Lack of Transparency Allows Campus Police to Operate Without Oversight

In April 2006, a rookie Chicago cop named Alicia Roman opened fire into the walls of her estranged husband’s home. She was fired from the force later that year, but hired as a sworn police officer by Loyola’s private police department, Campus Safety, in 2008.

The same year Roman was hired at Loyola, Campus Safety officers allegedly accused four minority students of having fake student IDs and called them “gangbangers.” During the unrest on campus that followed, many Loyola students of color said they’d had similar experiences.

Similar things were happening at the University of Chicago, where allegations of racial profiling snowballed into a student-led campaign to reform the university’s police department.

At both universities — and at the majority of colleges in the United States — campus police are sworn officers with the same powers as municipal cops. But their salaries are paid for by universities, not taxpayers, and officers are only accountable to the schools’ boards of trustees.

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