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Police Review Panel Memo 1
& Partial Chronology

April 16, 1997
Revised May 14, 1997

Memo 1


When the university administration imposed an armed campus police force on us in 1993, we were told we'd have a procedure for on-campus review of complaints about the police.

We're still waiting.

Memo 1




Dennis Fox, Associate Professor of Legal Studies


April 16, 1997


Senate Meeting on Police Review

As many of you know, UIS still has no procedures in place to investigate complaints about campus police--four years after such procedures were promised. The Campus Senate is scheduled to discuss this issue on April 25. Please come to the meeting if you'd like there to be campus oversight of our armed police.

The original 1993 proposal for a campus police force called for a University Review Panel "to accept and review complaints from members of the university community." The University Assembly passed a bill repeating this language in January, 1994.

A Police Review Panel was set up. But when complaints about the police were filed in March 1995 the panel decided not to investigate because it did not yet have procedures in place.

The panel met to establish procedures, but then it proposed instead simply sending complaints to outside agencies or internal administrators. This proposal was reported to the Campus Senate in November, 1995--almost a year and a half ago.

The proposal then went up to the Chancellor's office for review.

It never came back. [note: see below for more details]

On April 25, the Senate will finally take up the issue. Although the Administration has already indicated its disregard for governance action on police matters--the Faculty Senate's 1993 vote against bringing armed police to campus was ignored--the Senate at least provides a forum for voicing campus concerns.

The attached chronology sorts through the high and low points of our collective failure to establish a complaint procedure and related events. Please let me know of any errors or significant omissions.


Updated 14 May 1997

Fall 1991(?) The germ of an idea is planted. The SSU News on September 15, 1993 quotes Steve Egger: "When Dr. Lynn started two years ago, I informed her of the liability of not having a campus police force."

October 1992. PQP initiative says UIS should consider the formation of University Police/Security Department. Nine-person Task Force is appointed with Steve Egger as chair.

April 27, 1993. Security Task Force presents its report to President Lynn. Selected items:

  • "The driving force which resulted in the formation of the SSU Task Force on Security was the concern of President Lynn for university liability resulting from crimes committed on the university campus."
  • "The police responsibility for the maintenace of order is conditioned by an overriding concern for protecting individual rights and ensuring social justice."
  • Among recommended charges to the proposed University Review Panel:
    • "To accept and review complaints from members of the university community relating to activities and actions of employees of the campus police department."
    • "To monitor the implementation of on-going services and activities related to law enforcement..."
    • "To pay special attention to ... continuing education and training of police officers with particular attention to issues of sensitivity to the needs of the university community."

April 28, 1993. University schedules May 10 Community Meeting to discuss Task Force Report.

May 7, 1993. Faculty Senate President Regan Smith reports that President Lynn refuses to allow full governance review of the Task Force Report because "circumstances regarding liability are propelling movement on this issue."

May 10, 1993. Open meeting on the Task Force Report brings lots of questions from the relatively few people who showed up for this meeting, which the university scheduled during Finals Week.

Summer 1993. President Lynn accepts the Task Force Report, perhaps in consultation with the Senate Steering Committee. Not clear what happened.

October 8, 1993. Senate told that shift to Police Force is underway. Senators expressing concerns are told that Steering Committee will take them up later.

October 22, 1993. Senate considers UA Bill 23-4 to Create a University Security Department Review Panel.

November 4, 1993. Faculty Senator Kathryn Eisenhart, a lawyer, finishes report dismissing university's claim that an armed police force is necessary to prevent liability.

November 5, 1993. Senate once again discusses Review Panel Bill 23-4.

November 19, 1993. Senate considers Faculty Senate Resolution 23-3, A Resolution on the Decision to Hire Armed Police Officers. During long discussion, in response to the Eisenhart report dismissing concerns about liability, Egger reports (contrary to prior statements) that "the driving force behind the Task Force recommendations was service to constituents--not liability." SSU attorney and presidential assistant Doug Anderson acknowledges that liability issue is not clear.

December 3, 1993. Senate passes Resolution 23-3. Paraphrasing:

Because of the flawed decision-making process, the Task Force's incorrect assumptions and conclusions, the opposition by many members of the campus community, and the failure to have full campus consideration and governance action, Be it resolved that the Administration reverse its decision to replace the security guards with armed police officers.

During discussion, Senate President Barbara Hayler clarifies that the task force was not requested to look at alternative options, just to examine whether SSU should have a police force.

January 28, 1994. Senate approves University Assembly Bill 23-4 creating Security Department Review Panel. Among its provisions:

  • To accept and review complaints from members of the university community relating to activities and actions of the police.
  • To monitor the implementation of on-going services and activities related to law enforcement and the maintenance of order on campus.
  • To pay special attention to...continuing education and training of security force employees with particular attention to issues of sensitivity to the needs of the university community.
  • The panel "shall provide periodic reports to the Senates and the President..."

