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NDSU Police Can Patrol Much Further than Just Their Campus - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

NDSU Police Can Patrol Much Further than Just Their Campus

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NDSU police are permitted to patrol more than just campus matters. In fact the whole city of Fargo is within their reach. The campus police and Fargo police have an agreement drawn up years ago that more and more often attorneys are challenging. Today Valley News team's Eric Crest tries to find out how the agreement works and whether or not the cops are playing by the rules.








17 officers are responsible for patrolling the NDSU campus. but their role goes further than that. 

Their stopping the motorists based on the fact that it's late at night and they appear to be younger and they suspect they're drinking and driving. It's active aggressive law enforcement which we generally respect. But they're doing this in residential areas off of campus and leaving their posts," says Mike Friese a criminal defense attorney at Vogel Law Firm in Fargo.



The Fargo police and the city commission have appointed members of this force to become "special police officers". That means there jurisdiction is city wide.

"I think there will be a lot of people offended by the notion that the campus police view their role as being city police officers rather than providing the protection state tax payers are paying them to work," says Friese.

An  NDSU officer recently testified in court, under oath, that of his 15 most recent DUI arrests, just two were made on campus. The money collected for those crimes isn't being seen by NDSU though, but rather the city of Fargo.

"They should be doing what UND is doing. In Fargo, to give the NDSU police officers broader jurisdiction the quid quo pro is that the city has received is they take all that money which was supposed to go into the common school funds and divert it into the city general fund," says Friese. Basically explaining that the funds made off of these arrests in Fargo go to the city rather than to higher education like at UND.

The NDSU police tell Valley News Live that if their jurisdiction stopped when a driver got off of campus, as soon as someone drove south of 12th Avenue which is about 1000 feet away from the police station, that driver would be in the clear. Campus police have a hard time with that sort of justification.

"The ends justify the means is not an appropriate analysis as it relates to respect of the law," says Friese.
According to a couple of attorneys that Valley News Live spoke with, these patrols are over reaching their intended bounds and the Board of Education nor North Dakota Legislature has signed off on such an agreement.

"Is is a stretch to say that what they are getting away with is illegal?"

"No not at all. I think it's directly contrary to what the Legislature has intended," says Friese.

The criminal defense attorney we spoke with says he would like to see the North Dakota Legislature and the Board of Higher Education take a harder look into this matter. Adding that the police are spread too thin on campus and tax payers are flipping the bill for them to patrol more than just NDSU.

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