Transforming Campus Safety: Policing and Community Engagement at the University of Toronto


This paper provides an account of the organization and transformation of campus policing at the University of Toronto, with the aim to 1) evaluate how the institution now known as the office of Campus Safety has evolved over time in dialogue with sociolegal forces and relations, and to 2) consider how it might continue to transform over time in line with calls for community engagement and social justice. We contextualize the contemporary structures and conditions of Campus Safety at the UofT with an analysis of the institutional history of campus policing in North America/Turtle Island and the UK. Based on literature reviews and interviews with students and Campus Safety administrators and officers, we examine key issues shaping perspectives on and practices of campus police, specifically 1) responding to community members experiencing mental health crises; 2) addressing gender-based violence and sexual violence, and 3) ongoing concerns about systemic racism, social inequality, and discrimination. We also examine how the politics of our current historical moment manifest in the Cops Off Campus movement, and consider various points of view regarding defunding, detasking, demilitarizing, or abolishing police organizations, including campus police.

Authors: Katakawa, Emiri; Lui, Cindy; Jauregui, Beatrice

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