ACUI Open Forum

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  • 1.  Events & Campus Police Assignments

    Posted 08-19-2022 18:09
    Colleagues - Hello from UMass Boston.  My department oversees conference and event services campus-wide.  Occasionally campus police are assigned to an event.  Currently this includes events with alcohol, dance parties, and events that may require campus police to ensure safety.   I am reaching out to other campuses to ask: What criteria does your campus use to determine when a public safety officer is assigned?  Do you have a specific set of criteria or an assignment grid/chart?  In short, what resources are available to event planners to help them to determine if/when a public safety officer may be assigned?  

    Please feel free to reply in the forum, or email me directly:

    Geoff Combs
    Executive Director, Campus Center & Event Services
    University of Massachusetts Boston
    Boston MA

  • 2.  RE: Events & Campus Police Assignments

    Posted 08-22-2022 08:54

    Hi Geoff,


    We have some basic guidelines and some templates for recurring event types. 


    • Closed events (invite only or guest lists) do not initially require security unless there are other mitigating factors.
    • Public events over 100 people, minimum one Fire Marshal and one Public Safety Officer.
      • "Public" can mean campus population only, basically anything not closed to a specific guest list.
    • Any event with cash merchandise sales requires at least one additional Public Safety Officer.
    • "Dance Parties" have a templated number of staff based on the venue they are in.
      • These events are only Friday or Saturday nights with a rare non-school night exception and run from 11:30p – 2:00a.
      • In addition to our Fire Safety and Public Safety officers we also employ stadium security staff to check IDs and wand patrons.
      • These are typically only open to college students (not just SU).
      • These are typically host by Greek organizations and alumni of that org are also allowed to attend.
    • "Concerts" have a templated number of staff based on the venue, and for our large auditorium venue configuration.
      • Concerts typically refers to nationally/internationally known contracted talent (Jack Harlow, B.o.B., 21 Savage, etc.) and also requires a stage barricade which is staffed by our concert security folks.  We use the term "Musical Performance" for similar style events that only utilize student performers and not carry the same security risks as contracted acts.
    • Our largest venue has multiple entrances that can be used to separate floor seating from balcony seating. In those scenarios we staff at a level to have a presence at both entrances. 
    • With the exception of Alumni/Donor events we're a dry building.  Alcohol is generally coordinated by our catering staff however we have utilized our stadium security staff from time to time for ID checks and wrist banding.


    Any contracted guest (musical act, speaker, etc.) is vetted by our Department of Public Safety to determine if there are any additional security concerns.  For example right before Covid we hosted a prominent female comedian who was receiving death threats based on some political statements she had made publicly and DPS worked with the event sponsor and her management to determine an appropriate security plan. 


    Any contractual security requirements are reviewed and if necessary negotiated by our DPS.  Guests area typically allowed their own security representative which is reviewed and coordinated by our DPS. 


    Also probably worth mentioning, Most of our Department of Public Safety officers that staff events are Peace Officers carrying firearms.  We do have a number of officers who are Community Service Officers (not sure if that's a universal term) that do not carry firearms.  It's a mixed bag of who we get at events based on their OT rules but the higher the security protocol for an event the more likely it's majority or all peace officers. 


    Let me know if you have any other questions!




    Scott Casanova '99
    (Pronouns: he/him/his)
    Associate Director
    Student Engagement

    T 315.443.4458   F 315.443.4617

    230 Schine Student Center, 200 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244

    Syracuse University