With unanimous votes in the state House and Senate, a bill that would make it easier for Indiana universities and other public universities to hire campus police officers was sent to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, said he is a co-sponsor along with House Majority Leader Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion, and Rep. Clint Howlett, R-Tioga, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and social security.

A 1988 House bill would have assigned campus police departments and campus police officers to the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education, including the IUP Police Department, under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officer Training Commission for police certification, commission and training.

In a memo urging others to co-sponsor HB 1988, Ouellet wrote that “like all municipal police officers, officers in the state system must complete the MPOETC Initial Police Officer Education Program before becoming a police officer.”

However, he continued, “Unlike municipal police officers, who are considered MPOETC certified and can be immediately employed, the state university system must seek and receive a commission for each police officer from the governor through the Pennsylvania Department of Education before he or she can perform police duties “.

This meant that officers who graduated from Mansfield University’s IUP or MPOETC-certified police academies could and did serve as police officers in the Indiana, Mansfield, or Clarion areas, but in addition would need a governor’s commission to join any of the campus police departments. .

“Eliminating this unnecessary and duplicative paperwork will help make our campuses safer because it will allow officers to get to work much faster,” Oberlander said.