From the Chancellor - CU Boulder to Establish Community Safety Task Force
Aug. 18, 2020
On Friday, my cabinet and I approved a plan to convene the first CU Boulder Community Safety Task Force with the goal of strengthening accountability, building trust, and fostering greater transparency and engagement between campus police and the broader university community.
The new task force will evaluate community policing policies, practices and training and recommend steps to ensure that public safety works for the entire campus community. Members will be nominated and include representatives from CU Student Government (CUSG), the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) and other student, faculty and staff shared governance and campus stakeholder groups. The task force will issue preliminary recommendations to the campus before the fall semester ends.
Under Chief Doreen Jokerst’s leadership, CUPD has already taken many proactive steps toward its goal of becoming a national model for university policing.
After assuming her leadership role in August of 2018, Chief Jokerst moved quickly to implement an array of educational and operational best practices that include expanded de-escalation training; training to improve police responses in situations involving people impacted by mental health issues; and training to build greater equity and understanding among officers, students, faculty and staff. She has also fostered new community partnerships, implemented a comprehensive officer recruitment plan to better reflect campus diversity, and invested in mandated body-worn cameras for all officers and cameras in all marked vehicles.
This summer, Chief Jokerst made it her priority to meet with student leaders, faculty and staff to hear their concerns and to map out new benchmarks that will allow her department to operate more effectively, equitably and collaboratively going forward. Convening this task force is another critical step in further supporting the proactive and positive efforts she and her department have engaged in over the past two years.
Thanks to these efforts, CUPD was already compliant with many of the key requirements contained within Colorado’s new policing law. Among other mandates, the law, which takes full effect on July 1, of 2023, requires local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol to issue body-worn cameras to all officers and to release recordings to the public within 21 days of a misconduct report. CUPD mandated body-worn cameras for all campus officers last year and this summer installed in-vehicle cameras in marked police cars, a step that goes beyond the new state law. In addition, the department’s body-worn camera policy was recognized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for its promotion of police transparency and accountability.
Altogether this work aligns with key components of my eight immediate actions to enable change to redress systemic racism and to foster a campus community that is, in words and in deeds, antiracist and promotes equity and opportunities for all who come to CU Boulder to pursue their academic and career goals.
I invite you to watch for updates once the task force begins its work.