UND Police Department History
In 1951 the University of North Dakota first
employed two full-time, uniformed, armed security officers, to work night
shifts. This was the beginning of what was to become the University
of North Dakota Police Department. Those first two officers were
special deputies for the county Sheriff's Department and their duties included
building security and fire watch. The officers were hired in response
to a fire that occurred at Woodward Hall in 1949. At this time the
University student population was approximately 2000 students.
The year 1957 was a year of expansion for the
Department. The implementation of parking enforcement responsibilities,
a 24 hour schedule, and the hiring of additional officers increased the
size of the Department to five full-time, uniformed, and armed security
officers who remained special deputy sheriff's for the county. In
1957, the department took on crowd control duties at University events
that had been previously handled by Grand Forks Police. Also, in
this year the Department obtained its first two-way radio equipped vehicle.
By 1968, the department had expanded to six full-time
uniformed, armed officers and a full time Director of Security. Three
of the officers had prior service as municipal police officers. Other
than that, street experience was limited to that gained on the job.
Formal training was limited to what was offered by the Grand Forks Police
Department. The department was assigned two permanent vehicles in
1969 for the first time.
In the late 1960's and early to mid 1970's the
need for a professional, autonomous police department at the University
of North Dakota became clear. During this period the so-called Viet
Nam era, the University experienced some campus unrest and disruption.
This period of unrest was national in scope. Many universities and
college administrators saw that their campus security or night watch departments
were inadequately staffed, trained, and equipped properly and legally resolve
the "sit-ins", "strikes" and "riots" which were occurring on their campuses.
Some administrators felt it necessary to call
in outside law enforcement agencies to help quell major disruptions.
They found that their control of the situations was then relinquished because
of command and operational necessity. Though well meaning and operating
to achieve the goal of law and order, these outside agencies through their
inexperience in dealing with students, lack of campus orientation and unintentional
overreaction to given situations, sometimes only worsened already critical
situations. The full realization and impact of these occurrences
and the resulting consequences further reinforced the need for a professional,
well trained police or security department with special emphasis and direction
in training to campus orientation.
In response to these problems, the University
of North Dakota Security Department expanded in 1971 from six full time
officers to eight full time officers and in 1970 a full time departmental
secretary was hired. Also in 1971, the department first started hiring
student assistant officers. In 1973, the department sent its first
officers to the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Center at Bismarck,
North Dakota. At the center the officers received five weeks (later
expanded to seven weeks) of police basic training. Upon completion
of this course, the officers were certified by the North Dakota Attorney
General's Office as peace officers in the state of North Dakota (by 1979,
90% of the department's officers had received certification status).
In 1975, the Vietnam era began to phase out.
The university began to expand with construction of new facilities and
buildings. The student body was rapidly growing and new married housing
areas were being constructed. Much larger crowds were attending events
at the University's excellent facilities and the scheduling of those events
became heavy. Traffic and parking problems increased and became more
difficult to resolve.
From a relatively quiet, docile campus UND became
the most progressive campus in the region. With this growth and progression
came increased crime, spousal and child abuse, physical and sexual assaults,
exhibitionism, voyeurism, prowler or suspicious person calls, burglaries,
firearm threats, etc. In addition, theft of property was on the rise,
expensive laboratory, office and instructional equipment was being reported
stolen on a regular basis. The campus parking lots, which accommodated
parking for more vehicles than any other facility in the state, became
the targets for thieves and vandals. Complaints of thefts of batteries,
stereo sets, two-way radios, personal items, as well as smashed windshields,
broken or bent antennas and other intentional acts of vandalism were being
called in with regularity. The campus proper, alleys and sidewalks,
either city or privately owned, and adjacent to campus, became the hangout
for assaulters, exhibitionists and other undesirables. In addition,
the obligation to provide protection and security for our large coed population
was alone a tremendous responsibility.
To respond to these new problems the department
again expanded. In 1979 a full time building security officer was
employed to give the officers more patrol time. Also, in 1979 the
departments primary patrol vehicles were equipped with modern police light
bars. During 1980 an additional officer was hired. By mid 1980
the department consisted of a full time director, nine officers, a full
time secretary a full time building security officer and four part time
work study student assistant officers.
However, even with the expansion and training
the department was still not a bona fide police department. The officers'
powers were still limited to those of special deputies. These factors
continued to hinder the department from providing the university community
with the services that were essential to its needs and safety.
