UPPS understands the importance of providing key information to the public as it relates to the role of law enforcement in the community. Therefore, through our Transparency and Accountability Initiative, the public now has access to various data and information related to use of force, arrests and more. Moving forward, data will be released on an annual basis no later than March of the following calendar year.
Use of Force Data
University Police and Public Safety at Penn State defines force as all actions above non-resistant compliant handcuffing. Unresisting (cooperative) handcuffing occurs when the subject complies with the officer’s verbal commands and/or willingly allows the officers to position their arms in order to apply handcuffs, or the subject positions their arm as commanded for the application of handcuffs.
A use of force incident is classified as one single episode of Use of Force against an individual.
Use of force reports are documented by each officer who used force during an encounter with an individual or group. It is possible that there may be several Use of Force reports documented for one individual person or group. Therefore, at times, there could be more total uses of force than there are individuals involved in a use of force incident.
The processes and procedures surrounding use of force reporting requirements will remain a priority. Ensuring UPPS is in line with all expectations and best practices will be reviewed annually and appropriate changes will be made when necessary.
The information listed below highlights all use of force incidents and reports along with a breakdown of all force cases in 2019, demographic information, affiliation with the University, drug or alcohol involvement, and type of force used. When multiple categories of force were used, only the highest level of force applied is listed.
Note: The Neighborhood Enforcement Alcohol Team (NEAT) is a joint initiative between UPPS and the State College Police Department. The program is designed to provide visible police presence in the Highland and Holmes-Foster neighborhoods, both of which are predominant Greek-life locations, to proactively address quality of life issues through positive contacts and consistent enforcement.
|Number of Individuals||15||3||0||0||2||20|
|Restraint Empty Hands||5||0||0||0||0||5|
|Number of Individuals||39||4||1||1||2||47|
|Restraint Empty Hands||19||0||0||0||0||19|
Deployment – Any time either an intermediate weapon (Taser or OC) or a firearm is removed from a holster or mount while on duty.
Discharge – Any time either an intermediate weapon (Taser or OC) or a firearm is used or fired while on duty.
|Campus Location||District||White||Black||American Indian / Alaskan Native||Asian||Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander||Race Total||Hispanic||Non Hispanic||Ethnicity Total|
|ALL CENTRAL||CENTRAL DISTRCT TOTAL||5||5||0||3||0||13||0||13||13|
|ALL NORTHEAST||NORTHEAST DISTRICT TOTAL||2||4||0||1||0||7||0||7||7|
|ALL NORTHWEST||NORTHWEST DISTRICT TOTAL||18||4||0||0||0||22||2||20||22|
|ALL SOUTHEAST||SOUTHEAST DISTRICT TOTAL||26||12||0||7||0||45||2||43||45|
|ALL SOUTHWEST||SOUTHWEST DISTRICT TOTAL||25||7||0||0||0||32||1||31||32|
|ALL UPPS CAMPUSES||UPPS CAMPUS TOTAL||456||86||0||48||0||590||26||564||590|
|Campus Location||District||White||Black||American Indian / Alaskan Native||Asian||Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander||Race Total||Hispanic||Not Hispanic||Ethnicity Total|
|ALL CENTRAL||CENTRAL DISTRCT TOTAL||14||4||0||5||0||24||1||23||24|
|ALL NORTHEAST||NORTHEAST DISTRICT TOTAL||6||3||0||0||0||9||2||7||9|
|ALL NORTHWEST||NORTHWEST DISTRICT TOTAL||6||5||0||0||0||11||0||11||11|
|ALL SOUTHEAST||SOUTHEAST DISTRICT TOTAL||49||29||0||5||0||83||6||77||83|
|ALL SOUTHWEST||SOUTHWEST DISTRICT TOTAL||56||7||0||2||0||65||1||64||65|
|ALL UPPS CAMPUSES||UPPS CAMPUS TOTAL||853||148||0||75||0||1,077||40||1,037||1,077|
Citizen Complaint Data
UPPS demands professionalism at all times. When that professional expectation is not met for any reason, officers are held accountable for their actions.
UPPS categorizes complaints as either “Service Complaints” or “Professional Standards Investigations.”
- Service Complaints are defined as citizen complaints concerning an officer’s level of professional service and/or demeanor during an interaction with a member of the community.
- Professional Standards Investigations are conducted when an accusation is brought against an officer that alleges the officer violated any elements of established UPPS policy or the law.
Regardless of whether a complaint is classified as a Service Complaint or Professional Standards Investigation, a department supervisor is assigned to follow up and thoroughly investigate the complaint. These investigations follow a strict set of established guidelines to determine whether or not there was a failure to adhere to professional expectations and/or a violation of UPPS policy or law. If an investigation is founded, meaning the accusation was determined to be factual, officers could face a variety of disciplinary actions up to and including termination.
UPPS received 33 total complaints
- 17 were categorized as Service Complaints
- 5 were founded
- 12 were unfounded
- 16 were categorized as Professional Standards Investigations
- 8 were founded
- 8 were unfounded
UPPS received 8 total complaints
- 5 were categorized as Service Complaints
- 1 were founded
- 4 were unfounded
- 3 were categorized as Professional Standards Investigations
- 3 were founded
All complaints are thoroughly investigated. In cases where the result of the investigation determined the complaint to be founded, the officer accused of wrongdoing was held accountable for their actions, through the appropriate training, corrective action or disciplinary measure.
Your constructive comments about our service, positive or negative, will help us improve and achieve our goals. At any time, Penn State community members can file complaints or commendations about our police officers through our online form.
Traffic Stops & Citations
In 2017, University Police and Public Safety began to centralize Penn State’s police units into one cohesive police agency, University Police. Prior to centralization, 22 Penn State campuses housed individual police departments with campus-specific policies, procedures, and practices, including record keeping. Since centralization, UPPS leadership has worked diligently to streamline policies, procedures, and practices following industry standards and guidelines from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
As part of the centralization process, UPPS adopted a new electronic record-keeping system that was rolled out to 21 campuses in a phased approach, which was completed in mid-2020. Beginning in 2021, the centralized department will be able to track collective data on an annual basis, including traffic stop, citation and arrest data. The department is also developing a mechanism to better track day to day interactions with citizens by utilizing contact cards. Data related to this newly improved tracking effort will allow us to publish annual data collected from the contact cards.