Public Safety

Transparency & Neutrality

Trust and transparency are critical components of any healthy, sustainable relationship. Our goal is to make Dixie State University the safest university in Utah, and one of the safest campuses in the country. The only way to achieve this is through collaborative partnership with our Trailblazer community. With that in mind, we want to make sure information is readily available about topics of interest and concern, expressed to us by our community.

The Dixie State University Department of Public Safety upholds and supports everyone’s constitutional rights and freedoms, while protecting and serving those in need. We do this from a position of neutrality. This means our officers are “fact finders” when asked to investigate any reported crime or concern. Documenting what occurred without political, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, or bias of any kind, is paramount to maintaining our position of neutrality. We also hold ourselves to a position of neutrality through policy and procedure by not engaging in endorsements of political offices or making any politically related statements or taking any politically motivated action, while fully supporting government and political institutions equally.

Below you will find information, links, and policies that define our processes, philosophies, and accountability measures, which ensure we are providing you the best service possible.

“8 Can’t Wait” Initiative

We have received a number of questions related to the “8 Can’t Wait” initiative. The graph below shows our existing policies and long-standing approach to community, training, support, and safety, at Dixie State University.

Contact Information

Dept Head: Chief Blair Barfuss

225 South University Avenue St. George, UT 84770
435-652-7515

Lobby Hours
Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Anti-Bias Training + Expectations

Anti-Bias Training + Expectations

TRAINING

As a Utah and UCOPA accredited law enforcement agency, all Dixie State University Police Department employees (sworn and civilian) are required to complete anti-bias training each year.

DSUPD started its annual anti-bias training in 2019 after Chief Barfuss was hired. He also mandated implicit bias awareness training occur annually through an outside contracted training service.

Since then, DSUPD has developed a program called Character Counts that focuses on promoting a culture of ethics and integrity. This program’s instructor group includes 16 agency employees at varying ranks and positions within the organization.

Anti-bias and implicit-bias trainings include lecture-based learning, discussions, scenarios, and small group exercises. The purpose of the training includes the following:

o Understand that even well-intentioned people have biases
o Understand how implicit biases impact on what we perceive/see and can (unless prevented) impact on what we do
o Understand that fair & impartial policing leads to effective policing; and,
o Use tools that help individuals (1) recognize their conscious and implicit biases, and (2) implement “controlled” (unbiased) behavioral responses.

EXPECTATIONS

The trust and confidence of our community is paramount to ensuring the safety of everyone in Dixie State University. We hold integrity as one of our core values, and expect all employees to exemplify our agencies core values both on and off duty. All matters or reports of personal and professional misconduct are addressed immediately, and taken very seriously.

Racial or bias-based policing is strictly forbidden. It is the policy of this agency to provide law enforcement services, and to enforce the law, equally, fairly, and without discrimination, toward any individual or group.

View Related Policies:
Policy 401: Bias-Based Policing
Policy 1010: Personnel Complaints

Body-Worn Cameras

Body-Worn Cameras

 Body Camera on Sergeant Bridge
Body Worn Camera

Body-worn cameras are valuable tools that provide an added layer of accountability for both law enforcement officials and the people we serve. All DSUPD uniformed officers are equipped with body-worn cameras.

View Related Policy:
Policy 422: Portable Audio/Video Recorder Policy

Budget

Budget

We have heard the calls to consider reallocation of funds from Police Services to other community priorities. In recent years, officers have been increasingly tasked with navigating complex social issues, including homelessness, mental and behavioral health, substance abuse, and more. At DSUPD, we have increased our partnerships and training in these areas to equip officers with the skills and resources to manage situations involving these factors. We practice an open door policy with our community to engage in constructive conversation about how best to manage these challenges in our community.

Current funding for DSUPD supports and focuses primarily on Community Oriented Policing (COP) best practices, with a more comprehensive focus on individual service, which goes well beyond simply enforcing the law or completing reports. This investment means we have dedicated officers with training and empathy to respond to the needs of our rapidly growing community, as safely and thoughtfully as possible for everyone involved. Outside of COP efforts, a large portion of our annual budget goes to training and professional development of our officers.