During the late summer of 1980, the Director
of Security met with the Director of Operations and the Assistant Director
of Operations and discussed police and security needs for the university
for the upcoming year. This also included department needs, shortcomings,
and hindrances created by the department's status at the time and the possibility
of upgrading the department.
First discussed and reviewed were the provisions
of State Statute 15-10-17.1. This statute provides the State Board
of Higher Education the power to authorize "the use of special policemen
to assist in enforcing the regulations and the law on the campus of a college
or university", and further provided these policemen with concurrent jurisdiction
with other law enforcement officers in performing those duties. Since
the department's officers were already recognized, trained and certified
by the Attorney General's Office, it was decided to pursue the goal of
providing the university with full police services.
The committee subsequently met with the vice
president of finance who concurred with the requests and stated he would
bring the proposal before the State Board of Higher Education for approval.
Approval was given by the board at their meetings on October 16 and 17
of 1980 and a memo was sent from the University of North Dakota President
to the vice president of finance, dated November 10, 1980, authorizing
him to appoint campus police officers in accordance with section 15-10-17.1
of the North Dakota Century Code.
On December 8, 1980 a swearing in ceremony was
conducted and the University of North Dakota Police Department became a
duly sworn bona fide police department. The department now had recognized
police status and autonomy.
During the years of 1981 and 1982 the department
expanded in the area of police equipment. The department's primary
patrol vehicles were marked in accordance with state law. The vehicles
were equipped for prisoner transport and state radios were installed.
The state radios gave the department the ability to run drivers license
checks, vehicle registrations, and obtain NCIC information. Also
in 1981, the departments officers started investigating traffic accidents
that occurred on campus and citation books were issued to all sworn officers.
In 1982, two part time non student ticket writers were hired to allow the
daytime officers more time to concentrate on law enforcement duties.
These positions were later consolidated to one full-time Security Officer
position with ticket writing and money transport responsibilities.
The next step needed was to have a clearly defined
jurasdiction in which the University Police could patrol and respond to
calls legally. The department could clearly patrol and render service
within facilities and on properties owned by the state; however, problems
arose when requests for service involved responding to incidents which
had occurred or were occurring on city dedicated property located in or
running through the campus proper. A couple of examples of this undesirable
situation would be when one of the greek houses located on city dedicated
property within the campus would request help and their calls had to be
referred to the city police for action; or a university community member
would report an accident which occurred in the middle of campus on University
Avenue, but the University Police could not investigate the accident because
University Avenue is a city street. This was frustrating for the
department, having to turn down and refer requests for help from members
of its own community. In addition to the above problems there also
was a problem of needless duplication at times with the city police department.
Often a member of the University community would call the city police for
assistance on university property and the result would be that both departments
would respond and both complete reports on the matter when it should have
only been handled by the university police.
The solution to this jurisdictional problem and
other police and public safety related matters came through an official
agreement with the City of Grand Forks. The Director of Auxiliary
Services, the University Chief of Police and the Grand Forks Chief of Police
met several times during 1982 and 1983, to discuss the possibility of effecting
an agreement between the City of Grand Forks and the University of North
Dakota. All concurred that such an agreement was needed and would
be of great benefit to both the University and the City of Grand Forks.
Stipulations of the agreement and plans for implementation were further
discussed at successive meetings. Attending these meetings, in addition
to the aforementioned parties were the city and university attorneys.
The two attorneys carefully studied the jurisdiction proposed (later referred
to as the "campus district") and all of the stipulations contained in the
agreement. The final draft of the agreement was approved by all parties
concerned, and on November 17, 1983 was signed by the mayor of the City
of Grand Forks and Vice President of Operations at the University of North
The city agreement has worked well since its
implementation. The operational hindrances experienced by the University
Police have long since been resolved. It also has created a unique
fellowship and a mutual respect between the UND police and city police
officers, as well as others in the law enforcement community who work with
the UND Police. Most important of all, it has provided the means
to render to the university community the best and most efficient police
With the implementation of the "city agreement,"
the University Police Department became much more involved with traffic
law enforcement, including DUI and speed enforcement. In 1984, the
department began running radar in the campus district to enforce speed
laws writing several hundred speeding citations a year along with issuing
citations for other traffic violations. Also during a year, University
police officers, arrest on average, 75 drivers for driving under the influence.
