The patrol division of UMPD is made up of seven sergeants, and currently 22 officers. These officers primarily patrol campus by in squads or on foot. During the spring and summer months, we are able to utilize bikes and motorcycles. Patrol officers respond to crimes in progress, traffic accidents, reports of suspicious activity, and requests for assistance ranging from disabled motorists to persons locked out of their offices. Patrol officers conduct initial investigations of most crimes reported on campus and are often the first point of contact that the campus community has with the University Police.
Bicycle patrol is effective on campus due to the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. During the hourly class breaks there are often thousands of people walking and driving on campus. Bicycle officers can move through central campus quickly - often faster than a squad car during peak traffic times. There are also areas on campus that are inaccessible by car but can be patrolled easily on a bicycle. Bike patrols also provide officers with greater opportunities to connect with students and staff. Building stronger rapport and better communication between police and individuals on campus can help officers resolve concerns before they develop into problems.
The Motorcycle unit consists of six trained officers. Motorcycles have become a valuable asset for traffic escorts and providing emergency response in the congested traffic environments of the campus area. Motorcycle officers train with the St. Paul Police Department.
The Canine Unit was created in June 2003. We currently have three officers with canine partners. The Canine Unit assists officers and the University community in public relations and crime prevention. Our canine officers and handlers are certified in bomb detection and patrol assistance.
One of the biggest benefits the canine unit brings to the UMPD is efficiency. A dog can check a building for safety in less time than it might take four or five officers to do the same job. The department's canine unit is also involved in educating the community by conducting demonstrations not only for the campus community but also outside organizations.