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Drexel Public Safety Oversight Committee

The mission of the Drexel Public Safety Oversight Committee (DPSOC) is to provide vision, guidance and oversight to the delivery of police services to the Drexel University community. Through its members, the Committee will facilitate communication and develop a mutual understanding of roles and expectations between the community and the Drexel University Police Department (DUPD). It will also function as a channel for members of both the Drexel and surrounding communities to provide feedback to Drexel Public Safety (DPS) regarding policing and public safety. The DPSOC will work to enhance our community relationship with Drexel Public Safety by providing transparent oversight of DUPD activity and thoughtful insight into the safety and security needs of our diverse community.

The Committee reports to the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

On this page, you will find:

Responsibilities of the Committee

The Committee functions in an oversight capacity and works collaboratively with the Department of Public Safety. The Committee is not intended to act as a management arm of the Department, nor is it intended to supplant or replace existing University processes. Existing University policies, procedures and practices for dealing with issues such as employee relations are to be utilized to adjudicate complaints against Departmental employees.

The specific duties of the Committee shall include:

  1. To serve as a liaison between DPS and the University community.
  2. To provide oversight of DPS regarding provision of police services, with the goal that the entire community — those who work, study, live at Drexel University or in nearby neighborhoods, as well as campus visitors — may live safely and experience equitable treatment in interactions with DPS employees.
  3. To advise and make recommendations to the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and COO concerning the provision of police services to the University community.
  4. To be briefed by the Vice President of Public Safety regarding complaints and subsequent investigations by members of the public against Public Safety officers.
  5. To be briefed on all use of force incidents.
  6. To review a summary of police citations issued and criminal charges filed.
  7. To function as a resource for the Vice President of Public Safety on various issues or concerns involving the Department and the Drexel University community.
  8. To be briefed on complaints and reports of profiling, discrimination and bias made by community members regarding DPS interactions and responses.
  9. To review appeals taken from civilian complaint investigations undertaken by DPS and, in appropriate cases, request DPS reopen its investigation or conduct its own independent review and provide recommendations to DPS and the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and COO concerning further actions.
  10. To provide input on programs and initiatives to enhance campus safety and security.
  11. To promote and support public awareness of the University's police services and programs.
  12. To prepare an annual report of Committee activities, which shall be forwarded to the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and COO, and to the Drexel Board of Trustees Student Life Committee.

Committee Membership

DPSOC will consist of 13 voting members: three students, three faculty members, three professional staff members, two residents of the community familiar with the DPS catchment area (as provided in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Philadelphia Police Department and DPS), and two at-large members of the University community (e.g., employees, alumni, parents, trustees, members of the local business community). The Committee co-chairs will consist of one faculty member and one professional staff member, both chosen from the total membership. The Vice President of Public Safety and Chief Wellness Officer shall be non-voting, ex-officio members of the Committee. A representative from the Office of the General Counsel shall attend meetings to take minutes and advise the Committee on legal issues.

The inaugural co-chairs of the DPSOC are Thomas R. Kline School of Law Dean Daniel Filler and Vice President and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer Kim Upshaw. They are in the process of accepting nominations for members of the Drexel community to serve on the DPSOC. Once selected, the members will be listed here.

Membership Appointments and Requirements

Membership Selection: The co-chairs shall be appointed by the University President and Executive Vice President, Treasurer and COO after appropriate consultation with the Faculty Senate, the Undergraduate Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, and any other organizations that represent members of the community. The University President and Executive Vice President shall appoint the inaugural members of the Committee, based on recommendations made by the Committee co-chairs, who, in consultation with appropriate university leadership, will select members based on factors that include: 1) commitment and likely effectiveness; 2) diversity of experience; 3) appropriately broad representation of the relevant communities. During the first year, the Committee will be charged with creating ongoing membership selection processes.

Time Commitments: All non-student appointments shall be for two academic years. All Committee members are eligible for three terms of reappointment. Student appointments may vary. It is estimated that serving on the committee will require a commitment of at least 10 hours/month.

Training: All Committee members must complete required, annual training and education, and agree to maintain confidentiality as appropriate. Training and education topics that DPSOC will prescribe may include DPS policies and procedures, confidentiality, use of an equity lens, implicit bias, Title IX, trauma-informed care, history of campus policing, power analysis, restorative practices, and mental health and social service resources.

Confidentiality: Members of DPSOC have a duty to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of nonpublic and sensitive information accessed, shared and discussed in association with their membership on the DUPSOC. This duty of confidentiality remains after the conclusion of the term of membership.

Operating Procedures

  • The Committee will meet at least biweekly during the academic year. The schedule of meetings will be developed at the beginning of each academic year.
  • For purposes of conducting the Committee's business, a simple majority of the Committee's voting members must be present.
  • The Committee shall adopt such rules of procedure as it deems necessary.
  • Meetings will be closed with the exception of public forums held as necessary, and attendance may be restricted to members of the campus community.
  • Minutes of all meetings shall be made public to the campus community through this dedicated website.
  • The Committee shall coordinate one open public forum each academic year to receive campus concerns.
  • The co-chairs will submit an annual report and meet at least annually with the Board of Trustees' Student Life Committee.

Questions, Concerns and Feedback

DPSOC encourages and welcomes feedback regarding the performance and conduct of the University's Public Safety Department. Email the Committee at dps-oversight@drexel.edu.

Information about sharing feedback directly with the Department of Public Safety can be found on the Public Safety Feedback page.

The University also provides students, faculty, and professional staff with the option to ask questions or report allegations of suspected improper conduct in a confidential setting via the Drexel Compliance Hotline, hosted by an external, third-party provider, EthicsPoint.