Also, during 1984 the University police adopted a distinctive patch for
the officers uniforms that bears the State Seal. The purpose of the
patch was to assist the public in recognizing the campus police from the
Grand Forks police who wear the same type of uniform.
Another significant event that occurred during
1984 was that the department implemented in investigative capability which
enabled the department to investigate all crimes occurring within the campus
district. This move eliminated the need to call in the city detective
bureau, except in cases involving homicide and tactical situations, as
per the city agreement. In 1986 the department computerized its records
keeping system and signed a law enforcement mutual aid agreement with the
Grand Forks Police Department. In 1987, the department, in addition
to its work study students, hired several part time personnel to issue
parking tickets to help resolve the growing parking problem on the campus.
Also hired were two sworn, part time officers to assist the full time personnel
during those days extra personnel were needed. The department also
increased its effectiveness during 1987 by sending a sworn officer to the
federal explosive device school thus giving the department bomb disposal
capabilities. This led to another mutual aid agreement with the city
in regards to bomb disposal operations.
During 1988, the department once again improved
its services to the university community by joining with the Grand Forks
Police Department and the Grand Forks Sheriff's Department in a law enforcement
combined dispatch operation. The dispatch console at the Grand Forks
Police Department was upgraded and expanded with funding from all three
departments and extra dispatchers were hired. The dispatch system
was computerized and is currently an enhanced 911 system. The new
dispatch system gave the university police officers immediate access to
all local warrant information. On October 10, 1988 at 5:00 pm call
forwarding was utilized for the first time and the university police twenty-four
hour emergency numbers were transferred to the new dispatch center.
During the week of June 18-24, 1989, the department
moved to the new Auxiliary Services Building. For the first time
in the department's history the it had a permanent office. Prior
to the move to the Auxiliary Services Building the department had been
moved many different locations on the campus. These locations included
such places as the university's steam plant, central receiving building,
the old parking office, the basement of plant services and at one point
the department consisted of a broom closet (with a time clock in it) in
the Twamley administration building. In most cases the department
was considered a "tenant" in the building it was in and the officer conditions
were, to say the least, crowded and undesirable. This changed with
the move to the department's new facility. Included in the new offices
was space for the new Traffic Division of the department. The Traffic
Division is responsible for the processing of university parking tickets
and the selling of parking permits. Previously called the Parking
Office, the decision consists of two full time clerks, and an Administrative
It should be noted also that since 1980 when
the department became a law enforcement agency, training in all aspects
of law enforcement for all sworn members of the department has increased
dramatically and there are five state certified law enforcement instructors
in the department for subjects ranging from the use of force to community
relations. All the officers remain certified and, as of july 1, 1989,
licensed officers in the State of North Dakota. In 1990, one full
time officer was assigned to the joint cooperative effort of the Drug Task
Force. Officers from the various agencies in the Grand Forks area
work together to solve the problems of illicit drug sales and use.
On march 28, 1992 at 3:07 p.m.(Central time)
the Commission for the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, at their
meeting in Tucson, Arizona, granted national accredited status to the University
of North Dakota Police Department. In less that twelve years since
the department became a bona fide law enforcement agency the department
had achieved the highest honor that a state or local law enforcement agency
can receive. The department's work on national accreditation began
in October of 1985 when the President of the University of North Dakota
signed a contract with the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement
Agencies. During the next seven years the University of North Dakota
Police Department, with very limited resources, worked on the huge task
of receiving national accreditation. Despite some delays that were
beyond the department's control, the department never gave up on accomplishing
this major goal. The University of North Dakota Police Department
became only the fourth university police department in the United States
to be accredited. In North Dakota, the university police became only
the third law enforcement agency in the state to be accredited.
On June 14, 1995 at 2:00 p.m. the University
of North Dakota Police Department implemented a police bicycle patrol.
Utilizing two specially equipped Cannondale police bicycles, the patrol
has been and is used to promote community relations and to supplement the
department's motorized and foot patrols. In 1996, UND Police received
its first Community Policing Grant. With this the department developed
a formal community policing program and philosophy.
Today the University of North Dakota Police Department
consists of a Chief of Police, Assistant Chief / investigator, two night
Supervisors of Police, a Narcotics Officer, seven full time Police Officers,
a full time Administrative Officer, a full time Administrative Clerk, two
full time Traffic Division Staff, two full time Security Workers, and numerous
part time work study and non student assistants. The department operates
ten vehicles and serves a university community / campus district of over