Yearly operational costs take the remainder of the police department budget. Operational costs include body worn cameras, policy and procedure software, dispatch services, radios and equipment, vehicles, and so on.

IACLEA/UCOPA Accreditation

 

Accreditation Logo
IACLEA

Dixie State University Police Department earned UCOPA accreditation in 2019.

The Utah Chiefs of Police Association (UCOPA) is the credentialing authority who controls, oversees, and approves agency applications, for agency accreditation. Dixie State University is the only university in the state of Utah to have received accreditation, and one of only eight police departments to receive UCOPA accreditation in the state of Utah.

UCOPA accreditation strengthens an agency’s accountability, both within the agency and the community, through a continuum of standards that clearly define authority, performance and responsibilities.

The initial accreditation process included a comprehensive review of policy and practices to ensure compliance with industry standards. A file review of DSUPD policies/procedures was remotely conducted by an UCOPA independent assessor. DSUPD was required to provide “proofs of compliance” for all standards set by UCOPA. Following that, we had a site-based assessment that included a tour of the facility, equipment, and interviews with agency and community members.  The assessor submitted a comprehensive report to the UCOPA commission and following a review with the commission and agency representatives, accreditation was awarded in 2019.

Following initial accreditation, ongoing work is required to maintain certification. There is continuous review of policies/procedures and directives ensuring we are reviewing what we do and working to continually improve. UCOPA conducts reviews by assessors who review ‘proofs of standards’ and ensure on-going compliance with their standards.  Annual reviews culminate in a re-accreditation every three years after review and approval by the UCOPA commission.  Our first annual review is underway now and will be completed by mid-June 2020.

UCOPA accreditation facilitates an agency’s pursuit of professional excellence and provides oversight to ensure that accredited agencies are providing the highest level of community service possible.

DSUPD has also begun the International Association Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) accreditation process in 2020, and is working towards the “gold standard” accreditation for campus law enforcement agencies.

Learn more about UCOPA Accreditation: https://www.utahchiefs.org/accreditation

Learn more about IACLEA Accreditation: https://www.iaclea.org/accreditation

Conduct + Complaints

Conduct + Complaints

Dixie State University Police employees work to provide compassionate, professional services, to everyone we encounter. All employees are expected to treat colleagues and community members alike with respect, operate with integrity both personally and professionally, provide world-class service, and foster positive engagement with our community.

We hold the highest of expectations for everyone employed with DSUPD. We welcome feedback, both positive and negative, regarding the conduct of our employees. To make a comment or complaint, or to learn more about the administrative investigation process, please visit: https://publicsafety.dixie.edu/about/personnel/feedback/

All formal complaints are handled by police administration, and documented through our internal affairs process. Early intervention, training improvement opportunities, and understanding of policy and procedure, are quickly observed, and immediately addressed by supervisors with employees, so minor issues do not become major problems. The internal affairs process tracks and reviews:

1.      Use of Force & Show of Force

2.      Vehicle pursuits

3.      Vehicle collisions involving City-owned vehicles

4.      Performance complaints

5.      All internal affairs investigation

View Related Policies
Law Enforcement Code of Ethics
Policy 320: Standards of Conduct
Policy 401: Bias-Based Policing
Policy 1010: Personnel Complaints

Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency

Dixie State University Police Department began a directed Community Trust Initiative in partnership with the DSU Multicultural Inclusion Center, guided by Dr. Tasha Toy. This initiative included forming a stakeholder advisory group to better understand the barriers to engagement and fears within our minority student community.

As a result of new relationships developed through the initiative, DSUPD began partnering with student and university organizations in our community. Since that time, the agency has hosted numerous individual and group discussions, open issues forums, Coffee with a Cop events, and informational presentations about requested topics.

While this is one ongoing program, we recognize that there is much work to be done. We welcome opportunities to connect further with all members of our community, especially the minority and marginalized groups who need to be heard.

