Campus Law Enforcement for Colleges and Universities

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High School Diploma/GED


United States

A career as a college or university police officer is an important and rewarding one, with many duties and common tasks that must be performed to ensure safety on campus. College and university police officers have sworn law enforcement officers who are responsible for protecting the students, faculty, staff, visitors and other individuals associated with the school. They also protect school property and maintain order on campus.

The duties of a college or university police officer can vary depending on the particular school and its size. Generally speaking though, most campus police departments are responsible for providing security for the entire campus, which may include patrolling buildings, grounds, parking lots, residential areas, athletic events, concerts, theater performances and more. Additionally, they may be called upon to assist local law enforcement agencies in emergencies such as active shooter situations or natural disasters. Campus police also enforce state laws and university regulations while responding to incidents such as theft or assault.

In addition to general patrol duties college and university police officers may be assigned administrative tasks such as filing reports or conducting investigations into criminal activity that occurs on campus. They are also tasked with educating students about safety procedures both on-campus and off-campus through outreach programs such as rape prevention seminars or alcohol awareness classes. College and University Police Officers must stay up to date with all relevant laws pertaining to their jurisdiction in order to serve effectively in their role of maintaining safety on campus.

Common tasks of college and university police officers include responding quickly to emergency calls from faculty members or students; enforcing laws in regards to drug use, underage drinking, intoxication; issuing warnings for traffic violations; writing incident reports regarding criminal activities; making arrests when necessary; conducting surveillance operations; documenting suspicious activities; coordinating with local authorities when needed; providing escorts for students who feel unsafe travelling alone at night; interacting positively with members of the community who visit the campus; updating files containing information about any recent crimes committed on campus; attending meetings related to security issues of the college/university ; participating in trainings related to law enforcement techniques and procedures; maintaining weapons/equipment used by police department personnel ; patrolling designated areas on foot or vehicle ; providing guidance/instructions regarding specific security protocols set by institution authorities etc.

Overall being a College/University Police Officer requires someone who is willing to dedicate themselves fully to public service in order to provide a safe learning environment for everyone associated with it. This position demands knowledge of policing tactics combined with expertise in problem-solving skills so that potential issues can be addressed before they occur while promoting mutual respect between law enforcement personnel, students, faculty members, visitors & other members of the school community.

Online Application and Initial Screening

The hiring process begins with candidates submitting an online application, which typically includes their personal information, education, and work experience. The agency will then go through an initial screening process to ensure that the applicants meet the minimum qualifications for the position, such as age, education, and citizenship status requirements.

Written Examination

Candidates who pass the initial screening will then be invited to take a written examination to assess various skills and aptitudes, such as critical thinking, decision-making, memory recall, and report writing. This will help ensure that the candidates have the foundational knowledge necessary for success in a law enforcement career.

Physical Fitness Test

To ensure that candidates have the requisite physical abilities to perform their duties, they will have to successfully complete a physical fitness test. This test may include events such as running, push-ups, sit-ups, and other exercises that assess stamina, strength, and agility.

Oral Board Interview

After successfully completing the previous steps, candidates will be invited for an oral interview with agency representatives. This is a critical opportunity for both the agency and the candidate to assess their compatibility and for the candidate to demonstrate their interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, and commitment to law enforcement. In many cases, if an applicant successfully passes the oral board, they may be issued a conditional offer at this stage.

Background Investigation

Law enforcement agencies conduct thorough background investigations on candidates to ensure that they possess the moral character and integrity needed for the job. The investigation may include interviews with family, friends, neighbors, employers, and others who can provide insight into the candidate's character. Additionally, candidates may be subjected to credit checks, driving record reviews, and criminal history checks.

Psychological Evaluation

To assess a candidate's emotional and mental stability, they may undergo a psychological evaluation. This process may include interviews with a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, as well as written tests that assess personality traits and mental stability. In most cases, the Psychologist or Psychiatrist will have access to the details of the background investigation.

Polygraph Examination

Many agencies require a polygraph examination to verify the truthfulness of the information provided by candidates during the application process. This step aims to detect any omission or falsification of information, which could disqualify an applicant from the law enforcement profession.

Medical Examination

Candidates must pass a comprehensive medical examination to ensure that they are in good health and physically capable of performing the demanding tasks associated with law enforcement work. The examination includes vision and hearing tests, as well as a thorough assessment of their overall medical condition.

Academy Training

Upon a final offer of employment, having successfully satisfied the requirements of the hiring process, successful candidates will attend an agency-sponsored training academy. Some agencies require their officers to participate in a field training program prior to the academy. Other agencies require the candidates complete the academy before starting their field training program. This structured program provides extensive academic, physical, and practical training on the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for a career in law enforcement.

Probationary Period & Field Training Program

After graduating from the academy, new officers will enter a probationary period, working under the supervision of experienced colleagues. This phase allows officers to practically apply their training on the job and provides the agency with an opportunity to evaluate their performance and readiness for independent duty. This timeframe can vary between 12 months all the way to 24 months.


Not all police departments will have specialized units, and the availability of these assignments may vary depending on the size, needs, and resources of the specific law enforcement agency. The steps in the hiring process vary and range from different agencies. For the most accurate information, please contact the agency directly and obtain the information from the agency regarding the exact steps in the hiring process.