Campus Police coming in the Spring.


(File Photo)

Maia Cafri, Staff Writer

Montgomery College will soon start having its own campus police, according to Donna Schena’s MC Communication email sent out on Nov. 8.

Unlike the college’s current public safety officers, the campus police officers will have the power to make arrests and have the right to intervene in the event of an assault.

“The occurrence of violent incidents is very infrequent on our campuses,” says Steve Drummond, the Director of Public Safety at Montgomery College, “and our officers are trained to deescalate violence instead of using force to end the conflict.

The officers will carry pepper spray, batons, and handcuffs, but will not have tasers or handguns. Officers will also not be wearing body cameras.

“The distinction between a campus Public Safety Officer and a Campus Police Officer will be visible through new shoulder patches, badges and the equipment they carry,” said Schena.

The officers will start sometime in the spring semester of 2020. Four of the college’s public safety officers have attended the Community College of Baltimore County’s eight week Public Safety Academy according to Drummond. However, there is still an official swearing in process and transition process that needs to take place before campus police officers start.

At the academy, officers study constitutional and criminal law, deescalation of conflict, Maryland law, self-defense, arrest techniques, appropriate use of force, crime prevention as well as other related topics.

When the process is complete, the college plans to have between four and six campus police officers at the Rockville campus, in addition to sixteen public safety officers. The college also plans to have 2 or more campus police officers on every shift, at every campus.

“This hybrid model is common throughout the country,” said Schena, “And provides a career ladder for aspiring Campus Police Officers.”