UO Safety Officers Now 'Police'
Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard
The University of Oregon Department of Public Safety is no more. Effective Monday, the campus safety and law enforcement agency took a new name: the University of Oregon Police Department.
The symbolic but planned change comes nine months after the state Legislature authorized the UO to build a full-fledged campus police department - a process that could take as long as six years to complete.
The new name represents "no change in services and no change in the equipment used" by officers, department spokesman Kelly McIver said. Campus officers carry batons, pepper spray and handcuffs, but are not authorized to carry firearms.
The agency already employs 11 sworn police officers, all of whom are employed as department supervisors. The list includes interim Chief Carolyn McDermed and newly hired Capt. Pete Deshpande. Both worked for the Eugene Police Department before shifting to the UO.
In the coming months, the university police agency will begin hiring certified police officers to handle frontline patrol and investigative duties on campus.
Patrol and security at the UO is now handled in large part by the department's 16 "public safety officers" - employees who have undergone reserve police officer training and have limited arrest powers. …