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Marquette looking for input about possible police department

A new state law gives Marquette University the chance to commission its own police department. The university is taking a deliberate approach to possibly implement one. Campus leaders and the Department of Public Safety is holding open forums with students, faculty, parents, and neighborhood members. Wednesday is the first of three open forums about creating a Marquette University Police Department.

Currently Marquette has a Department of Public Safety but those officers are limited in what they can do on campus. A potential Police Department would handle problems on all Marquette property including routine patrol, service calls, and follow-up investigations. Marquette's Department of Public Safety has a great relationship with the Milwaukee Police Department since Marquette property is in Milwaukee Police jurisdiction. MPD would still handle higher-level incidents like sexual salts, burglary, robbery, homicide, and others.

If Marquette added the police department or transitioned DPS into a Police Department it would give them arrest authority on campus.

\"The sworn police department like the Milwaukee Police Department has the authority to arrest somebody. We don't,\" Marquette Department of Public Safety Chief Paul Mascari said. \"If we are dealing with a situation, whether it's writing citations, arresting someone we have to wait for the Milwaukee police department to come and handle that situation.\"

After the on-campus forums over the next few weeks DPS will put together a recommendation and pass it along to Marquette President Michael Lovell. He has final say about whether or not a department is created.

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