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Chief's Corner Archive

Chief's Corner postings are displayed on the Chiefs Corner page for one year. After a year, they are moved to this archive.

27 January 2014

As the Broncos prepare to play in the Super Bowl, it’s an exciting time for the State of Colorado, the City of Greeley and UNC, the old home of the Bronco training camp.  Many viewing parties will be held both on campus and throughout the city of Greeley, and numerous private homes will host large groups of people for the game.

With any large event or celebration, there are safety factors that everyone should be aware of in order to enjoy the day to the fullest.  The use of alcohol will be commonplace on Sunday, so please remember to drink legally, responsibly and make sure your friends are doing the same.  To help ensure the safety of our community, both the Greeley Police Department and the UNC Police Department will have significantly increased staffing and patrols in order to respond rapidly to any actions that violate law or threaten the safety of our community.

Unfortunately, civil disobedience and destructive behavior sometimes occurs during these events due to a small minority of individuals who, under the guise of celebration, disregard the rights of their neighbors, friends and community.  The punitive actions for any student engaging in such behaviors are significant.  Students will be held accountable by the criminal justice system and the conduct process of the University.

Anyone convicted of an offense of ‘Inciting a riot’, ‘Engaging in a riot’, or ‘Disobedience of public safety orders under riot conditions’, will be suspended from the University and ineligible to enroll in any Colorado institution of higher education for a twelve month period.  The legal threshold for a ‘riot’ offense is defined as three or more individuals, so the group does not have to be large.  The University may choose to suspend a student upon arrest related to these offenses prior to conviction.  Students must be aware that the very act of watching a civil disturbance may result in arrest under these laws.   A student may also be arrested at a later date if they are identified violating any law.

I realize the vast majority of our student body is composed of intelligent, educated, and caring young adults who have no intent to cause disruption or harm to our community.  Be cautious not to get overly caught up in the moment, and don’t allow someone to use you in order to commit a criminal act.  Oftentimes violent persons in large crowds will ‘hide’ behind the larger portion of a crowd in order to throw objects, burn property, or strike an observer, only to blend into the larger body of the crowd before they can be identified and arrested.  Do not let yourself become part of this environment, do not compromise your safety, and do not put your educational and professional future at risk.

With some basic safety practice and awareness, you and your friends, along with everyone else in our community will have the opportunity to enjoy a great sporting tradition.

Thank you,

Dennis R. Pumphrey
Chief of Police

(The full text of the referenced laws can be accessed in the Chief’s Corner archive dated October 14, 2011)

28 August 2013

The UNC Police Department would like to welcome all new and returning students to the start of fall semester. As you pursue your educational goals, we want to collaborate with you in an effort to help keep campus safe. Although the overall crime rate on campus is low and the City of Greeley is safe, here are some very basic safety practices to be aware of as the school year begins.

Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drug abuse are significant contributors to compromised safety and criminal activity. Engaging in such activity can lead to poor decision-making and correlates to increases in disturbances, fights and damaged property that can result in criminal charges as well.
Regardless of the potential legal restrictions or ramifications, practice responsible behavior for your own safety. If alcohol or drugs enter into the mix, be sure to:

  • Follow these 0-1-2-3 rules advocated by UNC Prevention Education:
    • 0 drinks if you are: under age 21, driving, on medication, haven’t eaten, in substance abuse recovery, suspect you may be pregnant
    • 1 – No more than 1 drink an hour
    • 2 – Limit your drinking to no more than 2 times per week
    • 3 – Don’t have more than 3 drinks in one day
  • Stay with a small group of known friends when going to parties, clubs or bars. Don’t separate from the group. Always use a designated driver.
  • Keep control of your drink. Don’t let others hold it or set it aside at a party or bar.
  • Never use drugs, period. That includes not abusing prescription medication.
  • If a friend appears to be intoxicated, passed out, hurt or acting out in an unreasonable manner, call 911. Stay on the line with the dispatcher and identify yourself to responding emergency workers. This can qualify you for immunity under the Safe Haven Law, and you may save your friend from significant injury or death.

Property Crimes
Like any other community, property crimes do occur here, but with some basic pre-planning and safety practices, you can minimize your risk of becoming a victim. At UNC, we have multiple policing strategies to help prevent and solve crime. This includes the use of surveillance cameras throughout campus as appropriate. We also utilize student patrols, mutual aid agreements with other local police agencies and saturated patrols, but our most effective crime prevention tools are community safety practices.

