BOSTON- On Thursday, March 13th, the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation filed by Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) classifying the University of Massachusetts campus police officers as police and not guards as they are presently classified.
“UMass police officers go through extensive police training to properly protect students on all 5 UMass campuses. This bill gives them their proper classification,” stated Senator Moore. “Outside of properly naming our campus police, this bill allowed each campus to enter into a mutual aid agreement with surrounding communities. These mutual aid agreements will go a long way to further ensure the safety of our students, by fostering a working relationship with local communities.”
The bill also gives each campus the opportunity to enter into a mutual aid agreement with surrounding communities. Without a mutual aid agreement, like that held by UMass Amherst, UMass police officers are limited to pursuing police action on the campus boundaries only. This provision was requested by UMass based on the special task force report on the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, where UMass Darmouth student and suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stored and prepared material used in an off-campus apartment, preventing campus police from potentially taking action.