North Texas Daily

A look at UNT police jurisdiction

A look at UNT police jurisdiction

Community Resource Officer Shane Kizer speaks about the police department's jurisdiction.

A look at UNT police jurisdiction
September 04
12:32 2015

Laura Cortez | Staff Writer


The reach of police authority has come under increasing scrutiny in the last year as cell phone and body camera footage captured instances of police brutality, particularly in the case of Samuel DuBose, a motorist passing through campus police jurisdiction who was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer.

The UC police work with the Cincinnati city police, much like how the UNT police and the Denton Police Department work together. However, for UNT police and Denton police, there is a major overlap. Any officer has the right to handle a situation, regardless of jurisdiction.

“If it’s a breach of the peace or a felony, any police officer in the state of Texas has jurisdiction throughout the state,” said Denton police public information officer Shane Kizer

Although UNT police has jurisdiction primarily on campus, they also focus on student living areas near campus. UNT criminal investigator John DeLong said UNT police have jurisdiction in Cooke, Tarrant and Dallas counties.

“99 percent of the UNT police efforts are focused on campus,” DeLong said. “However, our jurisdiction allows us to take enforcement action off campus if needed.”

Some examples of off-campus enforcement, he said, are warrant enforcements, case interviews, traffic stops and assisting other police agencies.

From Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, 45 on-campus and 33 off-campus crimes were logged by UNT police. Two of the off-campus crimes were voided.

“University police basically have the same [authority],” Kizer said. “They can actually take enforcement action throughout the county of Denton.”

DeLong said the main difference between UNT police and Denton police is that UNT “has more enforcement powers from the Texas Education Code.”

The UNT police department officially has jurisdiction throughout Denton County, the campus and anywhere UNT property lies. The department has 44 state certified police officers whose primary focus is the UNT campuses and surrounding student living areas.

Featured Image: Community resource officer Shane Kizer speaks about the police department’s jurisdiction in his office. Meagan Sullivan | Senior Staff Photographer

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