It’s common knowledge, deserved or not, that police officers in general have a bad rap. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, with every action that the University of Alaska Anchorage Police Department (UPD) has taken it’s clear they have the best intentions for their students.
According to UPD Deputy Chief of Police, Brad Munn, “UPD’s main function is to try and provide a safe place where people can come to learn and work.” Simply put, UPD has a job to do, and that is to provide a safe learning atmosphere so that people like you and me can come to school and learn exciting, life enriching things like human anatomy, calculus and world literature.
UAA police officers are here for your safety and security needs 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Also, UAA police officers are not “mall cops” or the guys that you see at the movie theatres in the little egg-shaped cars with yellow lights on top. They are all sworn police officers certified by the State of Alaska and have the same arrest powers as city police. UPD’s Lieutenant Chafin admitted, “There’s a lot of students I know for a fact that are surprised when they find out that we’re actual state-certified police officers.”
You may ask what this means to you. You’re just an average student and you’ve never seen a use for the extra security. The UAA police officers also provide special services that are unique to this University. UPD provides crime prevention classes; they provide safety escorts on the University campus, vehicle and room unlocks, and vehicle jumpstarts.
So during finals week when your mind seems to be somewhere else and you lock yourself out of your car, don’t fret. You can save yourself the expensive call to the tow truck company and just call UPD. What is UPD’s main concern? Safety. Although they do have the authority to bust you for speeding or not wearing your seatbelt, Lieutenant Chafin explained, “We’re more worried about safety than we are the letter of the law.”
Oh, and just to set the record straight, they’re not the ones who hand out parking citations. You can take your parking frustrations up with UAA Parking Services.
When asked about what UPD would like the relationship to be between UAA students and the police department, Officer Munn replied, “Community policing and team work.”
For more information about the services that UPD can provide to you, visit their website at www.uaa.alaska.edu/upd or “like” them on Facebook.