Campus police also known as university police are part of the police force in Canada and the United States. They are fully sworn in police officers who are employed by a public university, college or school district with the primary objective of protecting the campus and its vicinity as well the individuals who live work or visit the campus. The campus police force is comprised of officers drawn from various backgrounds like security guards, police officers and student workers. There is a slight difference between the duties assumed by a student employee as compared to a commissioned officer though they are more or less similar. For example the activities may range from law enforcement functions to administrative duties. This police department is founded to give a rapid response to incidents occurring within campus and its neighborhood. They also provide services which are campus specific which cannot be provided locally by policing organizations. Their importance is heralded by the fact that universities sometimes may have a huge student's population which even surpasses the population of the civilians living around. This presents a challenge of guaranteeing security to either side prompting the need for campus police.
City police on the other hand is the branch of the police charged with the responsibility of crime detection and investigation in a city. Its plays a very vital role in controlling crime in areas within the city. The size of the cities and the relatively large number of people visiting them at any point in time calls for a better way of ensuring that they are secure. This was the reason why this police department was established. For example, New York City police department is the largest in United States and it was the first of its kind to be instituted. It has a wide spectrum of specialized services like bomb disposal, harbor patrol, tactical operations, ant-gang, and counter-terrorism among others. The size of respective city police department keeps on fluctuating depending on politics, the rate of crimes and the total funding at the disposal of the relevant managing authority. They are financed by the municipality and the police chief sis at the helm. The police chief is either elected or selected by the mayor of the respective city.
Many colleges in the United States have their own police agency or campus security. A security operation in a campus provides the campus with access services like information booth staffing, entrance gate monitoring, building security, key control, escort services, traffic monitoring and the like (Zdziarski, Dunkel & Rollo, 2007). Campus police may go a notch higher and provide services such as criminal investigations which may involve collection and analysis of evidence as well as reports, community services like theft prevention, bike safety and possession identification and victim advocacy. Other services rendered to the community include emergency operations coordination center and critical accidents response. This police department may use ATVs, cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles as well as bicycles to operate in varying campus situations and environment (Zdziarski, Dunkel & Rollo, 2007). The structure of campus policing includes the chief or director who is responsible for overseeing the operation. The director is appointed by campus senior administration and reports to the senior administrator. The chiefs supervise the operations and may have other subjects such as majors and colonels who are appear as assistant directors or associate directors. These associate and assistant directors reports to the chiefs. Campus police department also has a military style organizational structure comprising of lieutenants, captains, corporals and sergeants (Zdziarski, Dunkel & Rollo, 2007).
On the other hand, city police may give the primary services offered by the campus police which may entail provision of security functions in the campus such as access, booth service, parking and building control and so on. Similar to the campus police, city police work in military organizational structure where the police chief supervises the operation. He is selected by the council/commission or city manager. He reports to the city manger. Depending on the size of the city and level of operation, the city police present are capable of providing full police services. This limitation is brought about by limited number of staff and resources in small cities. However, most city police are capable of providing full police services. Whenever, they need a back up they call on state police or county sheriff. This shows that the two departments are more similar in the discussed areas. The other similarity is based on training where both campus and city police are trained in similar manner. However, the campus police must undergo additional training on human relation, public relations. They also have an obligation to learn the special rules as applied in parking and dorms which definitely differs from city ordinances. They must also learn more about the adherence of regental rules besides the applicable state, city and federal laws. Another basis of comparison is in terms of jurisdiction where the jurisdiction of campus police is confined to buildings and lands owned and run by the campus. The jurisdiction may however be statewide if the campus involved operates agricultural outreach offices in every state often country. On the other hand, city police jurisdiction comprises of buildings and land within the buildings of a city. It also encompasses property of the campus if there are existing aid agreement between the campus and the city police department (Zdziarski, Dunkel, & Rollo, 2007).
From another perspective, campus police are faced wit unique challenges as compared to city police. One such challenge is the compliance with federal crime reporting guidelines. In contrast to city police who may opt to give their local statistics about crime to the FBI every year, campus police are strictly commanded from the Clergy Act to publicly announce the crime statistics in the campus to prospective and current student, university employees as well as parents. Failure to comply with such requirements may prompts sanctions including reduced financial aid by the federal for the respective university or college (Greene, 2006). The other major challenge pertinent to campus police is the transitory nature experienced in college campus. The rate and magnitude of transition in campuses is more pronounced than what is experienced in city police agencies. This is because a university has a huge number of new and graduating students every year coupled with hiring and departure of staff. There is also the great number of visitors to the campus daily. This transitory environment presents exclusive challenges to campus police. They have to address them daily via administrative and tactical concerns (Greene, 2006).
From a job related comparison perspective, campus police offices are considered to be more proactive than the city police when it comes to their patrol duties. This means that their response time when a crime occurs is shorter than what is exhibited by city police. Notable, they end up filing more cases than city police who often end up arriving at the scenes of the crime ten to thirty minutes late. According to Hoffman, Schuh and Fenske (1998), campus police are more active and more involved in issues of policy making and share with the society the obligation of maintaining order and reducing crimes.
Conclusively, campus police and city police departments share numerous similarities like their structure, main objective (crime control), service to community and order maintenance as well as tactical characteristics, there are differences which separate the two branches. These include scope of jurisdiction, federal reporting requirements and work related transitions being experienced in respective department. However, it's imperative to note that campus police are more active that city policy and that is why they end up starting more crime cases comparatively. Their nature of work demand that they under go additional training in public and human relations because they directly work with the public. This is unlike the city police who undergo the normal training only.