Community Oriented Policing

“Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systemic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” – Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services

DSUPD actively engages in COP efforts, philosophies and beliefs. We have implemented many programs and initiatives to bring COP to the Dixie State University community, including programs like: Start by Believing, Martin Luther King day of service, Athletics service projects, Shop with a Cop, LGBTQ Safe Zone, and many other Multicultural Inclusion Center programs and events. We actively work with the Dixie State University Student Union to enhance and better engage our student population, while better serving their needs in providing safety and reducing the fear of crime.

Dixie State University Police Department hires only those officers who truly love and value the DSU community. Community oriented policing is not just a model of policing for us; it is fundamental and essential to how we protect and serve on campus. If you have ideas or suggestions on how we can better fulfill our community oriented policing responsibilities on campus, please contact us.

De-Escalation & Use of Force

De-Escalation + Use of Force

OVERVIEW

Use of Force by law enforcement personnel is a matter of critical concern, both to the public and to the law enforcement community. Officers are involved on a daily basis in numerous and varied interactions and, when warranted, may use the minimal reasonable force necessary, in carrying out their duties. Officers must have an understanding of, and true appreciation for, their authority and limitations. This is especially true with respect to overcoming resistance while engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties. Dixie State University Police Department recognizes and respects the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone, as outlined in President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing released by the Department of Justice, in 2015.

DE-ESCALATION

DSUPD has a philosophy and practice of de-escalation tactics and efforts. To ensure this is a central part of our culture and operations, we integrate de-escalation into all of our department use of force training (meaning it’s not just a one-time class). We strive for all of Dixie State University Officers to be certified in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, through CIT Utah (exceeding the national standard of 20%). In any situation officer’s encounter, the safety of all involved parties is our top priority.

TACTICS + TRANSITIONS

Our department seeks to use the least amount of force necessary to ensure the safety of all involved in a situation. Our defensive tactics protocols and use of force continuum train our officers to make force decisions based on the level of threat presented. Our defensive tactics and firearms training includes transitioning between responses, so officers are well equipped to move up and down the use of force continuum, based on the threat presented.

REPORTING

Dixie State University Police Department requires all use of force, and shows of force, to be maintained and documented in yearly reporting. This process allows internal affairs and supervisors to review and document concerns with any needed or requested follow-up. Use of Force items tracked include:

1.      Use of Force & Show of Force

2.      Vehicle pursuits

3.      Vehicle collisions involving university police-owned vehicles

4.      Pepper spray or baton deployments

5.      Performance complaints

6.      Civil Rights complaints

OVERSIGHT

Community Member Review Board – At the request of the Chief of Police, the Community Member Review Board makes recommendations concerning interpretation of police policies and procedures. The board reviews internal investigations concerning police officer and non-sworn department employee conduct in the following situations:

1.      Upon written complaint, where an Officer is alleged to have: shown or used force; discharged a firearm in violation of policy or law; committed a crime; or caused a person to sustain severe injury, death, or complaint of a civil rights violation is made to the department.

2.      Regardless of whether or not there is a complaint, where an Officer has used deadly force.

3.      Upon written request, where a community member wants to have an Internal Affairs decision reviewed with regard to any other written allegation of misconduct of an Officer/employee.

4.      Any other investigation as requested by the Chief of Police or President of the University.

WASHINGTON COUNTY CRITICAL INCIDENT TASK FORCE RESPONSE TEAM

The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force Response Team Protocol, a multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) Task Force, is called in any time there is an officer-involved shooting that results in injury or death, or if a death occurs while an individual is in custody of law enforcement. At the conclusion of a CIRT investigation, the findings are reported to the District Attorney. The District Attorney completes a thorough review of the entire investigation and uses the applicable law to determine whether the use of force was justified.

View Related Policies

Washington County Critical Incident Task Force Response Team Protocol
Policy 300: Use of Force
Policy 305: Officer-Involved Shootings and Deaths
Policy 1029: Performance History Audits

Ethics

Ethics

DSUPD’s Core Values and Mission Statement directly show how vital ethics are to our agency’s success. Personal and professional ethics are highly reviewed and scrutinized during the hiring process for all sworn and non-sworn employees.

