PHOENIX — The Arizona State University Police Department is getting back to its roots and joining a national movement called the Police2Peace Project. The program is refocusing law enforcement back to a community level, while still maintaining authority.
ASU police said the goal of the program is to get back to the basics of being peace officers and promoting de-escalation and community involvement. ASU said the officers are not always looking to arrest people, rather, looking to create the peaceful resolutions. And they hope to promote the change in the community.
Any law enforcement agency in the nation can adopt the program. ASU Police Information Officer Adam Wolfe said it fits their mission and goals as a department.
“The hope is really to get back to that community focused roots of policing,” Wolfe said. “Of being there for your community, being part of your community, especially here where officers walk around and interact daily so much more than say, a standard municipal agency would. It’s so important for the community to feel comfortable.”
Peace officer training is built in from the beginning of the 20 to 24 week police academy training. Wolfe said they’re hoping to change the police reputation which can be negative, and stick with ASU’s community focus. He added they also want people to feel safe to approach officers with problems.
The ASU police department is also celebrating its 75th anniversary all year. It has grown from just 10 non-sworn patrolmen, to 200 total staff supporting a student body of more than 100,000.