Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee (DPS)

In 2007, the University of Michigan–Flint Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee (DPS) was created under the authority of Act 120 of the Public Acts of 1990 of the State of Michigan. The primary function of the Committee is to consider grievances by persons against police officers or the Department of Public Safety arising out of acts or omissions of such officers of the department. The Committee will prepare and make recommendations concerning such grievances, including recommendations for disciplinary measures against a police officer who is found responsible for misconduct in office. Such reports shall be submitted to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Business and Finance.

The campus is notified about the DPS committee on an annual basis.

Oversight Committee Members

The six-member committee is comprised of two student members, two faculty members, and two staff members, who are nominated and elected by their peers for two-year terms.

Elected members for this term will serve through February 28, 2021.  

Faculty Members of the Committee:

Joan Mars, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice                                              

Elizabeth (Liz) Svoboda, Associate Librarian                            

Staff Members of the Committee:

Jennifer LaPratt, Financial Aid Officer                                             

Lori Rathbun, Administrative Assistant Intermediate                                               

*(Alternate) David Luke, Director of Intercultural Center

Student Members of the Committee:

Caleb Carter

Nickxit Bhardwaj

*(Alternate) Khadija Mohammed 

The Public Safety Oversight Committee Public Act 120 of 1990

Public Act 120 - legislative language

An act to empower the governing boards of control of public 4-year institutions of higher education to grant certain powers and authority to their public safety officers:  to require those public safety officers to meet certain standards and to require institutions of higher education to make certain crime reports.

The People of the State of Michigan enact:

Sec. 1.

(1) The governing board of control of a public 4-year institution of higher education created under article VIII of the state constitution of 1963 may grant the public safety officers of the institution the same powers and authority as are granted by law to peace and police officers to enable the public safety officers to enforce state law and the ordinances and regulations of the institution of higher education.  Public safety officers whom the powers authority of peace and police officers are granted under this section shall be considered peace officers of this state and shall have the authority of police officers provided under the Michigan vehicle code.  Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1949, being sections 257.1 to 257.923 of the Michigan compiled Laws.

The determination by a governing board of control of an institution of higher education whether to grant the powers and authority described in subsection (1) to the public safety officers of the institution shall be made only after the governing board of control has held not less than 2 public hearings regarding that determination.

The governing board of control of an institution of higher education shall not grant the powers and authority described in subsection (1) to the public safety officers of the institution unless, before those powers and authority are granted, the governing board provides for the establishment of a public safety department oversight committee.  The committee shall be comprised of individuals nominated and elected by the faculty, students, and staff of the institution.  The committee shall include 2 students, 2 members of the faculty, and 2 members of the staff.  The committee shall receive and address grievances by persons against the public safety officers or the public safety department of the institution.  The committee may recommend to the institution that disciplinary measures be taken by the institution against a public safety officer who is found responsible for misconduct in office.

Sec. 2.

(1)The jurisdiction of public safety officers to whom the powers and authority of peace and police officers are granted under section 1 shall include all property owned or leased by the institution of higher education or the governing board of control, wherever situated in this state, and this jurisdiction shall extend to any public right of way traversing or immediately contiguous to the property.  The jurisdiction of these public safety officers may be extended by state law governing peace officers if authorized by the governing board of control.

(2)This act does not limit the jurisdiction of state, county, or municipal peace officers.

Sec. 3.

Public safety officers to whom the powers and authority of peace and police officers an granted under section 1 shall meet the minimum employment standards of the Michigan law enforcement officers training council act of 1965, Act No. 203 of the Public Acts of 1965, being sections 28.601 to 28.616 of the Michigan Compiled laws.

Sec. 4.

The public safety department of each public 4-year institution of higher education created under article VIII of the state constitution of 1963, whether or not the public safety officers in the public safety department are granted powers and authority under section 1(1), shall submit monthly uniform crime reports pertaining to crimes within the department’s jurisdiction to the department of state police as prescribed in section 1 of Act No. 319 of the Public Acts of 1968, being section 28.251 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

 

Procedures for the University of Michigan-Flint DPS Oversight Committee

Purpose

The University of Michigan–Flint Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee is an oversight committee for the University of Michigan–Flint Department of Public Safety, created under the authority of Act 120 of the Public Acts of 1990 of the State of Michigan. The primary function of the Committee is to consider grievances by persons against police officers or the Department of Public Safety arising out of acts or omissions of such officers of the Department. The Committee may prepare and make recommendations concerning such grievances, including recommendations for disciplinary measures against a police officer who was found responsible for misconduct in office. Such reports shall be submitted to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Business and Finance.

Membership

Members of the Committee shall be elected.

Faculty: This process is currently under review.

