Notes on UOPD reforms

On Monday of last week, President Schill put out a statement titled “Reforms to UO Police Department,” wherein he laid out changes the university would make to the UOPD.

Schill made clear that he was not interested in disbanding or disarming the UOPD, saying, “Ultimately, our campus is best served by a dedicated and fully equipped law enforcement agency that is familiar with our campus.” It should be noted that the creation and arming of the police force has only happened in the last eight years.

The president said he has been having a dialogue with the UO community regarding the goals of “‘disarm’ movement” and these policy changes are an effort to “balance those demands against the UO’s legitimate need to prevent crime and protect campus.” Many of the outlined changes however go against the abolitionist goals of the disarm movement. While the University will be reducing the number of armed officers, they will be expanding the total patrol under the guise of unarmed “community service officers (CSOs).”

The university will continue patrol student spaces, but say it will be done by CSOs. Additionally the university hopes that having CSOs wear non-police uniforms and a review board will assuage community concerns.

University of Oregon student groups and four ASUO senators released a letter later last week providing some weight to the disarm demands. Disarm UO is circulating the letter for individuals or groups to sign onto.

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The week ahead