Friday, March 04, 2016
Ind. Gov't. - "Private university police bill likely to become law"
A bill that would exempt police departments at the University of Notre Dame and other private colleges from following the same crime reporting requirements as public colleges appears likely to head to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.
HB 1022, sponsored by state Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, was approved 49-1 Tuesday by the Indiana Senate. It passed the House unanimously in January.
Bauer this week filed a concurrence, which signals agreement with a Senate amendment. The amendment states that a private university police officer will be granted the same protections and immunity for actions taken within the scope of their job as state police officers, and that private educational institutions and their governing bodies also would have the same statutory immunity granted to the state.
Only one legislator, state Sen. Liz Brown — a Republican from Fort Wayne and a 1980 Notre Dame graduate — voted against HB 1022. * * *
If no one in the Indiana House raises an objection, the bill is expected to be affirmed and sent to the governor.
The Hoosier State Press Association has been contacting legislators to point out that the measure — which was written in part by Notre Dame and Independent Colleges of Indiana — would not require private university police departments to face the same level of public scrutiny as other police departments, although private university police officers carry guns, arrest people and enforce state laws.
The measure would require the colleges to release some information about incidents that result in arrests or incarcerations for criminal offenses, which is a relative small number of cases on private campuses. The measure states that the colleges also would have to release crime information that already is required to be reported under federal law.
HB 1022 comes amid a court battle between ESPN and Notre Dame over the university's refusal to release records about possible crimes involving student athletes. A court ruling is expected in the next month or two.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 4, 2016 09:30 AM
Posted to Indiana Government