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‘Loophole’ prevents campus cops from enforcing law

A “loophole” in current state law keeps some Missouri college and university police officers from enforcing state laws on campus streets, state Sen. Brad Lager said Wednesday.

He wants the Legislature to change that this year, as it did for the University of Missouri police several years ago.

“What is starting to happen is,” Lager, R-Savannah, told the Senate’s Transportation Committee, “they’ve had cases where university officers do a traffic stop, they encounter an individual who is intoxicated, they make the arrest on DUI and go through the process, only for the case to be thrown out later in court — because there’s this loophole that doesn’t clearly state that a (certified) university police officer has the ability to enforce state laws.”

Lager emphasized the law would cover only campus police who have completed their POST training, which is a certification program required of most Missouri law officers.

The committee took no action on the bill Wednesday.

Correction: The original version of Sen. Lager's quotation characterizing the loophole contradicted itself because of a reporter's transcription error. The wording has since been corrected.

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