The primary responsibility of the University Police Department’s (UPD) Police Operations Division is to provide constant police patrol of the campus proper and surrounding areas and roadways 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to seek out, suppress and deter crime, preserve the peace and protect life and property by enforcing the criminal and traffic laws of the State of Florida; municipal ordinances of the Consolidated City of Jacksonville and rules and regulations of the University of North Florida.
The members of this division are uniformed, armed and sworn State law enforcement officers with full law enforcement authority and powers of arrest as provided by Florida State Statue. Division members are the most publicly visible representatives of the department and actively respond to general and emergency calls for police service via car, bicycle, segway, ATV and on foot.
The Police Operations Division is divided into two functional sections; Day Operations and Night Operations. Day Operations is comprised of two patrol squads, Traffic Unit, and Special Operations Unit. Night Operations is comprised of two patrol squads and the Community Safety Unit.
The Special Operations Unit (SOU) is generally responsible for the follow-up investigation of most criminal offenses that are reported to UPD. The detectives investigate several hundred criminal cases a year. Members of the SOU are also charged with participating in the Florida Regional Domestic Security Taskforce, North Florida’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce, Florida’s Child Abduction Response Team and provide dignitary protection to visiting government officials and honored guests of the University.
There are currently two Detectives assigned to the Special Operations Unit. Detectives must demonstrate investigative and problem solving skills before they are chosen for the position. Once assigned to the unit, a Detective will receive many additional hours of training that are unique and specialized for their field. These areas include: interview and interrogations, crime scene processing, latent fingerprint developing, advanced photography, search and seizure, sexual assault investigation, drug related crime investigation, computer forensic investigation, hostage negotiation and many other courses. The Special Operations Unit is directly supervised by a Detective Sergeant who reports to the division’s Day Lieutenant.
Detectives also work closely with their counterparts at other law enforcement agencies; municipal, county, state, and federal. The UPD depends on the assistance of these agencies when conducting investigations that routinely leave the confines of the campus or extend beyond the jurisdictional and enforcement boundaries of the department. These other agencies also look to UPD to provide needed equipment, knowledge, and resources that they may need to conduct their own investigations.
The Safety Ranger Unit was created and implemented by the department to enhance security on campus. The unit is typically comprised of part-time safety rangers, who are primarily responsible for patrolling the parking lots and the library at night. The safety rangers also assist police officers in traffic control, working events on campus and test all emergency phones on campus to ensure they can connect to the Police Communication Center.
While safety rangers are not police officers and cannot write state citations; they do wear uniforms to clearly identify themselves as members of the UPD and are equipped with bikes, police radios and reflective gear. Safety Rangers have successfully passed a background check, are first-aid/CPR/AED certified, and trained in UPD rules and regulations.
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