University City

Campus police now cover more area

Through an expanded partnership with the city of Charlotte, UNC Charlotte police have extended the area they cover and are now working a territory more than double the size of the campus.

Campus police now can assist Charlotte-Mecklenburg police by responding to calls east of East Mallard Creek Church Road between University City Boulevard and North Tryon Street.

The far edge of extended patrol area reaches farther east, to Harris Houston Road and adjoining streets.

The expanded territory includes many new apartment complexes and other residences that are popular with students.

CMPD most often calls campus police to assist with situations that involve coeds, said UNC Police Chief Jeffrey Baker, a retired CMPD captain.

Students can face sanctions if they violate the university's rules for conduct on or off campus. Campus police monitor students for conduct that might violate those rules.

"We have philosophy where we try to make learning moments out of interactions with students," Baker said "You're dealing with students away from home the first time. You're worried about their safety and security constantly."

North Carolina law allows universities to extend their authority beyond campus through agreements with municipalities.

The Charlotte City Council voted June 30 to continue and expand its partnership with the university's campus police.

The prior five-year agreement was signed in June 2006. It allowed campus police to respond to calls in the area between University City and Harris boulevards, North Tryon Street and East Mallard Creek Church Road.

The new agreement nearly doubles that reach, into an area east of East Mallard Creek Church Road.

Baker said more than nine new residential properties have opened in that area, many of them apartment complexes.

The growth led the city to expand its partnership with UNCC.

"This would give the UNC Charlotte police the continuity to continue to work with or look after the students," said Patrick Cannon, chair of the City Council's Community Safety Committee.

Campus police are sworn officers and can make arrests, and CMPD typically calls on campus police every week.

One or more officers might also respond to traffic accidents, assaults, property damage or break-ins.

The most common calls for assistance from campus police is for noise, when students gather in residential areas, Baker said.

"There's always a need for more boots on the street," Baker said.