Staff: Staff members will be nominated at large by self-nomination or nomination by another staff member. A slate of up to six nominees will be distributed to staff. Staff will vote for one representative and the two nominees with the highest vote totals will then be appointed to the Committee. Vacancies during a term will be filled from the respective ballot in order of the number of votes received. Voting will be conducted by email or other electronic means.

Students: This process is currently under review.

Meetings

The Committee shall meet as called by its chair but no less than semi-annually. Business may not be conducted unless a quorum of the members is present. A quorum shall be one more than half of the current membership.

Confidentiality

All grievances and reports made to the Committee pursuant to these procedures shall be treated confidentially by the Committee. Information about a grievance will not be released by committee members, except as specified in these procedures. The Committee as a whole may release written statements to advise the public of the procedural status of an ongoing investigation.

Procedures

A. Grievances

Grievances about a police officer or the Department of Public Safety may be submitted to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Business and Finance,  or directly to the Department of Public Safety or Human Resources. Grievances shall be promptly reported to the Committee.

B. Consideration of Grievances

1. Referral

  1. The Committee may refer a grievance to the Director of Public Safety, who shall conduct an investigation and review, in accord with University policies and procedures. The Committee may supplement the referral with any specific suggestions, recommendations, concerns it has with regard to the issues to be investigated.
  2. At any time, the Committee may request, and the Director shall provide, an interim report on the progress of an investigation of a grievance submitted to her or him. The report may be oral and/or in writing.
  3. Upon completion of the investigation and review, the Director shall report to the Committee. The report shall include a summary of the steps followed, the findings and conclusions, any actions taken, and an explanation for any unreasonable delays. The report may be oral and/or in writing. The Committee may accept the report as final, or it may ask the Director to investigate further and submit another report, or it may conduct a further investigation on its own.

2. Considerations by the Committee – The Committee may conduct its own hearings of any grievance submitted to it:

  1. In conducting such a hearing the Committee may:
  1. Question any commanding officer believed to have information relevant to the hearing, and such commanding office will be required to meet with the Committee in a timely fashion and report on his or her conduct and the basis for any action taken or decision reached; and
  2. Question any officer believed to have information relevant to the hearing, and such officer will be required to meet with the Committee in a timely fashion, on terms that are consistent with the University’s agreement with the Police Officers Association of Michigan.
  1. If the Director of the Department of Public Safety objects to the hearing, the Director may register the objection to the Committee. If, after receiving the Committee’s response, the Director continues to object, the Director may appeal may appeal to the Chancellor. If the Chancellor supports the appeal, the matter shall be referred to the President for a decision. If the Committee does not agree with the President’s decision, it may seek review by the Board of Regents.

C. Committee Action – After the completion of the investigation of a grievance, the Committee may:

  1. Determine that no further action is warranted, and notify all affected persons of that decision.
  2. Report its findings and recommendations – including any recommendations for disciplinary measures against an officer of the Department of Public Safety – to the Chancellor. No portion of any such report that contains confidential information provided to the Committee shall be made public. The Chancellor shall review the report and advise the Committee of the disposition of the matter.

D. Approval of Procedures

Procedures must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and approved by the Chancellor, the President, or the Board of Regents. If the Committee proposes procedures, the Chancellor may approve them; however, only the President may reject them. If the Committee does not agree with the President’s decision to reject its proposed procedures, it may seek approval from the Board of Regents.                   

I.Staff Nomination and Election Procedures

Step 1 – Communication sent to all staff regarding the purpose of the committee and that nominations are being accepted up to a specified deadline. Self nominated individuals  are asked to submit a brief statement of the reason why they wish to serve on the committee.

Step 2 – When specified date arrives, all nominations are reviewed to assure their eligibility to serve on the committee. If there are more than six nominees, the Director of Human Resources will determine which nominees will be omitted from the ballot.

Step 3 – Send email to each of the nominees, notifying them of their nomination and requesting, by a specified date, a one paragraph candidate summary, their appointing department, and their job title.

Step 4 – Upon receipt of all candidate summaries, consolidate them into a word document for distribution.

Step 5 – Send an election email to all staff asking them to vote for one of the nominees listed on the email ballot and submit their choices by a specified date.

Step 6 – At the close of the voting period tabulate the votes and notify all candidates of the two representatives selected.

Step 7 – Send email notification to all staff regarding the election results.

II.Faculty Nominations and Election Procedures - This process is currently under review.

III.Student Nomination and Election Process - This process is currently under review.

 

Contact Info

UM-Flint DPS Oversight Committee

Human Resources
213 UPAV
303 E. Kearsley St.
Flint, MI 48502
810-762-3150
um-flint-hr@umich.edu