Oregon Community College Puts All Officers on Paid Leave

Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, Ore., announced this week that it is putting its entire staff of public safety officers on paid administrative leave during an independent, third-party review of department operations. The university declined to comment on the immediate reason for the investigation.

COCC spokesperson Jenn Kovitz also declined to reveal how many officers were placed on leave. “The College and its employees cannot comment on the ongoing review,” she said. “However, the College’s President, Dr. Laurie Chesley, will consider media interview requests when the review is concluded, to the extend [sic] the College is legally able to comment on the review’s findings and recommendations.”

She said the review should last about a month and is set to begin this week. According to the 2019-20 COCC budget, the department has 11.3 “full-time equivalent” employees, and its budget was $946,906.

A statement from the school revealed that only about 20% of its courses are taking place on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university has reached out to Bend Patrol Services, which “will provide randomly timed security patrols and will notify local law enforcement in the event of an emergency.”

“Above all,” Kovitz said, “COCC’s commitment is to the safety and well-being of our students, employees, and the community at large.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com

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