The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Student Patrol Officers to Report AOD Violations

In 4 to 6 weeks Community Safety will be reinstating the Student Patrol Officer program. Student Patrol Officers, or SPOs, will be responsible for patrolling campus, locking and unlocking buildings, and reporting AOD violations to CSOs. By the fall of 2012, SPOs will replace Pacific Patrol Services personnel who have been supplementing CSO’s regular patrols.

SPOs will not be the primary responders to AOD violations. However, they will be required to report AOD violations to on-duty CSOs, according to Gary Granger, Director of Community Safety. Granger emphasized that Student Patrol Officers will not be engaging directly with the students they are reporting on. Some students were apprehensive that having SPOs report student AOD violations will create distrust between students and SPOs. Senator Ari Galper ‘14, Senate liaison to Community Safety, voiced his concern that having SPOs reporting on AOD violations was “not really in their realm” and would “distract them from doing their security job.”

The SPO program has taken many forms in the past, and under Granger will operate in a new and different capacity than previous iterations. Dhyana Cabarga ’05, a former SPO and current CSO, said in her experience, SPOs, “did not enforce any kind of school policy or call CSOs about AOD violations” though she added, “there would be no point since they were patrolling with a CSO.” Granger says that, “the SPO program and duties now will be an evolution from those of the past” while also mentioning that the same can be said for Reed’s CSOs, whose responsibilities have also evolved. Additionally, Granger called attention to the fact that the government certified SPOs will be legally obligated to report AOD violations irrespective of any opinions students or the administration may have. According to Granger, the law requires anyone doing security work in the private sector to have state certification, which requires employees to be in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. It is unclear whether or not this law was in effect when previous SPO programs existed.

Granger says that SPOs under the new program will hold a level of autonomy beyond previous SPO programs thanks to rigorous training and certification processes that the CSOs will provide for the new SPOs. SPOs will be paired with a CSO during their initial training period, but once that period has passed, Granger expects that they will, “alternate between patrolling with CSOs and on their own.” SPOs will also be able to enjoy the use of many CSO vehicles and equipment for patrols.

Although Granger does not currently have plans to ask the student body for their take on what the role of the SPO will be in the community, he hopes to seek out “their perspectives on how we do our work.” He also sees SPOs as functioning as a liaison between CSOs and students, “to help keep the dialogues around AOD, sexual assault, and other complex issues open and vibrant.” Granger acknowledged that opportunity for distrust amongst students and SPOs, and anticipates that students will likely not tell SPOs of their drug or alcohol use. Ultimately he says that the best SPO program, “will come from balancing some clear departmental priorities with the creativity and vigor students are sure to bring.”

2 Responses to “Student Patrol Officers to Report AOD Violations”
  1. brightlights says:

    Oh dear god…

    Now we’ll be giving STUDENTS sets of master keys??? (After all, these are necessary for “locking and unlocking buildings”.) What kind of oversight will there be for this? If a CSO were to be found mis-using keys, they would probably face termination and potentially civil or criminal legal action. However, according to school code, a “Student Patrol Officer” who abused this power would have to be disciplined by the J-Board.

    This doesn’t seem right. Student Patrol Officers will have a lot of unusual power for a student. The Office of Community Safety and HR–not J-board–should have the final say about whether employees who do something wrong need to leave. J-Board cases take a loooooooong time…often 6 or 9 months before the final decision comes through. I wouldn’t want to wait that long to see some creepy, power-tripping student disciplined.

    In general, having SPOs of some variety doesn’t seem like a bad idea. But, from the description in this article, it seems like there might be a high potential for abuse–and few options to quickly and adequately address problems that might arise. Does this make anyone else uncomfortable?

  2. not a narc says:

    Hello, fellow Reedians… might anyone have the time? Is it, mayhaps… 4:20 o’clock? Do you… “catch my drift,” so to speak? May *I* “catch a drift” of some… Jamaican sacraments? Might I be furnished with a satchel of potent Asiatic crop?

    Yes… fine day in Sally’s Port, is it not? Let us all keep vigilant for the presence of Student Patrol Officers.

    Seriously, though… do you guys have any weed? Gary says I have to bust five people tonight or I’m fired.

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