  • Bike theft is one of the most common crimes on campus. Always use a bike lock (U-shaped locks are most preferred and difficult to circumvent). A secondary wire/chain-type lock around tires can help prevent a single tire from theft.
  • Remove valuables from your vehicle and bring them with you or store them in a trunk if you have one. Make sure to lock your doors. Thieves are often looking for the path of least resistance. If they are unsure that breaking into a car will lead to any gain, it’s unlikely they will commit the crime.
  • Mark your personal belongings with the last four digits of your Bear number, Social Security number, or other partial identifier. Don’t leave backpacks or other valuables unattended in public places. 
  • Always make sure your room and apartment/home is locked when you leave the premises, even if it is for a short time. Don’t prop your door if you are away from your room in the residence halls.
  • Program (970) 351-2245 into your cell phone and call the UNC Police when you notice a suspicious activity or person on campus. We are here 24 hours a day year-round for your safety, and we are the most effective when we work together to prevent crime.

We hope that you have a successful and enjoyable year at UNC. With these small efforts on your part, in partnership with your police department, which patrols campus and surrounding areas around the clock, we can help provide a very safe campus for our community to enjoy.

Dennis R. Pumphrey
Chief of Police

1 November 2012

The General Election is rapidly approaching on Tuesday, November 6th.   I would like to take this time to remind you of specific rules and laws that must be adhered to in order to uphold the integrity of the election process.

It is a criminal offense to attempt to influence someone’s vote by offering cash or other compensation to the voter.  This includes attempting to influence the vote for a specific candidate or issue, or to compensate an individual for failing to vote.

On Election Day, or at any time in an active polling place (such as early voting), voters may not wear pins, t-shirts, hats, or other apparel that displays a preference for a candidate, political party, or ballot question.  Electioneering (or campaigning) is not allowed within 100 feet of each polling place.

Colorado law prohibits state employees from using university resources to endorse or oppose an issue or candidate.  State employees may not campaign while on the job, take a position on behalf of the university or any part of it, or use the university’s infrastructure including phone, fax and e-mail to express political views.

Employees may campaign on their own time and expense.

Additional information can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State website at: http://www.sos.state.co.us


14 October 2011

Most of us are aware of the grassroots protests that are occurring throughout the Nation and currently in Denver, known as Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Denver. Although we all have a fundamental right to peacefully assemble and engage in non-violent demonstrations, there are specific laws in Colorado regarding inciting a riot, engaging in a riot, and disobedience of public safety orders under riot conditions. There are severe consequences for students enrolled in publicly-funded higher education institutions who are convicted of any of these statutes. The Colorado Revised Statutes that I will be referencing may be found on the Colorado Attorney General's website at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov.

CRS §18-9-102 Inciting riot
  1. A person commits inciting riot if he:
    1. Incites or urges a group of five or more persons to engage in a current or impending riot; or
    2. Gives commands, instructions, or signals to a group of five or more persons in furtherance of a riot.
  2. A person may be convicted under section 18-2-101, 18-2-201, or 18-2-301 of attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to incite a riot only if he engages in the prohibited conduct with respect to a current or impending riot.
  3. Inciting riot is a class 1 misdemeanor, but, if injury to a person or damage to property results there from, it is a class 5 felony.
CRS §18-9-104 Engaging in a riot
  1. A person commits an offense if he or she engages in a riot. The offense is a class 4 felony if in the course of rioting the actor employs a deadly weapon, a destructive device, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon, or if in the course of rioting the actor represents verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon; otherwise, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.
  2. The provisions of section 18-9-102 (2) are applicable to attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy to commit an offense under this section.
CRS §18-9-105 Disobedience of public safety orders under riot conditions
  1. A person commits a class 3 misdemeanor if, during a riot or when one is impending, he knowingly disobeys a reasonable public safety order to move, disperse, or refrain from specified activities in the immediate vicinity of the riot. A public safety order is an order designed to prevent or control disorder or promote the safety of persons or property issued by an authorized member of the police, fire, military, or other forces concerned with the riot. No such order shall apply to a news reporter or other person observing or recording the events on behalf of the public press or other news media, unless he is physically obstructing efforts by such forces to cope with the riot or impending riot. Inapplicability of the order is an affirmative defense.
CRS §23-5-124 Student enrollment - prohibition - public peace and order convictions
  1. No person who is convicted of a riot offense shall be enrolled in a state-supported institution of higher education for a period of twelve months following the date of conviction.
  2. A student who is enrolled in a state-supported institution of higher education and who is convicted of a riot offense shall be immediately suspended from the institution upon the institution's notification of such conviction for a period of twelve months following the date of conviction; except that if a student has been suspended prior to the date of conviction by the state-supported institution of higher education for the same riot activity, the twelve month suspension shall run from the start of the suspension imposed by the institution.
  3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a state-supported institution of higher education from implementing its own policies and procedures or disciplinary actions, in addition to the suspension in subsection (2) of this section, regarding students involved in riots.
    1. The court in each judicial district shall report to the Colorado commission on higher education the name of any person who is convicted in the judicial district of a riot offense.
    2. The Colorado commission on higher education shall make the conviction reports received pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) available to all state-supported institutions of higher education with the notification that the persons included in the conviction reports are subject to the provisions of this section and that the state-supported institution of higher education in which any of such persons are enrolled shall consider appropriate disciplinary action against the student.
  4. Each state-supported institution of higher education shall notify its students and prospective students of the requirements of this section. The governing board of each state-supported institution of higher education shall prescribe the manner in which this information shall be disseminated.

