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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.

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Barney Lerten

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

Comments

11 Comments

  1. The COCC security dpt is the same COCC dpt that hired the killer. It’s not a separate “security company”. It’s a security dpt operated by COCC.

  2. 21 – dig deeper.

    Why?

    If you accept a lame public affairs press release that does not serve the Public interest and perhaps safety.

    COCC historically protects its “castle on the hill”. Until pushed to fess up and share at least an overview of what this is all about.

    Transparency as appropriate and for the safety of all involved.

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