March 30, 2015
Greater authority is now granted to UCCS PD through an updated version of the Intergovernmental Agreement. The agreement now allows UCCS PD to enforce a greater range of municipal codes as they pertain to Colorado Springs.
Executive director of Public Safety Brian McPike said the new borders include The Lodges to the north and Fillmore Street to the south. Additional property that is owned by UCCS is now included, such as the Freedom Financial Expo Center on Nevada Avenue.
Updating the existing 2004 IGA was discussed two years ago between UCCS PD and CSPD when The Lodges were being built on North Nevada.
McPike pointed out questions that were asked while creating the updated IGA.
“We basically took a map, looked at it, and said, ‘where is the most efficient and effective ways we could use our resources along with CSPD’s?’” McPike said.
Michael Lux, a lieutenant in the patrol division of CSPD, expressed frustration that UCCS PD was not able to enforce municipal codes, such as underage drinking, in the old IGA.
“With that in mind, we sat down and said, ‘number one, why are you not doing this?’ and [UCCS PD] said ‘well we can’t.’ And ‘number two, well why can’t you?’ And because the Intergovernmental Agreement didn’t allow them to do that, therefore we sat down and said ‘well maybe we need to change a few things,’” Lux said.
That resulted in the updated IGA, passed in February. Expanding student living was another reason the IGA boundaries were expanded.
“We started talking about the various aspects, of you know, if they’re off campus, we don’t have the type of administrative actions and sanctions that we can take to try and deal with student activities,” McPike said.
UCCS PD also has the ability to take different measures with disruptive students that CSPD does not.
“We don’t have to take criminal actions against them, such as a summons,” McPike explained.
“But we could refer them to the Dean of Students and say ‘look, your actions are outside the student code of conduct. You can’t treat people like that and claim you’re a student. You’ve got to abide by the student code of conduct.’”
But McPike mentioned that if a student is caught committing an offense again, it will be a different type of sanction.
UCCS PD is now able to write more citations with the updated IGA, but without the collection of fines associated with those citations. McPike explained that UCCS PD operates from an educational standpoint, and its main motivation is not financial.
“We don’t want students to say ‘well you’re just writing more tickets because it increases revenue.’ It makes no difference. Even if we write an on-campus ticket for careless driving or for speeding, we don’t get any of that money. That goes to the county,” McPike said.
But McPike mentioned that any fines associated with parking tickets written on campus go to Parking and Transportation. For tickets that are written off campus, fines go to the municipal court.
Due to the updated IGA, when CSPD needs assistance in the IGA boundaries, UCCS PD is quick to respond. Lux recalled an incident where UCCS PD was needed to assist a member of CSPD who was intentionally hit.
“The second and third car that was there was UCCS,” said Lux. “It would have been difficult to handle that scene as quickly as we did [if UCCS PD wasn’t there].”
With a growing campus, more officers are seen as beneficial to meet with demand.
While more officers for UCCS PD would be helpful and would allow quicker response times, McPike said he does not want the updated IGA to be the driving force behind the need for more officers.