Midstate state senator's proposal would expand campus police jurisdiction

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 6, 2015 1:12 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A state senator from central Pennsylvania wants to clarify campus police powers after a 2014 state court ruling restricted their authority.

With just a of couple changes in wording, the proposal from state Senator Lloyd Smucker would allow campus police to pull over anyone driving on a public road through many college campuses.

It would apply to the 14 state-owned universities, like Bloomsburg, Kutztown, Millersville and Shippensburg.

"There are a number of public roads that run directly through the grounds that are owned of the university. Yes, these are regularly traveled and patrolled by the campus police," says Smucker, a Lancaster Republican.

"I think it's a really common sense correction to the law that is necessary to ensure safety on our campuses."

At the four state-related schools, Penn State, Pitt and Temple, police already have the authority to stop anyone driving on a public road running through their campuses.

The proposal is spurred by a 2014 state Superior Court ruling overturning a driver's arrest because a campus police officer conducted the traffic stop.

The State System of Higher Education and the campus police officers union both support the legislation.

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