UCCS police addresses growing campus with new officer position

Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2015

Evan Musick
[email protected]

The Department of Public Safety introduced its newest asset this semester: Campus Service Officer.

Public Safety created the position so the UCCS Police Department can deal with other police priorities.

The main reason behind the new position is a growing campus according to Peter Pino, UCCS Police Department operations lieutenant.

“Call load is going up as well. Last year we had 599 cases that we pulled in the calendar year and this year, so far, we’re up to 620,” he said.

Pino expects to get a total of 650 cases by year’s end.

The Campus Service Officer is a non-sworn officer and will deal with public safety tasks such as unlocking and securing buildings, and dealing with reports that do not have immediate leads.

“We have them here during our busier times to help us with some of the activities that we don’t necessarily need a sworn police officer to do,” said Pino.

Pino explained it is more cost effective to hire a Campus Service Officer than sworn officers. It costs around $44,000 a year to hire a certified peace officer, Pino said. In contrast, it is around $22,000 a year to hire a Campus Service Officer.

“The CSO’s are a way of having more people on without having to pay the same amount of money for salary, and things like that, as you would a police officer,” said Pino. “So we essentially got two people for one, in terms of cost savings for the campus.”

In addition to the duties of these officers being different than a sworn officers, their equipment is not the same.

Public Safety repurposed a standard police vehicle that was set to go out of service into the Campus Service Officer vehicle. They then bought a new vehicle to be a standard police vehicle.

The vehicle is white with green lettering instead of the standard blue. A yellow light bar also sits on top instead of the typical blue and red. The CSO’s uniform is also yellow. CSO’s do not carry handcuffs or a pistol, but do carry a radio and pepper spray.

Currently, there are two Campus Service Officers and one vehicle.