers are utilized for special event assignments. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) empowers CSU Police Officers with full police authority on the property of Cleveland State University. This authority is expanded to an area surrounding CSU in accordance with ORC Secion 3345.04 and a mutual aid agreement with the City of Cleveland.
Officers patrol the campus in marked and unmarked Police vehicles, on bike, and on foot. Some of the duties of uniformed officers include:
Every CSU Police Officer completes the state-mandated police academy training requirements and is certified as a Police Officer by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Council. The Department encourages its members to attain the highest levels of education and training. Most officers have received advanced OPOTA certification in areas such as criminal investigation, line supervision, and crime prevention. Virtually every officer has attended college. Many have completed baccalaureate degrees and several have achieved post graduate degrees. Higher education enables an efficient and professional delivery of services to the CSU community.
Supplementing University Police Officers, new CSU Security Officers are stationed strategically around campus to make a highly visible presence and assist students and visitors. Security Officers provide safety escorts to and from vehicles and classroom buildings. They also perform lower-risk security tasks such as securing buildings after hours, patrolling campus parking areas, and other such responsibilities, freeing up Police Officers to handle more serious or threatening aspects of campus safety and security.
Private security companies are periodically under contract to provide supplemental security in campus residence halls. Security officers from these companies are normally utilized on weekends.
The CSU Police Communications Center is staffed with full-time and part-time dispatchers. All dispatchers are certified to operate computers interfaced with the Law Enforcement Data System (LEADS) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
The Police Communications Center receives thousands of alarm notifications via the Simplex Alarm System each year. These include fire, smoke, holdup, intrusion, and panic alarms. Dispatchers notify CSU Officers and other emergency services including Cleveland Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, and University Plant Services as appropriate. Dispatchers receive over 50,000 phone calls per year requesting Police services such as facilities access, information, investigation of suspicious activities, and emergency assistance. The Communications Center is linked via computer network to other local, state, and national law enforcement agencies providing a sharing of vital information. The Communications Center provides all necessary communication for Physical Plant personnel during non-business hours.
Civilian support staff includes a Records Management Officer, an Administrative Secretary, and a Clerk. The department also employs a team of part-time students, known as Community Service Officers, which assists with safety escorts, building security, and other duties.
The efforts of the CSU Police are complemented by the members of the University community. Groups such as Campus Watch are a valuable asset. The CSU Police encourages all members of the community to take an active role in safety awareness at Cleveland State University.
It is essential for any institution of higher learning to maintain an environment in which there exists a positive atmosphere of well-being. Members of the academic community must perceive themselves as being well protected, well cared for, and secure in their environment. Only when this perception is established can the institution's primary missions of learning, teaching, and research be achieved.
The primary purpose of the Cleveland State University Police Department is to support the academics through maintenance of a peaceful and orderly community and through provision of needed general and emergency services. The accomplishment of this purpose is fulfilled through constant attention to the areas of public safety, security, law enforcement, and service assistance to the various departments and offices of the University.
The department's public safety role ensures that members of the community enjoy a high degree of protection from personal harm and a high degree of security for their property. This protection is manifested in round-the-clock patrol of the University campus, crime prevention, personal safety awareness programs, and constant attention to the correction of potentially hazardous conditions.
With regard to security, the department's major emphasis rests with the physical facilities on campus and the property within them. Both exterior and interior security checks of the facilities are continuously maintained in order to achieve the maximum protection necessary for each building. The operating condition of all locks and security hardware is monitored with every check of a facility, and malfunctioning equipment is pinpointed immediately for correction.
In fulfilling its law enforcement responsibilities, the department strives to ensure that the peace and order of the University community is maintained at all times. Through enforcement of the University's rules, regulations, and policies, as well as state laws, the department protects the community from the unlawful, dangerous, or negative acts of any individual or group. The prevention of such acts, or the apprehension and adjudication of persons committing them, serves to maintain the desired academic setting necessary for a university.
A most important facet of the department's overall purpose is in the area of service to the community. Not only does this include emergency services, but general services as well. The University Police Department places a high degree of priority on assisting and cooperating with all academic and support departments of the University. Assistance to other departments serves as added support for the University as a whole, as well as a viable means for interaction with all segments of the community population. Existing lines of communication should constantly be strengthened and new ones created. All the departments of the University are striving towards one main goal of a thriving and successful academic institution, and many of the programs and projects necessary to reaching this goal must be cooperative ventures.
In fulfilling the responsibilities associated with its purpose for existence, the University Police Department recognizes the overall academic mission of the University and strives to play a vital role in that mission. Concern for the community's well-being, a desire to provide service and assistance whenever possible, and a constant desire to support the academic environment are all factors that are inherent in the department's daily operations and policies.
In May, 1970 the Ohio Legislature enacted laws mandating each State University to have it's own State University Law Enforcement Officers. The State Legislature felt a local campus police operation would be better suited to handle campus unrest and crime in general.
In compliance with the new state law, the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees approved the creation of the CSU Police Department in 1970. The original CSU Police Department consisted of 12 certified Peace Officers and approximately 40 institutional Security Officers. The Police Officers patrolled the small Cleveland State University campus in one unmarked police vehicle while the Security Officers drove a three-wheel Cushman scooter. The original campus was a fraction of its present size. Many buildings were temporary and are no longer in existence today.