New York State University Police

New York State University Police
New York State University Police
Common name State University Police
Abbreviation NYSUP
NYS University Police.jpg
Patch of the New York State University Police.
Motto Protecting New York's Future
Agency overview
Formed 1999
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of New York, USA
Legal jurisdiction New York
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction Buildings and lands occupied or explicitly controlled by the educational institution and the institution's personnel, and public entering the buildings and immediate precincts of the institution.
Operational structure
Police Officers Approx. 600
Agency executive David Schindler, Director for University Police
Parent agency State University of New York
Stations 28
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New York State University Police (NYSUP) is the law enforcement agency of the State University of New York (SUNY), the state university system of New York. Approximately 600 uniformed officers and investigators, and 64 chiefs serve the 28 state college and university campuses throughout the state.[1]

State University Police Officers are charged with the detection and prevention of crime and the enforcement of state and local laws and rules and regulations. Officers speak on topics such as sexual assault, drugs, crime prevention, and traffic safety and are responsible for developing and maintaining a positive relationship with students, faculty and staff in order to ensure the safety and cooperation of the entire campus community.

State University Police Officers receive their official powers through the Education Law and the Criminal Procedure law. These authorize a State University Police Officer to make warrantless arrests based on probable cause; to use appropriate force in making an arrest; to issue uniform appearance tickets and traffic summonses and to execute arrest and bench warrants.

One of the things which make the state university police unique, is that for minor offenses Officers (at their discretion) can refer students to the college judicial board instead of pursuing an arrest; however, officers also have the option to arrest students for offsenses and simultaneously refer them to the college judiciary (increasing the capacity for the officers to be a deterrent to crime).

State University Police Officers are assigned to fixed or rotating shifts involving patrol assignments or dispatch/desk posts.

Officers also can take advantage of statewide promotional opportunities.[2]

Unlike the NYS Park Police each SUNY PD operates as its own police department, although it would be cheaper and more efficient to centralize the department, the SUNY administration and state legislature have continued to fight moves to centralize the police department.



The New York State University Police were formed in response to the growing unrest that was taking place through the SUNY system during the mid-1960s. Demonstrations and protests against the Vietnam War, the growing use of drugs, the questioning of authority, political movements with their sit-in demonstrations all contributed to the formation of today's State University Police. Several incidents during the 1990s brought the need for a full service police agency to the forefront. These included a hostage-taking in a SUNY Albany lecture hall by a deranged gunman,[3] the "Bike Path Rapist" who killed a female student at the University at Buffalo,[4] and the suspicious circumstances regarding the disappearance of a SUNY Albany student while on campus.[5] While no longer in the forefront of the public mind, these and other incidents moved the Governor and Legislature to create the New York State University Police in 1999. Today the State University Police provide much needed services to the university community. Through community policing, the NYSUP reaches out not only to the immediate campus community, but to the surrounding communities as well. Officers have the powers of arrest, issue uniform traffic tickets, and enforce all New York State penal laws.[6]


  • 1971 - First Campus Security Officer exam was given
  • 1972 - Security and Peace Officers were included in the Education Law
  • 1974 - First arming program conducted at S.U.N.Y. Albany
  • 1975 - Task force for Public Safety recommends move from Education Law to Penal Law
  • 1980 - The omnibus Peace Officer Bill was signed putting Public Safety Officer/University Police in the Criminal Procedure Law.
  • 1986 - Dr. Bruce McBride appointed as Director of Public Safety
  • 1995 - New York State University Police name proposed
  • 1999 - January 1: University Public Safety officers gain Police Officer status (State University Police Officers now use police officer title and mirror the New York State Police.) [7]


While initial trainees were once trained at the New York State Police Academy in Albany, NY, prospective new officers are now trained at the regional Zone academies in the area in which they are first stationed. Training at these academies is rigorous and meets or exceeds New York State Department of Criminal Justice Standards for Police Officers. The Police Officer Basic Course includes training in:

  • Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law, Environmental Conservation Law and others.
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug and Alcohol Recognition and Enforcement
  • Emergency Vehicle Operation
  • Firearms and Chemical Agents
  • Physical Training
  • Arrest Techniques and Process
  • Report Writing
  • Interviewing and Interrogating
  • Investigation Techniques
  • Patrol Tactics
  • Traffic and Felony Vehicle Stops
  • Critical Incident Management
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Emotionally Disturbed Persons
  • Computer Operations

Each new officer must then complete a minimum of twelve weeks of on-the-job training assigned to a Field Training Officer at their respective campus.[8]

Specialized Units

Depending on location and training, New York State University Police Officers may be selected for specialized units that allow the agency to better serve the community. Some of these units include:

  • Police Bike Patrol Unit
  • Firearms Training Unit
  • Emergency Response Team (SWAT)
  • Crime Prevention/Education Unit
  • K-9 Unit (Tracking, Narcotics and/or Explosive Detection)
  • Crime Scene Unit
  • Civil Disturbance Response Unit
  • Honor Guard
  • Executive Protection Unit
  • Rape Aggression Defense Class Instructor Unit[9]

The New York State University Police also has a Criminal Investigations Unit, a plainclothes unit responsible for both criminal and non-criminal investigations. Criminal Investigators train in a broad variety of investigative topics such as Sexual Assault Investigations, Domestic Violence, Computer and White Collar Crimes, Homicide and Evidence Collection and Preservation.[10]

Recent developments

  • In 2010 the New York State University Police at Stony Brook became the 2nd department in NYSUP to become an accredited law enforcement agency by the New York York state department of Criminal justice services. An honor Which shows that they exceed the standards required to be a law enforcement agency in the fine state of New York. Less than half the law enforcement agencies in New York have been able to meet the requirement for accreditation; Therefore, proving the dedication to professionalism and high standards set by NYUP at stony brook. Check back for a listing for the other accredited NYSUP departments.
  • The President of the New York State University Police Officers Union, James McCartney, testified in 2007 to the state Senate Higher Education Committee[11] and again in 2008 to the SUNY Board of Trustees[12] as to what he expressed were ongoing issues with the State University Police, including a dysfunctional decentralized command system and ongoing staffing, equipment and training deficiencies. Mr. McCartney also expressed concern with the waste of a top-heavy UPD Chief staff, with 65 management positions compared to only 24 total in the other state law enforcement agencies combined.
  • Also in 2007, an investigative audit by the New York State Comptroller found that the majority of the SUNY campuses had under-reported crimes and failed to disclose certain safety and security policies at their location, in violation of the Federal Clery Act. State University Police Stations found to be in violation of Federal Law by failing to disclose safety and security policies included SUNY Albany, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Downstate Medical, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Optometry, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Alfred State, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Environmental and Forestry (ESF), SUNY Farmington, SUNY Maritime, SUNY Morrisville, and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT). Campuses found to be violating Federal Law by underreporting crime statistics included SUNY Binghamton, SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Alfred State, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Farmingdale, SUNY Maritime and SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT). The audit noted that SUNY Stony Brook University Police was found to have not reported 48% of the index crimes which occurred at the University; in particular, several sexual assaults had been labeled as "Investigations," and therefore not properly disclosed to the community.[13]
  • Following the arrest in 2009 of three SUNY Geneseo students on Criminally Negligent Homicide charges in the death of a 19 year-old student[14] it was revealed that the New York State Inspector General[15] was investigating the State University Police at Geneseo police administration.[16] Investigators appeared to be focusing on renewed allegations that SUNY Geneseo was violating federal law by not accurately reporting crimes, and on allegations that the police administration was not notifying neighboring agencies when it became aware of students engaging in criminal activity off campus.

See also

Portal icon New York portal
Portal icon Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal

The audit of SUNY compliance with the Clery act was appealed because of complaints that "accounting tricks" were used to find fault with Annual Security Reports (ASR) by the Office of the State Comptroller. After much discussion and negotion, OSC issued a formal letter that stated that any discrepancies reported in an earlier audit had been corrected by SUNY, and that campuses were substantially in compliance.


  1. ^ Stony Brook State University Police page
  2. ^ Cortland State University Police page
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Stony Brook State University Police page
  7. ^ Stony Brook State University Police page
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

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