Dissolving the University of Wyoming Police Department

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Three police entities have jurisdiction within the city of Laramie which totals to over 100 sworn officers. With fewer than 32,000 residents, this bloated police presence is unnecessary and wasteful. The 15 sworn officers and 27 total staff employed by the University of Wyoming Police Department have the smallest amount of jurisdiction, funding, and personnel out of the three entities in the county. In 2020, The University of Wyoming allocated $1,883,747 to maintain a police department that is expected to produce a revenue of only $7,300 (Page 101). This petition serves as a demand for the University of Wyoming to dissolve its police department and reinvest its entire budget towards educational services and/or coronavirus relief funding.

In the midst of an economic crisis accompanied by a global pandemic, it’s necessary for the university to carefully consider its budget distribution and priorities whilst asking for $26.5 million dollars from the CARES act. The UW Board of Trustees is responsible for “Guard[ing] the fiscal integrity of the institution.” As a collective of community members and students, we feel as though funding university police is counterproductive to this goal as well as to the University’s responsibility to take all necessary precautions towards coronavirus.

The disbandment of the University of Wyoming Police Department will help to diminish Laramie’s over-policing problem while also alleviating the extreme economic strain the University is facing during these times.