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Policing Nightlife in College Communities

Building Trust and Productive Relations

Cities with large and growing college student populations, often living in downtown housing complexes close to nightlife districts, are especially challenged to find solutions to public concerns about late-night safety and security. The burden often falls onto police departments, with a first response of deployment of additional officers and aggressive crowd control tactics at closing time. College Station is the home of Texas A & M University and hosts an entertainment district directly across the street from the university campus. The College Station Tourism & Entertainment Policing Unit was established as a dedicated unit to address the specific needs of entertainment venues and the district overall. Officers and commanders in Columbia, SC’s 5 Points entertainment district embrace a guardian mindset to build public trust and legitimacy. The officers who are assigned to the district are strategically refocused into a majority guardian mindset as opposed to a majority Warrior mindset. This webinar features presentations on how two police departments reoriented their approach and improved relations with businesses and communities, and improved public safety, reduced crime and disorder.

  • How can a dedicated unit of officers address the specific needs of entertainment venues and district?
  • What are the unique characteristics of a nightlife district with a large college age population?; What is the "guardian mindset" and how can it be applied in a college nightlife district?
  • Are there special qualifications and training for officers working in nightlife districts?
  • What have been the greatest challenges in your role? Greatest achievements?



Christopher Roberts

Kenneth Petereit

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