74G-2. Policy and scope.

(a) The purpose of this Chapter is to protect the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff in institutions of higher education by fostering integrity, proficiency, and competence among campus police agencies and campus police officers. To achieve this purpose, the General Assembly finds that a Campus Police Program needs to be established. As part of the Campus Police Program, the Attorney General is given the authority to certify a private, nonprofit institution of higher education, other than those described by G.S. 116-15(d), as a campus police agency and to commission an individual as a campus police officer.

(b) The purpose of this Chapter is also to assure, to the extent consistent with the State and federal constitutions, that this protection is not denied to students, faculty, and staff at private, nonprofit institutions of higher education originally established by or affiliated with religious denominations. To achieve this purpose, the General Assembly finds that:

(1) Most of the State's private, nonprofit institutions of higher education were originally established by or affiliated with religious denominations;

(2) These institutions have made and continue to make significant contributions in education to the State and the nation;

(3) These institutions admit students regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs;

(4) These institutions' principal mission is educational;

(5) All of these institutions are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and as such have independent governing boards of trustees;

(6) The principal State power conferred on campus police by this Chapter is the power of arrest;

(7) This power is important to protect the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff at these institutions;

(8) In exercising the power of arrest, these officers apply standards established by State and federal law only; and

(9) The exercise of this power is reviewable by the General Court of Justice and the federal courts.

(c) Public educational institutions operating under the authority of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina or the State Board of Community Colleges and private educational institutions that are licensed by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina pursuant to G.S. 116-15 or that are exempt from licensure by the Board of Governors pursuant to G.S. 116-15(c) may apply to the Attorney General to be certified as a campus police agency. A campus police agency may apply to the Attorney General to commission an individual designated by the agency to act as a campus police officer for the agency. (2005-231, s. 1.)