Frequently Asked Questions about
New York State University Police at Binghamton
How many police officers does Binghamton University have?
New York State Police at Binghamton University (UPD) has 42 sworn officers who are active 24/7, responding to the approximately 55,000 calls that come into the dispatch desk annually.
Why does the campus need so many officers?
UPD is responsible for the safety of the entire campus — a 930-acre main campus, a 13-acre campus in Johnson City and the University Downtown Center in Binghamton — and a total of 118 buildings to protect. These locations include more than 18,000 students, more than 5,600 faculty and staff, and an estimated 270,000 visitors annually who come to campus for admissions tours, athletic events, performing arts productions, conferences, Commencement ceremonies and more. These numbers compare locally to the Village of Endicott, population 12,828 as of 2017, which has 25 patrol officers, three bike patrol officers, two K-9 officers and a detective division; and the Village of Johnson City, population 14, 508 as of 2017, which has 38 full-time officers.
How has UPD grown with the addition of the University Downtown Center in Binghamton and the Health Sciences Campus in Johnson City?
UPD had 31 sworn officers in 2006, and grew to 34 sworn officers in 2007, following the opening of the University Downtown Center. In May 2018, UPD had grown to 36 sworn officers, and that increased to the current 42 sworn officers following the opening of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Health Sciences Campus.
How diverse is UPD?
Binghamton University has four sworn officers of color and four female officers. Eleven UPD officers hold veterans status.
What does community policing entail?
The community policing model that UPD follows is based upon a collaborative relationship between UPD officers and the campus community, working together to create an environment that fosters community partnership, problem solving and change management. UPD officers are a familiar and approachable presence on campus, participate in campus events and speak to student groups in efforts to identify issues of crime and disorder and work together to solve them.
All UPD officers participate in day-to-day community policing each time they interact with members of the campus community while on patrol. Each service call, each interaction with a crime victim or even suspect, as well as socializing with members of the campus community while on duty can be considered a form of community policing.
What do Binghamton University police officers do?
UPD officers respond to both crime incidents and service needs, providing necessary assistance to the campus community. Crime incidents range from criminal mischief, petit larceny, harassment and disorderly conduct offenses, to more serious offenses including burglary, grand larceny, robbery, rape, arson, assault and murder. Service needs run the gamut from responding to calls about fender benders to assisting students in distress due to mental health issues.
In addition, UPD officers interact with the campus community through a wide variety of community policing and educational programs including through UPD’s Community Response Teams (CRT), the officers whose main assignment for their shift is to be where people are, patrol high-traffic areas such as the University Union, collegiate centers, bus stops, taxi stands and residential areas and dining halls. All shifts participate in the CRT activities and CRT members also address crimes, traffic violations, etc. as needed.
Educational programming includes public programs in the residence halls and elsewhere on campus in Surviving an Active Shooter, Alcohol/Drug/DWI education, Personal Safety and Self-Defense classes.
More specifically, what kind of activities are UPD officers involved with on and off campus?
In the 2019 calendar year, UPD participated in over 400 community policing or educational events, and 687 documented CRT reports including patrols, contacts, meetings, events, etc. These events include participation by students, faculty, staff and members of the community. For example, UPD has had a presence at all Admissions Open Houses as well as all Orientation sessions, participating in parent safety panels, international parent safety panels, student safety sessions and tabling at information fairs.
These programs include educating the campus in active shooter response, personal safety, self-defense and preventing sexual assault, among others.
UPD also provides programs in local schools on personal safety and self-defense, as well as child safety-seat inspections. The department also raises funds and collects food for the Bear Necessities Food Pantry and CHOW; volunteers for Special Olympics of New York activities, the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Polar Plunges; and participated in the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and No Shave November. They were awarded the SUNY Commissioner's Cup for the most money raised by any SUNY police department (over $5,000) in 2019.
What kind of training do UPD officers undergo to handle the many calls they receive?
In addition to the mandatory training modules that all campus employees must complete (Workplace Violence Prevention and Domestic Violence in the Workplace, Preventing Sexual Misconduct [Title IX], Preventing Discrimination and Harassment, Internal Controls, and HazCom/Right to Know), all UPD officers complete mandatory training when they are hired as well as annual and cyclical trainings in a number of areas to enable them to serve and protect the campus community. Required trainings run the gamut from programs on crime prevention to those for keeping the campus and members of the campus community safe.
Trainings in the past year alone include programs on fair and impartial policing, CPR, Narcan recertification, legal updates from the district attorney’s office, bleeding control, firearms, taser, defensive tactics, baton/OC spray, Article 35 (use of force), evidence management, how to eliminate preventable line-of-duty police deaths and injuries, reality based scenarios, body armor familiarization, records management, and nutrition/physical fitness.
More specifically, and as an example, during a recent winter session, all UPD officers spent a week of training, eight hours each day, completing hands-on and classroom trainings on the following topics:
- Livescan/beast/SJS processing systems
- CAD, county processing system
- Fair and impartial policing
- Officer wellness
- Mental Health
- University Counseling Center
- Travel documents
- Drug culture trends
- DA office legal updates
- Hate crimes
- Juvenile training
- Firearms qualification
- OC/Baton/Taser, less than lethal training
- Defensive tactics training
- Civil disturbance/riot/crowd control training
A similar training session is held in the summer months.
UPD officers also take advantage of professional development opportunities when possible, including courses in police supervision, police/first responder suicide awareness and leadership.
What is fair and impartial policing?
Fair and impartial policing (FIP) is specifically designed to enhance officers’ understanding of how bias, especially implicit or unconscious bias, can impact policing. Every UPD member attends FIP training to learn techniques to be more aware of bias and to ensure that it does not affect their interactions with the public. Initial training is conducted at the Broome County Police Academy, and UPD also has a certified FIP trainer on staff. Refresher courses are given every year.
Does Binghamton University Police participate in the Federal Government 1033 program that gives surplus military equipment to the police?
Is UPD accredited?
Yes, New York State University Police at Binghamton are accredited by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, which has 110 standards — 52 administration, 12 training and 46 operations — that police agencies must adhere to for accreditation. Administration standards encompass general management, personnel, relationships with other agencies, mission, delineation of responsibility and delegation of authority. Training standards are divided into four categories: basic, in-service, supervisory and records. Operations standards impact the ways an agency conducts the bulk of its responsibilities including patrol, traffic, criminal investigations and unusual occurrences.