Action, education and lots of confrontation — all part of a days work in the day of campus service officer.
CSO’s, known on campus as “bike cops,” are students employed by the University who have gone through basic police officer training, but are not official police officers.
CSU’s campus has around 14,000 bikes that come and go from campus each day.
While following Campus Service Officers Ashley Travis and Steve Eckelberry for one of their shifts, the officers made various contacts with cyclists disobeying traffic rules. Most encounters these officers made were verbal warnings, including asking skateboarders to board on side walks and confronting cyclists about running through stop signs.
“I enjoy talking to people,” Eckelberry said while on patrol. “It’s the best part of my day.”
The campus service officers confronted five individuals in a span of 15 minutes. Five warnings were given and zero citations were issued.
In one instance, a man was stopped for biking the wrong direction on a one-way street and running a stop sign. He also did not have his bike registered. He was cooperative while speaking with the CSO’s, and was eventually given a warning for the traffic violation and encouraged to register his bike at the on-campus police station.
Travis and Eckelberry said that they hope their jobs as CSO’s will take them a step further toward their goals.
Travis is a graduate student at CSU focusing on marriage counseling.
“I actually came back to work (for CSUPD) as a graduate student,” Travis said. “I love everyone that works here. This experience has made me consider criminology as a career.”
While on bike enforcement, these CSO’s presence could be witnessed by the cyclists traveling through campus. Students passing by paid attention to Travis and Eckelberry. Many of the bikers stopped fully at stop signs, and long boarders rode on the sidewalks. Those who did not obey the traffic laws were approached by Travis and Eckelberry.
At one point during the shift, a CSUPD police officer contacted Travis and Eckelberry and told them that a biker had violated a traffic stop. Travis said that the bike enforcement works with CSU police to help relay information. In this case, the police officer requested that the bike enforcement make contact because they had the accessibility of the bikes.
If students have questions about bike enforcement on campus, Travis encourages them to come and have a conversation with CSO’s.
“We want people to come talk to us versus having a contact with us,” Travis said. “We don’t have quotas, we don’t want to ticket people, we want to educate people and help keep them safe.”
Collegian Reporter Keoni Grundhauser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kgrundhauser.