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Oregon university hires campus police chief from Seattle

December 14, 2020 GMT

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University has chosen a veteran of the Seattle Police Department to lead its new campus police force, which the university says will begin operations as planned in January.

Shanon Anderson started with the Seattle department in 1992 and has served in many roles including patrol officer and lieutenant, the university said Monday. She has been involved with police reform initiatives since 2016 and has chaired the Seattle Police Force Review Board, The Gazette-Times in Corvallis reported.

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Anderson is the university’s second hire as chief: Edgar Rodriguez, a retired Connecticut state trooper, was announced in May, only to resign in August.

OSU’s push to form a campus police department grew out of a dispute over the arrest of a student in 2019 by the Oregon State Police, which has provided law enforcement services on the Corvallis campus since the 1980s. The current law enforcement contract between OSU and the Oregon State Police expires on Dec. 31.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, some members of the OSU community, including a new organization called Disarm OSU, have questioned the need to have any armed law enforcement officers on campus.

In her statements in OSU’s news release, Anderson called the job “an opportunity to be a part of a team that has the opportunity to reimagine policing on the campus and work towards a common goal of supporting the students, staff and surrounding community.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University and is pursuing a master’s degree.