CRS §23-5-124 is very clear that a conviction for any of these violations of the law will result in the immediate suspension and inability to "be enrolled in a state-supported institution of higher education for a period of twelve months following the date of conviction." Please don't jeopardize your education and future professional endeavors!

Chief Mikel Longman, UNC Police Department

13 September 2011

It's that time of the year when solicitors come on to campus uninvited and attempt to sell all sorts of things to students. We have recently had unauthorized solicitors trying to sell magazines, employing "hard sell" techniques! The solicitors generally hang out around the University Center, but the Police Department has received information that solicitors have been entering residence halls as well. These individuals are not permitted to conduct business on UNC's campus and are absolutely prohibited from entering UNC's Residence Halls.

If you are confronted by any unwanted solicitation, firmly say "No, not interested" and walk away. Please contact the UNC Police Department at (970) 351-2245 to report any solicitors on campus.

Chief Mikel Longman, UNC Police Department

11 February 2011

The following is a general outline of the decision making process utilized by the University of Northern Colorado to determine if the institution should be closed due to inclement weather:

Multiple departments, but most specifically UNC Facilities Management grounds personnel and the University Police Department, along with others involved in emergency preparedness monitor weather conditions and the impact on the University's mission. The Police Department, as part of their Emergency Preparedness responsibilities will focus on public safety issues, commonly referred to as life/safety concerns in and around the University. Facilities Management grounds personnel will focus on issues related to access and mobility on campus. A representative from the University's Risk Management Department will assist in reviewing the findings. Weather conditions are constantly monitored.

When inclement weather is identified and there is an expectation that the weather conditions may present significant hazard to the University community (identified by staff and in conjunction with National Weather Service Advisories, Watches and Warnings), the UNC chief of police or designee will inform the Executive Staff of the University with identified concerns and/or recommendations.

Absent clearly identified public safety concerns related to inclement weather, the University will consider whether it can deliver services and meet responsibilities to faculty, staff and students, along with the greater community, and other vested groups. Consideration will also be given to road conditions and the ability of faculty, staff and students to reach the campus. Additional consideration may also be given to what other institutions are doing, along with UNC's experience and history under similar conditions.

Although the recommendations of personnel are strongly considered, the final decision to close the University due to weather concerns rests with Executive Staff and the President's Office.

To address some recent weather related concerns, such as the extreme cold, emergency preparedness personnel concluded that the low temperatures presented a manageable risk as long as appropriate clothing is worn and outdoor exposure is limited. Extremely cold temperatures are common in Colorado every winter. Heat was functioning in all buildings, and the sidewalks were clear. Roadways were not a significant problem, and the campus was easily accessible. Most universities, colleges and government offices remained open, with some limited exceptions in the Denver area. Analogies that some people may have drawn to K-12 schools closing, do not necessarily apply to adult students and the model of Higher Education.

University Staff realize that on some occasions not all faculty, staff and students may have the ability to reach campus from outside the Greeley area during inclement weather conditions. There are established processes in place to address this matter. Each of us have personal responsibility and should be capable of determining our own appropriate course of action, and ultimately the final decision to go out in inclement weather conditions rests with the individual. In considering all factors regarding the case of the recent extreme cold weather, caution not closure is generally the appropriate decision.

Chief Mikel Longman, UNC Police Department


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