Core Values
Mission Statement
Diversity

Diversity

Dixie State University Police Department values our diverse campus community, and recognize the benefits each member brings to our university.

Our primary recruiting objective is to recruit highly qualified applicants, working towards achieving the goal of a workforce composition in the sworn law enforcement ranks that is reflective of our Dixie State University community demographics. We also recruit and seek out applicants who blend within our departments cultural fit and firmly believe in and adopt community oriented policing methods. Members of our department are expected to make those in our community feel safe, while being open and approachable.

We currently have as full-time employees:

5 – Caucasian males, 1 – Caucasian female, 1 – Pacific Islander male, 1 – Latin X male

We currently have as part-time employees:

1 – Caucasian female, 11 – Caucasian males

Hiring Process & Standards

Hiring Process + Standards

DSUPD has high standards for hiring and uses a rigorous process to ensure that qualified candidates with high integrity join our agency.

OFFICER HIRING REQUIREMENTS

·         Must be 21 years of age.

·         Must possess a valid driver’s license.

·         Must have a high school diploma or GED (preference points given for 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours from a college or university that is listed in the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs with a minimum 2.0 GPA on a 4 point scale prior to hire date. Work experience or military service may be substituted for this education requirement)

·         Must be a citizen of the United States by birth, naturalization or lawfully in the United States and legally authorized for employment.

·         Must be able to read, speak and understand English.

·         Must possess a Utah POST Law Enforcement Officer certification, or be certifiable.

·         Preference hiring points are given to active law enforcement officers and military veterans.

HIRING DISQUALIFIERS

The following is not an all-inclusive list of instances that may disqualify individuals from the officer hiring process. Other standards may prompt disqualification as well.

·         Felony conviction

·         Conviction, deferred prosecution or deferred judgment of a misdemeanor within three years of application date

·         Any driving arrest or conviction within three years of the candidate’s application that involve alcohol, controlled substances, drugs, or other illegal substances

·         Any pending or prior convictions of, deferred prosecution or deferred judgments for, reckless driving or careless driving resulting in injury within three years prior to application deadline date

·         Release or discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions

·         Certain misdemeanor criminal convictions, as defined by P.O.S.T., which would affect peace officer certification in Utah

SELECTION PROCESS

·         Application review and hiring committee pass approval

·         Oral Interview

·         Integrity Interview

·         Truth Verification Exam

·         Background Investigation

·         Final Interview

·         Psychological Assessment

·         Medical Assessment

·         Drug Screen

Mental Health

Mental Health

CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING

All of DSUPD officers are certified (or scheduled to be certified), through the Utah Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program. CIT is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and substance use disorder professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, their families and other advocates. This innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training is designed to help persons with mental disorders and/or substance use disorders access medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system due to illness related behaviors. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individual in crisis.

DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER

The mission of the DSU Health & Wellness Center is to provide high quality, cost-effective medical and mental health care in order to promote health and support academic success.  The DSU Health & Wellness Center is also committed to offering wellness programs that deliver high quality educational services and programs which teach students, staff and faculty healthy approaches to life and coping skills to encourage students, faculty and staff to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors. We provide acute health care and provide mental health services by appointment so that staff, students and faculty are more prepared to pursue their academic, career, and personal goals.

The Health & Wellness Center also encourages the campus community to strengthen their health and well-being through educational opportunities and self-improvement through outreach and programming throughout the campus. Taking responsibility for one’s health and well-being is an essential part of a person’s ability to contribute to the work and mission of DSU. We invite you to visit the Health & Wellness Center where we have resources and health information regarding stress management, sexual responsibility, alcohol and other drugs, tobacco cessation, nutrition, and other basic health issues. Condoms are also available free at the front desk.

https://catalog.dixie.edu/campusresources/health__wellness_center/

POLICE PSYCHOLOGIST

Dixie State University Police Department utilizes an independent full time Police Psychologist who specializes in police and first responder mental health related treatment. Police Officer and non-sworn staff with duties involving confidential information have a psychological evaluation and analysis completed to determine if the applicant has any potentially concerning conflicts or mental health issues that could cause harm to the community we serve.

