The University of Kansas Police Department was born from humble beginnings. It got its start as a Security Force from 1958 until 1976 and reported to the Vice Chancellor of facilities operations administration. At this time only information reports were taken by the security officers and any criminal reports that needed to be completed were handled by the Kansas City, Ks Police Department.
On July 1, 1976 security at the University of Kansas Medical Center entered into the world of Law Enforcement under the guidance of the Director of Police for the University of Kansas Lawrence campus. The desired outcome for having a Police Department on the Medical Campus was to provide more safety for employees, students, patients and visitors.
By September 1978 it became apparent that having one Director looking over two campuses resulted in a lack of sufficient organization, administrative management, personnel and training equipment. October 1, 1978 took the newly formed Police Department a step further. A Director of Police for the Medical Center was appointed to oversee the continued growth and was to report to the Director in Lawrence. Finally in 1980s the University of Kansas Police Department became an independent department.
The department is a fully commissioned law enforcement agency established by the University of Kansas. University police officers are granted authority by statue (K.S.A. 76-726 and K.S.A. 22-2401) to enforce the laws of the state of Kansas, county resolutions and city ordinances. KU police jurisdiction includes property owned or operated by KU. In April of 1986 KU Police became charter members of Kansas State FOP Lodge.
November 1995 was the last of the major changes for the Police Department. The Director additionally became responsible for the parking services, landscape and safety office.
The 1997 Senate Bill No 256 authorized KU Police officers to extend their jurisdictional authority when acting in an official capacity to property immediately adjacent to the campus, and in certain circumstances, property off campus. February 1998 the KU Police Department entered into an agreement with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department to have all phases of criminal and non-criminal reports, traffic enforcement and parking regulations within the campus boundaries to be handled by KU Police.
The department has an authorized strength of 32 police officers, which breaks down to one Director/Chief, one Asst Director/Major, three Captains, six Sergeants, six Corporals and fifteen Officers. Twenty-eight security officers plus various support staff to include communications operators, records employees and clerical staff augment the sworn staff. Major divisions within the department include Police Services, Community Services, and Special Services.
The Police Services Division is the most visible element of the department. Uniform Police Officers patrol an assigned district and respond to all types of calls for assistance. Also part of this division is Investigations which consist of an Investigator who conducts follow-up investigations, and the Selective Enforcement Unit to assist in investigations as well as target any problem crime areas identified.
The Community Services Division manages the Security Officers who work during the day in front of KU Hospital to provide assistance to patients and visitor and two officers work evenings to provide escorts and handle the door security for the complex. Several static assignments are also staffed by this division as well as the shuttle service.
The Special Services Division provides specialized services through several sub-units: Services, who provide inventory control, court liaison, media relations; Training, which provides basic in-service, firearms, and civilian training; Communications, which is a vital key to an effective police operation. In addition to maintaining contact with officers in the field, communications personnel monitor a number of alarm systems to include the direct line blue phone and closed circuit TV systems. The last subunit is Information Management, which oversees the department's computerized records systems.
The University Police Department authority also covers the distribution of information to the university community of activities that, in the judgment of the Chief of University Police or the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, may be considered a threat to the safety of students and employees. These timely warnings will include electronic mail, "In the Center", portal announcements, school and departmental mail distributionas well as emergency notifications via the Alertus system and Rave Wireless. KU police also work closely with other area law enforcement agencies.