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UCMPD Commitment to Campus Community

July 23, 2020

Re: UCMPD Commitment to Campus Community

To: All campus

July 23, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As we move from reflection to meaningful and sustained action, the UC Merced Police Department has been actively reviewing how we serve and engage with our campus community. Challenging times call on us to examine the work we do through multiple lenses, setting aside tradition and focusing on systemic change to continue to keep our campus safe.

I am proud of your UC Merced police officers for the exceptional work they have done thus far, both personally and professionally, and I further want to express our deep commitment as a team to continuing this work through awareness trainings, working with the Task Force that Chancellor Juan Muñoz and Executive Vice Chancellor Gregg Camfield discussed in their previous announcement and finding additional opportunities for transparency and dialogue with the community.

I would like to use this memo to share the collaborative work we’ve accomplished thus far.

Philosophy and Approach

UCMPD’s philosophy is that we are part of the student success process. We are committed to providing a safe environment for learning and growing. We will continue to work collaboratively with all our stakeholders about how we serve our community by listening to their concerns. Through this process:

· UCMPD removed the carotid restraint from our department Use of Force policy on June 8, 2020.

· UCMPD is working with the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Residence Education to review UCMPD practices and procedures on how we respond to incidents on campus from classroom disruptions to disputes in student housing. Proposed changes will be shared with the campus community.

UCMPD has successfully:

· Implemented the recommendations of the UC System-wide Task Force on Policing.

· Adopted and implemented many of the recommendations from President Obama’s Taskforce on 21 st Century Policing .

· Aligned its practices to meet the Eight Can’t Wait Campaign.

New Initiatives and Community Engagement

UCMPD is committed to developing new initiatives and community engagement opportunities in close collaboration with our campus stakeholders.

UCMPD partnered with the Dean of Students Office on the UC Merced Promise Project, a campus-wide initiative focused on the commitment to advancing racial justice and discussing ways racism and discrimination influence our lives.

· UCMPD is working with the Merced County District Attorney's office by serving on a workgroup with our neighboring agencies. UCMPD will take the lead on developing training for Merced County law enforcement officers based on social justice frameworks and improving law enforcement services countywide.

· UCMPD is developing restorative justice dialogues based on historical trauma and racial healing with the Dean of Students Office and Office of Social Justice Initiatives and Identity Programs.

· UCMPD will continue to impact our community through our youth Mentoring Program. Our officers mentor UC Merced students, who then mentor Sheehy Elementary students.

We encourage our community to participate in the various trainings we offer, such as:

· Rape Aggression Defense ( RAD ) for women

· Violent Intruder Response ( VIRT ) Program,

During this current pandemic, UCMPD is also developing new ideas for community engagement that is safe and respectful of everyone’s health concerns. These will be shared throughout the school year.

Trainings and Professional Development

UCMPD is committed to ongoing training and professional development to be more responsive, understanding and supportive of our community. UC Merced police officers and staff participate in the UNDOCUally training, LGBTQ+ training, CARE Program training, Disability Services training, Mental Health Response training and more.

· All UCMPD officers and staff have completed a variety of trainings which we’ve listed on this site for transparency.

· UCMPD staff will attend the following upcoming trainings: Black Minds Matter: Addressing the Parallels between the Policing of Black Lives and Schooling of Black Minds

· All UC Merced police officers will be attending the training on " Racial Trauma, Healing, and Resiliency: A web-based opportunity for learning and growth ."

Assessment and Accountability

As an organization, we frequently look for feedback to help us improve our services, develop new services and evaluate whether our engagement with our community is both appropriate and professional. To obtain this we conduct:

· An annual campus-wide customer satisfaction survey that is shared widely with our community. Our March 2020 survey results aligned well with the results of an independent and separate survey conducted by ASUCM several weeks earlier.

  • Ongoing feedback/suggestion/collaboration is obtained through customer service evaluations that are distributed to students, staff and faculty who have had contact with the department or its program or services.

To conclude these thoughts, I want to convey to you how much our officers and staff care about each member of our campus community. From the officer who steps up to help a student living in his car on campus find housing, a job and build a network of support, to the officer who helps guide a student through an emotional life crisis to achieve success, to the officer helps our campus gardeners clear out the overgrowth in the campus garden, your UC Merced police officers are here for you.

We are committed to leadership among law enforcement organizations in offering culturally responsive services that promote campus safety and help our scholars focus on learning and growing.

Chou Her

UC Merced Police Chief