For most students at UWSP, their interaction with protective services will be limited to seeing them drive around campus in their cars, but for a few select students their interactions will be a bit more personal. So most students are left little understanding of who protective services are, and what they are responsible for.
The department also employs 45 students as cadets that receive extensive on the job training.
There are three different classifications for employees that work for the department said John Taylor, the Assistant Director for Protective Services and 19-year veteran of the department.
"Currently we have three police offices who go through the same training that officers for the Stevens Point Police Department would have to go through," Taylor said, which is a 15-week recruit-training course
In addition to the three police officers, protective services also employs four security officers. While they haven’t received the same formal training that the police officers have, come from backgrounds that are similar to protective services, such as the military or other security institutions.
Out of the three groups only the police officers carry weapons, which they started doing three years ago, Taylor said. Both security officers and student cadets carry OC Spray, commonly known as pepper spray.
Security officers have usually carried OC spray prior to coming to UWSP. While the student cadets haven’t received any formal training about the use of OC spray, it can only be deployed in the defense of others or the officer.
"In the seventeen years we have been carrying OC Spray it has not been used once," Taylor said.
While students who are caught using alcohol underage, or carrying small amounts of marijuana, receive a citation and pay a fine, Taylor says students aren’t treated as if they broke the law.
"Everything we respond to typically involves alcohol," Taylor said. When officers respond to incidents involving vandalism or other incidents, they usually find out that the person had been drinking earlier.
Taylor said that the second biggest category of calls involves marijuana use in the dorms.