Security Policy for Special Events

The University of North Florida Police Department is responsible for maintaining the peace and enforcing laws within the campus of the University of North Florida.  The University Police Department (UPD) will assist in the development of a security plan and/or the deployment of security personnel for any group requesting such.  The UPD may recommend the cancelation of an event if adequate preparations are not made for the safety and security of the attendees and our students, faculty, and staff.

 

UPD Philosophy – the UPD are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional law enforcement and public safety services to our community.  We are committed to the community’s needs and we strive to meet or exceed them.  We hope to assist in providing an environment that enables full participation in the educational environment by all members of our community.  We provide that assistance through consultation, supervision, education, and enforcement. We seek and encourage a cooperative effort with our community.

 

Authority – All events on the campus are governed by State Law, Florida Administrative Codes, Municipal Ordinance, University Regulations and Residence Life Policies.  This document outlines the UPD procedures to be used to determine the proper level of security for any campus event.  The UPD’s Police Officers are fully sworn law enforcement officers under Florida Law.  They are responsible for enforcement of all laws and ordinances of the jurisdiction.  They will also assist in the enforcement of University Regulations and rules to the extent allowable under Florida Law.

 

Arranging Security – Any group, club, individual or entity requiring security services may contact Lieutenant Mike Gwynes at (904) 620-2393 to arrange an appointment.  A Special Event Request Form should be completed before the meeting.  If a meeting is not arranged the forms will come to the Lieutenant who will make recommendations concerning appropriate security staffing.  The recommendations are based on several criteria including: expected attendance, advertising off campus, the location of the event, presence of alcohol, history of the event, other campus events during the same time frame and the time/duration of the event.

 

University Police Responsibilities

The senior officer working a special event will be designated as the Officer in Charge (OIC).  They are responsible for assigning and supervising all officers and safety rangers working an event, maintaining a liaison with the sponsor or site leader, supervising all police activities and responses associated with the event and ensuring the safety of all event attendees and the campus community. The senior officer is responsible to on-duty supervisors of a higher rank.  If an Event Leader disagrees with the decisions or actions of the OIC they are able to resolve the matter by direct consultation with the on-duty supervisor or watch commander either by requesting them through the OIC or calling UPD at (904) 620-2800.

 

Police Officer Duties – Officers are responsible for maintaining peace and security for the event.  The OIC will assign specific areas of responsibility and will supervise the attention to their duties.  In general, officers will remain mobile without interfering with the normal safe operation of the event.  If disturbances occur officers will take the action necessary to maintain a safe environment and resolve the conflict.  The UPD has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and drug use on campus.  All enforcement actions by officers will be documented on an After Action Report completed by the OIC after the event.  Officers will complete all necessary reports to document significant incidents and crimes occurring during an event.

 

Safety Ranger Duties – Safety Rangers are non-sworn OPS members of the UPD and are responsible for site security and traffic direction that does not require law enforcement action.  They are specifically forbidden from becoming physically involved in an incident unless they are doing so for the protection of themselves or another or they are directed to do so by a police officer in distress.  The rangers are not armed and therefore will not be assigned to any duty that requires the security of valuables or currency.

Sponsor Group Responsibilities

Event Leader – The event sponsor must identify a single person to be in charge of the group’s responsibilities and act as the sponsor group supervisor.  This person will be the point of contact for the senior officer and must supervise all event activities.

 

Student/T-Shirt Security – These are personnel supplied by the sponsoring group to assist with security of the event.  To be recognized as a security asset they must wear some form of uniform or identification that makes them easily recognizable as security. 

 

Sponsor Group Assistance/Intervention – Experience has shown that minor issues during events can be better handled by a minimum response by student/T-Shirt security.  They should take initial action on minor incidents, disputes, disagreements and violations of event rules.  If a police officer feels that the issue exceeds the abilities of the student/T-Shirt security he will take the appropriate action to resolve the problem.

 

Site Supervisor – Building managers or University Representatives responsible for a facility will assist in maintaining security and safety and protecting the assets of the University.  The OIC will consult with and assist the site supervisor concerning the building and building rules during the event. 

 

Costs and Considerations on Security Numbers

Charges – Personnel assigned to work security by UPD will usually be experienced police officers working on overtime status.  Safety Rangers are non-sworn trained security and safety assistants.  The following rates are estimated costs for services (actual costs may vary by seniority of officers).  The estimated cost for a police officer is $29.00 per hour.  The cost for safety rangers is $8.50 per hour.  There is a minimum charge of three hours for each person requested. 

 

Attendance – The estimated attendance listed on the Special Events Form is used to determine the level of staffing that will be provided for the event.  It is important that due consideration be given this prediction because the senior officer may limit attendance if the actual response exceeds a safe number of people for the location. 

 

Advertising – Sponsors are required to notify UPD in advance of the event of the extent and method of advertising.  Advertising may greatly affect the nature of the attendees and the level of attendance.  Any false representation by the sponsor will result in increased security levels at future events or denial of permission to hold events.

 

Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages will only be allowed at events when properly licensed, dispensed, and controlled in accordance with Florida Law and University Regulations.  Failure to properly check identification of drinkers or violations of licensing requirements may result in the issuance of a Notice to Appear, arrest of violators and/or closure of the event. 

 

Event History – The UPD will review the history of any event for which security is requested.  Events or groups with a history of violent or disruptive incidents will be required to have higher levels of security than those with no history. 

 

Staffing Levels – Required staffing levels will be set by the Police Operations Commander with input from the sponsoring group supervisor, information on the Special Events Form, prior similar events, and any other available information source. While it is recognized that security costs can be very expensive, in fact in some cases cost prohibitive; the costs will not be a consideration when assigning staffing levels.  The greater responsibility is in maintaining public safety, protecting attendees, and the University Community. 

 

Timelines – The times listed for the event are used for staffing decisions and are expected to be accurate.  Additional time may be charged before and beyond the actual times to allow for pre-event briefing and post-event activities, time expended investigating crimes/incidents and writing reports associated with the event.  Any extension of the end time will be contingent on the capability of maintaining an acceptable level of public safety during the extended period.  An event will not be considered closed or ended until any crowds have been disbursed from the area.  The OIC will consult with the Event Leader on how to disburse the crowd and at what point it is completed.

 

General Staffing Guidelines (Rules of Thumb):

  • Alcohol sales with projected attendance over 500 – minimum of two officers
  • Advertisement outside campus with projected attendance over 500 – minimum two officers
  • Police involvement in past events by the sponsor or group, as reported in police reports or After Action Reports, One officer per every 200 people in addition to the above if either or both apply.
  • In addition to the factors above if they apply:
    1. One officer for every 500 for inside events
    2. One officer for every 750 for outside events
    3. One supervisor must be hired for every four officers