Campus Police

do you know why i pulled you over2Overall, the role of campus police is a very dynamic one that involves wearing a lot of hats. It’s not about just showing up and arresting the bad guys. In a typical day you can handle a wide range of complex issues including: mental disorders, medical emergencies, traffic violations, domestics, a wide gamut of drugs from pot to meth labs, lost puppies, flat tires, suicidal individuals and so on. College police are also educators who are teaching responsibility, accountability, campus safety and alcohol safety.

MI is a natural fit for this unique position on campus that allows you to educate and influence students. Your roles that make you ideally suited for MI include:

Being service oriented — No matter how you look at it, police are here to help and serve. You come to the rescue when someone is having a “not so good” day or you are enforcing the law to keep your community safe.

Problem solver — When people call the police it is because they have a problem they either don’t know how to solve, can’t solve alone or need help with. Sound familiar? You tailor the solution to the specific situation and person. You understand that there is rarely a set solution for every situation or individual. Police must take into account the totality of the circumstances and find an effective, efficient and workable solution to whatever the problem may be.

Skilled communicator — You must effectively communicate across language barriers, culturally diverse populations, emotionally-charged individuals, and people from all walks of life. The situation may be high-risk, making clear communication vital. This communication may include interviewing a witness, a suspect or even the victim of a crime. Consider the variety of communication skills needed. In your communication toolbox you can find words, tone, rate, body language and, don’t forget, eye contact.

Accountability — This one seems simple enough: police hold others accountable for their actions.

Motivation experts — Your goals include cooperation and compliance. How do you achieve that? You find out what motivates a person in that given situation and discuss it with him or her in order to help the individual see the need to comply. Then you can help the person to see multiple perspectives and possible solutions and to weigh all the pros and cons. Throughout this encounter you are also guiding the student’s thought process through emotional barriers.

As a campus police officer you are in the unique position to educate and influence those you come in contact with every day—both in formal and informal ways. You are here to serve and help. Adding MI to your repertoire will enhance your ability to motivate, problem solve and hold others accountable. Who doesn’t need someone like that in their life?

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