ONEONTA, NY (WUTR) — SUNY Oneonta has established a campus police reform task force.
It was one of the last acts as the school’s president that Barbara Jean Morris would take.
“I was approached about the task force by the former president, president Barbara Jean Morris. And this was something that she wanted to do in a proactive sense, ” Dr. Robert Compton, the chair of Africana and Latinx studies at SUNY Oneonta, said.
The task force will work much like the state-mandated task forces across New York.
“The major difference is that, one, we are a residential campus,” Dr. Compton said. “And many of the freshmen and sophomores may not have had good experiences with law enforcement. “
The task force is comprised of eight people from the SUNY Oneonta community. One is a student that also serves with Dr. Compton on Oneonta’s city police task force. By forming this group outside of any mandate, this task force is able to set its own goals.
“One of the most important things is to build understanding,” Dr. Compton said. “One, of the community, in terms of the students, the staff and the faculty that work here, and the relationship that it has with the UPD, the university police department. “
Their goal, through a series of interviews, surveys and meetings, is to present a report evaluating the campus policies for their police department.
Dr. Compton said that “the expectation is that the report will be done at the end of this academic year, which will mean May.”