TUPD, NOPD formalize agreement for off campus jurisdiction

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TUPD, NOPD formalize agreement for off campus jurisdiction

Brandi Doyal, Print News Editor

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The Tulane University Police Department has formalized its existing verbal jurisdiction agreement with the New Orleans Police Department in a contract laying out the terms of mutual aid between the two departments.

This agreement, which went into effect Dec. 3, was finally put into writing to limit liability. 

TUPD Superintendent Jon Barnwell said he believes this agreement is a positive step forward for both the university and the city.

“It is an opportunity for the city to leverage additional resources that are available to them in their backyard,” Barnwell said. “It is also like what we do with our community service, helping us to give back to the community where we are working and learning.”

The agreement formally extends TUPD’s police force of approximately 85 officers one mile beyond the boundary of Tulane’s campus. It states that TUPD shall have the same jurisdiction as NOPD. 

“We have always policed out to [South] Carrollton [Avenue] and down to Jefferson [Avenue] as concurrent jurisdiction that we have with NOPD,” Barnwell said. “Now, the contract allows us to formally assist NOPD off campus, but also outlines what NOPD is expected to do for us. This agreement is a two-way street.”

The agreement states that this contract does not relieve the city in any way of its duties, obligations and responsibilities to the Uptown and Tulane areas, including the all patrolling officers, investigations and special event coverage. 

Barnwell said another benefit is that the agreement extends TUPD’s abilities to carry out its own investigations within the city, such as executing a search or arrest warrant.

“In the past we would have to coordinate with NOPD and have them with us,” Barnwell said. “This gives us an opportunity to contact NOPD and say this is what we are doing, let them evaluate the situation and, if it is not necessary, they don’t have to be with us.”

The agreement states that if a Tulane-sanctioned event were to take place off campus, TUPD can provide backup if necessary. In turn, NOPD is required to assist TUPD with on-campus events that may grow larger than expected, such as Crawfest.

TUPD also plans to continue working with NOPD on the parade routes during Mardi Gras where students are likely to be located.

We may extend a little further [than Napoleon Avenue],” Barnwell said. “Anywhere you see our students intermingling with citizens you will see TUPD presence.”

Junior Kelsey Kavoojian said she believes the agreement has good and bad ramifications. 

“As a student who lives off campus it is reassuring to know TUPD will patrol further,” Kavoojian said. “It might be weird for a non-Tulane student to have to answer to a TUPD officer, though.”

The agreement does not incur any further cost to the university nor create any new revenue. As in the past, Tulane will not pay for NOPD to respond on its campus, and NOPD will not pay TUPD to respond off campus.

Barnwell said that the primary concern for TUPD is always the safety of the university.

“There is no additional impact [cost-wise] and it is written in the agreement concerning anything outside of our patrol perimeter that if NOPD asks for assistance they have to contact me,” Barnwell said. “I then have to evaluate our ability to fulfill that need and take action from there.”

Barnwell said he believes this agreement will prove good for both the city and the university and hopes the relationship between NOPD and TUPD continues to grow.

“There are opportunities to develop a better understanding of how NOPD officers respond to university incidents, and also clarify how we can assist [NOPD], primarily when they are responding to Tulane-related calls in and around the Uptown area,” Barnwell said. “The biggest concern is making sure the benefit to Tulane justifies the need.”

NOPD could not be reached for comment.

For more information please see the agreement on our website.