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The Rise of Law Enforcement on College Campuses

A number of recent incidents suggest that policing in higher education hasn’t evolved much from the violent tactics that were used to suppress Vietnam War and civil-rights activists. In 2011, a University of California Davis police officer was caught on film pepper-spraying a row of passive, seated students participating in an Occupy Wall Street protest. And in another case that gained national notoriety, a University of Cincinnati police officer this past summer was indicted for murder for shooting an unarmed man in a traffic stop off campus. (The 43-year-old victim was not a University of Cincinnati student.)

These incidents—and others—are increasingly raising questions about  the role of campus officers and to whom they should report as they’re tasked with the undeniably fundamental responsibility of keeping students safe.