By Ashley Hinson
LUBBOCK, TX— When it comes to the power and jurisdictional reach Texas Tech police officers have, Cpt. Steven Hinkle says many are misinformed.
“There are misconceptions about campus police officers,” said Hinkle. “They think that because the university actually employs us that we're restricted to just the university property, but it is not the case.”
Under the state’s education code, campus officers can make traffic stops, write tickets and even make arrests anywhere the university has property. According to Hinkle, Tech owns land in every county except two in Texas which gives his officers jurisdiction that is virtually state-wide.
“If it's something dangerous to the public like a DWI or if they see somebody on the side of the road fighting they're going to stop,” he said.
Although Tech officers have the freedom to make stops off campus, it’s not their main focus.
“The school grounds are where we concentrate since we are the Texas tech police department,” said Cpl. John Radle. “But if we see something off campus we are well within our rights to stop.”