 

Training

Training Standards

OVERVIEW

We invest heavily in training. Having a strong, consistent, well-maintained knowledge of best practices and processes allows officers to safely serve the community.

All Utah officers are required to meet Utah POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) requirements each year to maintain their law enforcement certification. DSUPD exceeds the minimum P.O.S.T. standards significantly each year. POST requires a minimum of 40 in-service training hours annually, but DSUPD officers average 120-300 in-service training hours on average depending on assignment and rank.

All officers received training that included legal updates, implicit bias, defensive tactics, firearms, driving, DUI investigations, active shooter response, hazmat response, critical incident response, mental health (community and personal), and equipment recertification’s. De-escalation is a prominent part of defensive tactics, firearms, and other topics that may involve response to an active situation.

One-third of DSUPD officers are certified in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, exceeding the national standard of 20%). CIT is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and substance use disorder professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, their families and other advocates. This innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training is Designed to help persons with mental disorders and/or substance use disorders access medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system due to illness related behaviors. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individual in crisis.

NEW HIRES

New officers with no lateral law experience are required to successfully complete a 16-week basic police academy and successfully pass the Utah P.O.S.T. certification test.

Upon graduation, all hires (new and lateral) must complete an internal program with DSUPD. This program educates new recruits about our culture, expectations, tactics, and philosophy of de-escalation. In addition, new officers have regular confidential meetings with the department Staff Psychologist for support and education on mental health topics.

Once they’ve completed mini-academy, new officers must successfully pass a 4-phased field training officer (FTO) program. During FTO, they are paired with experienced officers with specialized training that allows them to teach and evaluate new hires.

Officers who successfully pass this rigorous program join the Patrol Division as solo officers. In total, the introductory training program lasts 9-12 months.

Wellness Program

Wellness Program

Our employees invest in their physical and mental health to provide the best service possible. A number of resources are available to build a resilient workforce and provide the necessary mental health support for emergency services professionals who are routinely exposed to traumatic and high-stress situations.

POLICE PSYCHOLOGIST

Dixie State University Police has a contract with a full time Police Psychologist who specializes in police related trauma available to officers and staff, when needed. In addition, new officers have a complete psychological evaluation prior to employment with DSUPD. Officers may be referred to a police or general practice mental health professional, at their request or at the request of police administration if concerns arise. We are currently in the process of implementing a yearly psychological “check in” appointment with the Police Psychologist to allow each employee access to any mental health needs. If concerns arise that jeopardize the safety of the officer or the community, police administration is made aware and policy/procedure guides who these concerns are addressed.

STRESS DEBRIEFINGS

Law enforcement personnel respond to some of the worst situations imaginable and must put personal feelings aside in order to perform necessary action to safely resolve situations and perform thorough investigations following serious crimes. Following particularly traumatic situations like child deaths, homicides, violent assaults, and critical incidents, a police psychologist may conduct an after-action stress debriefing for any employee involved or affected by the incident. These meetings allow employees to discuss the impact the incident had on them personally, learn about post-traumatic stress symptoms, and make connections for ongoing support.

RETURN TO DUTY PROTOCOL

DSUPD has a comprehensive return to duty protocol that officers follow before resuming work after a critical incident. Officers are often called upon to deal with situations that may result in psychological trauma. The effectiveness of the recovery environment after a critical incident plays a significant role in both the prevention of a trauma response and a rapid recovery and successful return to work. The goal of the support offered is to return the involved staff member to duty mentally prepared to work safely and effectively.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Officers are allowed one hour of each shift to engage in physical fitness activities. Workouts are allowed only on campus, utilizing the Health Performance Center, or other locations available. Officers need to always be physically ready and capable for the demands placed upon them. Physical fitness is also a primary way many officers use for helping their mental health stay balanced.