UAF Police CSO program cut

Aaron Walling / Sun Star 

The community service officer program will be terminated July 1 this year. The termination followed the announcement of the UAF police department receiving a 20 percent budget cut.

With the CSOs being cut, so goes the roadside assistance, so goes the checkups to make sure that buildings are locked up and the job experience of working with the UAF police dept. One of the current CSOs, Christopher Baca, believes the decision will have negative consequences for police officers and students. 

“Next semester, students will have to work around the on-duty officers schedule to get these issues resolved when they’re not busy doing police work,” Baca said.

“The mission of the CSO program, in basic terms, is to protect UAF property, help secure a safe environment for those that live and work on the UAF campus, provide service to the campus community and assist the UAF Police Officers as requested,” the CSO website says.

The decision to eliminate the program gets rid of something that has been at UAF since the early 1970s. They have been providing services for the university for a long time, and from the CSO website they are held to the same standard as the UAF police officers. On-duty police officers will now assume the responsibilities previously held by CSOs. These jobs include locking up the CTC building in downtown Fairbanks, doing weapon check ins and outs, assisting with vehicle lockouts and providing security for organized events.

On April 7, Baca said the program was being cut and that without the service officers things are going to become very difficult for everyone. 

“From the information given to us based off the current budget projection, the CSO program will be dissolved by July 1, 2016,” Baca said. “It’s really sad not just for the student workers or for the police station, but it’s sad for the community and those within the community who rely on this program for jumpstarts, escorts, room and vehicle unlocks and weapon check ins and outs.”  

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