In an email (see below) sent out yesterday afternoon by Fargo Police Department Deputy Chief Joe Anderson, and obtained from law enforcement sources, he describes North Dakota State University campus police officials as being “frustrated” with a recent Supreme Court ruling limiting their jurisdiction to campus. He states that NDSU cops will be limiting their patrol to NDSU property going forward and will not pursue criminals away from that property.
The only exception, according to the email, are requests from off-campus law enforcement “for mutual aid/assistance to support incidents.”
Already Anderson says “the next step is to lobby the ND legislation for a law change in 2017.” You can read the full email below.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]The dirty little secret in the agreement between the City of Fargo and the NDSU cops – the quid pro quo, if you will – is that the revenues generated by all the fines and tickets resulting from NDSU campus police activity was going to the City of Fargo. And that’s a pretty cushy deal for Fargo.[/mks_pullquote]
You have to wonder if Anderson’s call for lobbying the legislature is motivated by a desire for effective law enforcement, or a desire to keep the gravy train of revenues flowing from fines levied by campus cops.
The dirty little secret in the agreement between the City of Fargo and the NDSU cops – the quid pro quo, if you will – is that the revenues generated by all the fines and tickets resulting from NDSU campus police activity was going to the City of Fargo. And that’s a pretty cushy deal for Fargo.
The taxpayers of the State of North Dakota foot the bill for the NDSU campus police force, which is a part of the higher education budget, but the revenues those cops generate go to Fargo at no cost to Fargo. Meanwhile, the NDSU cops get a much wider jurisdiction where they can write more tickets and make more arrests and justify a larger campus police force.
Which has ancillary benefits for the university. Like, say, a dedicated NDSU cop who acts as a chauffeur for campus President Dean Bresciani. Plus is satisfies the thirst for endless expansion which seems to exist in every government bureaucracy.
Lawmakers shouldn’t ratify the agreement between the City of Fargo and NDSU cops which was struck down as illegal by the state Supreme Court. Rather, lawmakers should question why these campuses need a separate police force at all. The municipal and county law enforcement agencies already have jurisdiction on campus. Why not give those existing law enforcement agencies the resources they need to provide security on campus, and avoid the redundancy (and potential for corruption and conflicts of interest) inherent in giving the campuses their own police forces?
UPDATE: Whoops, looks like NDSU and the City of Fargo may have violated the state constitution by directing revenue from NDSU police fines to the City of Fargo.