Safety - our #1 Priority

The Montana State University Police Department (UPD or Department), established by Montana law (Section 20-25-321 Montana Code Annotated), has primary responsibility for law enforcement on the MSU campus and its jurisdiction extends one mile beyond the campus for University related activities. This means Officers have authority to enforce State, Local and Federal laws and University Policies. UPD police officers have full authority within this jurisdiction and provide a broad range of services to the campus.

The Department provides continuous year- round law enforcement protection to the Montana State University community. Twenty-four-hour police services are provided with access to municipal fire and emergency medical services.

Working relationship with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies

The UPD also has an agreement with the City of Bozeman which allows University police officers to enforce Bozeman municipal ordinances and state laws within both the City limits of Bozeman and within a three-mile radius of the city limits while in the performance of their UPD assigned duties. The University Police Department maintains a strong working relationship with state and local police agencies, including the Bozeman Police Department, Gallatin County Sherriff, and Montana Highway Patrol.

In an effort to increase interagency communication and coordination, enhance victim service and offender accountability, the Bozeman Police Department and UPD have entered into an agreement. This agreement will establish a Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) to investigate Felony Sexual Assault, Sexual Intercourse without Consent, Sexual Abuse of Children, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), Felony Domestic Violence, Felony Stalking and other sexual assault related calls within the Bozeman and MSU Police Department’s jurisdictions. UPD has assigned one detective to this SVU.

Crimes involving student organizations at off-campus locations

The agreement gives the UPD primary jurisdiction on other University-related property and at University events within the city—for example, on property occupied by student organizations, and at events sponsored by the University. However, UPD limits officer jurisdiction to the MSU buildings and surrounding public property, unless there is an emergency and MSU officers are activated to assist under a Mutual Aid agreement.

MSU has officially recognized student organizations that own or control housing facilities outside of the MSU core campus. If Bozeman PD is called by a citizen to respond to one of those locations, Bozeman PD will typically notify UPD to respond with them or they will notify UPD after they have responded to inform MSU of the situation. However, Bozeman PD does this out of courtesy and is not “required” to notify or involve UPD when they respond to a call involving private property. The UPD, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bozeman Police Department provide mutual aid assistance to each other when requested.

Role, Authority and Training

University Police Officers are certified Peace Officers for the State of Montana and sworn to all of the responsibilities and powers of a Peace Officer in Montana, including the duty to maintain public order and the power to arrest. All sworn officers are graduates of an accredited Police Academy and professional and formal education is stressed for all officers.

Most officers hold B.A. degree or are working towards a degree. All University Police 911 Dispatchers are trained and certified by the State of Montana. The Director is the University Police Chief and is responsible for the management of the UPD and reports directly to the Vice President of Finance and Administration. However, all public safety services are closely coordinated with other key university administrators as well as local officials.

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