Male police officer in uniform looks to his right with sunlight shining over his shoulder.

Our Philosophy

Our Community Policing philosophy promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem solving techniques, which proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. These ideas are not new; they were originally championed by Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing. He was Home Secretary of the United Kingdom (1822—1835) and during his tenure he established the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829. This was the first standardized professional police force in London. The original police force members were nicknamed "bobbies" in honor of Peel by the citizens, a term which is still used today. Although unpopular with the community at first, the force proved successful in reducing crime in London. This was attributed in large part to the nine principles that Peel obliged his police to follow.

The State University Police Departments are uniquely positioned to achieve lasting reductions in crime and disorder in our communities.  Our operational philosophies and the close working relationships we have with our campus communities allow us to spend positive, non-enforcement time in and among our students, faculty and staff.  In most instances we have the “luxury” of time that our surrounding municipal departments often lack.  Rather than racing from one 9-1-1 call to another, we have the opportunity to engage our communities through educational programming, crime prevention efforts and community outreach and become a valued and trusted part of the community.  In total, the State University Police Departments more closely meet Robert Peels’ time-tested model for an effective, community-based police department than any other police agency at the State or municipal level.

The Peelian Principles

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
  5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
New York State University Police