May 5, 1994. In response to concerns expressed in the annual report of the University Committee on the Status of University Women, President Lynn notes that "the administration is committed to the security force's being specifically trained to work in a university campus context and to deal with sensitivity with issues involving women and minorities."

December 2, 1994. The Senate is told that the Security Review Force Panel has met and that is it developing a complaint process for the university community and undertaking a review of a security manual to serve as security force policy.

March 15, 1995. Campus police officers arrest two faculty members who are distributing leaflets in Brookens.

Spring 1995. Police Review Panel decides not to review complaints about March 15 police action because it has not yet set up complaint procedures. Senate discusses complaint procedures and police training. Senate asks Police Review Panel to prepare report over the summer.

August 25, 1995. Police Review Panel members do not come to Senate meeting; no report.

September 8, 1995. Police Review Panel reports that "a complaint procedure is being drafted, and will go to the panel soon before going to Chancellor Lynn and Carl Long." Much discussion of police priorities. The Panel has not yet turned to issues of police training. Scott Marshall reminds Senate that "there was an understanding that the police would be university community police, especially selected and trained for our community."

November 17, 1995. After several requests, Steve Egger finally reports to the Senate that the Review Panel has prepared its recommendations. Among them: "The police review panel will review the investigations [of complaints] but will not do the investigations themselves." Complaints will be referred to the State Police or other authorities. (This is contrary to widespread expectations--the distinction between "reviewing" and "investigating" had not been made earlier.)

Egger: "The panel hopes to have this procedure approved by the chancellor in the next 3 weeks.

December 1995/January 5, 1996. During semester break, UIS announces it is hiring three new police officers. It also expands police jurisdiction to Lincoln Land Community College. Senate Secretary Keith Miller distributes memo to Senators that mentions a letter-to-the-editor on the police issue written by Dennis Fox. The Senate fails to re-visit the issue.

April 1997. Seventeen months after Egger's three-week time estimate for chancellor approval, it is not clear to most people whose desk the report sat on all this time. This mystery is clarified at April 25 Senate meeting by UIS lawyer Doug Anderson, who explains that the report didn't sit on just one desk but went back and forth from one adminstrator's desk to another:

November 1995: Doug meets with Police Review Panel, which now consists primarily of Steve Egger (appointed to the Panel by the Administration). He asks for revisions.

January 1996: Another meetingbetween Doug and the Panel to refine language.

April 1996: Panel sends draft to Administration. Administration sends it back to Panel for more refinement.

October 1996: Egger (no longer formally on the Panel that no longer exists) leaves policy draft in Carl Long's in-basket without cover letter. Long doesn't know what he's supposed to do with it so he ignores it.

April 1997: In response to queries, Administration locates draft. Administrators huddle. Lynn sends a final version to Senate even though Anderson says the proposed policy was never formally submitted to the Chancellor.

April 16, 1997. Dennis Fox distributes memo to faculty urging support for acceptable complaint policy,along with this chronology. Receives comments from faculty members and others who have their own concerns, especially the administration's failure to ensure that its police officers are sensitive to women's safety.

April 23, 1997. Chancellor Lynn unilaterally imposes police complaint policy removing any substantive role for the Police Review Panel. Sends policy to Senate "for information purposes" only.

April 25, 1997. Senate meets. Doug Anderson defends the Administration. Fox distributes critique of policy. Clarified at meeting: neither the Chancellor nor the Senate appointed anyone to the Review Panel this year. Brief discussion toward end of long meeting resolves nothing. Discussion will continue at May 2 meeting.

April 28, 1997. Fox distributes yet another memo, proposing a resolution for the Senate to take up on May 2. He hopes this is the last memo he has to write about this subject. He hopes others who agree with him tell the Senate to do something rather than just urge him on from the sidelines.

May 2, 1997. Campus Senate passes resolution by voice vote with no dissenting votes. The Resolution directs the Senate Steering Committee to inform the Chancellor that there is a discrepancy between her new police complaint policy and the charge to the Police Review Panel to review complaints.

Will the Chancellor revise her flawed policy and provide for meaningful on-campus review of complaints?

Or will she acknowledge the Senate's concerns but claim nothing can be done?

Or will she just ignore the resolution completely, as she did when the Senate voted more than two years ago reverse the decision to hire the police?

May 14, 1997. Concerns about the chancellor's inadequate policy are brought into focus: The administration provides no meaningful investigation of a complaint concerning university-hired private guards who prevented union leafleting at a public May 2 function in downtown Springfield. Although campus police were not involved, the administration's whitewash of an investigation demonstrates how complaints about police are likely to be handled.

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