LAS VEGAS– The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents moved forward with plans to combine the police departments of UNLV and the College of Southern Nevada citing student safety and efficiency. Together, the new single police department will provide services to all four NSHE institutions in Southern Nevada (CSN, DRI, NSC, and UNLV).
The Regents voted unanimously on the issue at a special meeting of the Board held Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. The vote requires the final plan for implementation to be brought back to the Board for approval once fully developed.
The feasibility of consolidating the southern NSHE institution police departments was commissioned by Chancellor Thom Reilly in 2017 at the direction of the Board of Regents. The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators issued its findings in March, which suggested several infrastructure and managerial issues be resolved before moving towards consolidating the UNLV and CSN police departments into one.
Consolidation of police services at University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College, which occurred in 2016, has been highly successful and drastically improved the level of service. And in its first year, consolidation saved about $640,000. Since, it has saved more than $430,000 annually.
“Student safety, and the safety of all faculty, staff, and administration, remain the priority for NSHE and the Board of Regents,” said Reilly. “Based on the successes in terms of safety and improved efficiency in northern Nevada, I believe that consolidating NSHE police forces in southern Nevada will see the same benefits.”
The four southern Nevada institutions are currently searching for a new chief of police/commander for the new consolidated department. Full implementation of consolidation is expected to be completed by January 2020.
“The Board of Regents are committed to safety and security for all eight NSHE institutions,” said Regent’s Chair Kevin J. Page. “The consolidation of the UNR and TMCC police departments has paved the way for this move that will increase safety at our institutions.”
The southern institutions will next form an advisory group that will work with the new chief, once hired, on governance and full implementation of the single police force.
Additionally, the Board heard plans Friday for the Northern University Police Services to potentially provide protection to the Carson City Campus of Western Nevada College as well. The Board is expected to consider that proposal at a future meeting.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.