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COCC investigating Campus Public Safety Dept.; all officers put on paid leave

Photo: COCC

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Community College said Tuesday it has placed all of its Campus Public Safety officers on paid administrative leave, pending a month-long, third-party review of the department's operations, but did not reveal what sparked the moves.

"During this approximately month-long review — which will begin in the next few days — the department’s officers have been placed on paid administrative leave," a brief statement from the school said.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, COCC noted, the school "has significantly reduced on-campus instruction and currently offers approximately 20 percent of its course offerings in person."

However, for the ongoing safety of the students and employees on campus, the college said it has engaged local firm Bend Patrol Services, which as of Tuesday "will provide randomly timed security patrols and will notify local law enforcement in the event of an emergency."

"Above all, COCC’s commitment is to the safety and well-being of our students, employees, and the community at large," the news release concluded. 

COCC Marketing and Public Relations Director Jennifer Kovitz said she could not provide further details until the investigation is completed, but confirmed to NewsChannel 21 that it's being conducted by an independent, third party.

Bend police had a campus resource officer patrolling the campus before last April's COVID-19-related school closure, when that officer was reassigned, Kovitz said. When the campus fully reopens, those patrols will resume, Kovitz said.

Article Topic Follows: Bend
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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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