Campus Security vs. Hanover Police Department

Jurisdictional Boundaries in Hanover
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 0809-10
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dartmouth College operates in a unique position in the Town of Hanover where the College has the right to discipline students and enforce laws alongside local law enforcement forces. Dartmouth College’s jurisdiction extends over all campus property and over all students at the College. Dartmouth College’s Safety and Security (S&S) have the right to patrol all private campus roads and enter College owned buildings including student’s rooms but have no power to arrest. In addition, the College can punish any student for violations of its Standard of Conduct regardless of where the crime was committed. Unlike S&S, Hanover Police are forbidden from entering into College owned property unless they witness a crime taking place or receive a complaint. In addition they must receive a warrant before S&S can grant them information needed for an investigation.

There are many areas where the jurisdictions of the town and College overlap. Crimes for instance can be punished both by the state courts and Dartmouth’s Committee on Standards, and students can often choose to which disciplinary body to bring their accusation. In the case of sexual assault many students will choose to bring their accusation only before the Committee on Standards because the process provides more anonymity and less harsh punishments for the accused than the local courts. Jurisdictional boundaries can also conflict in regards to the enforcement of the drinking age. S&S will generally not report alcohol violations to Hanover Police, but the police can still arrest students who are providing alcohol to minors even if they are exempt from punishment by Dartmouth under the Good Samaritan police. The College on the other hand is required to report all drug violations to the police.