The University at Buffalo’s emerging downtown campus does not have adequate security for its students, staff and faculty, the union representing UB police officers said Thursday.
The Police Benevolent Association of New York State has filed improper labor charges against UB, after UB subcontracted with Roswell Park Public Security to also provide coverage at university-owned facilities around downtown.
The state PBA – which represents about 400 police officers at 28 campuses of the State University of New York – argues that its contract contains a provision giving it exclusive rights to provide police protection at all UB campuses, including the fledgling downtown campus.
In addition, the union questions the level of protection being provided by security officers, who may receive as little as eight hours of training in some cases, said Michael Mabee, vice president of the PBA of New York State.
“There’s an extensive amount of training that’s involved for a police officer,” Mabee said, “particularly at the University at Buffalo Police Department, which is a nationally accredited agency and has extremely high standards of training.”
UB issued this statement: “The university does not comment on pending litigation, but we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure that UB is a safe place for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”
UB has roughly 60 sworn officers patrolling its North Campus in Amherst and South Campus on Main Street, Mabee said. The union learned in November that UB subcontracted with security at Roswell Park to provide coverage downtown.
UB owns seven properties downtown, including the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the new Clinical & Translational Research Center, the UB Educational Opportunity Center and the Jacobs Executive Center. The UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is also being relocated to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus by 2016.
The union earlier this month filed its complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board.
“We’re really hoping we can address this informally with UB,” Mabee said. “We reached out to a vice president and the provost, and to date we have not gotten any response.”