Date of Original Version

1996

Type

Article

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

As a leading educational and research institution, Carnegie Mellon University benefits from the numerous rewards that such a position entails— an intelligent and motivated student body, a national reputation for excellence, and innovative ideas often leading to pioneering study. There is more to an institution of higher education than its academic program, though. A university campus as a community within a community is greatly affected by the trends and events of the larger community. As a university located in an urban setting, CMU suffers many problems that are directly related to the surrounding city. These include a high potential for crime, lack of adequate space for parking and facilities, and the difficult situations that arise when private institution is located on seemingly public ground. All three of these problems are encountered on a day-to-day basis by the CMU Campus Police force, whose job it is to provide the basic protective and law enforcement services required to make the campus a place of free inquiry and general security. The nature of security services at CMU and, naturally, all colleges and universities in the country, has changed drastically in the twentieth century. Law enforcement and preventive policing have taken the place of safety monitoring and reactive policing, in reaction to a number of factors that have changed the face of campus life and have forced students and administrators to reconsider the perceived safety of the campus. Among these are rising crime rates, increased student activism and unrest, and new definitions of a university's liability for the welfare of its students. To study the history of a campus security force, then, is to essentially study the campus community and the larger community in which the college or university is located.

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Published In

The Sloping Halls Review, 3.