UPD earns Department of Justice “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” certification

The University Police Department (UPD) has received certification for the “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” Order, which seeks to ensure that law enforcement agencies provide transparent, safe and accountable delivery of services to communities.

The certification comes from New York’s Department of Criminal Justice Services in response to standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Justice following Presidential Executive Order No. 13929, which was issued on June 16, 2020.

“This designation is a significant reminder of the important work we are doing to build trust and ensure safety in our campus community,” said UPD Chief Mary Ritayik.

The recognition acknowledges that UPD is certified in compliance and states that the Department’s Use of Force policy and procedures adhere to the Executive Order. This process of credentialing and certification also gives UPD access to discretionary federal grants.

The Executive Order encourages an independent assessment of law enforcement policies and procedures including training and de-escalation protocols. It also considers the scope of an officer’s duty and obligation to intervene in order to prevent excessive force, when and how an officer should provide appropriate medical care, when and how officers identify themselves as law enforcement and give verbal warnings of their intent to use deadly force and shooting at or from a moving vehicle.

Additionally, law enforcement agencies are encouraged to implement early intervention systems to promote officer wellness and to identify officers who may be at risk of violating use of force policies, policies and procedures to help them recruit and promote the best and brightest, and community engagement plans to address each community’s specific needs.

“An important outcome of this effort will be an ongoing investment in resources in police training and recruitment, and community engagement to address the evolving needs at the College,” said Ritayik.

Learn more here about the “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” Executive Order.