Currently, there are only six states that require private universities’ police forces to disclose records — Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
North Carolina’s legislature amended the Campus Police Act in 2013 to require private universities’ police forces to disclose the same records as public universities. And Texas legislature passed a law in 2015 that amended the Texas Education Code to require police departments at private colleges to follow the public records law.
Also in 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former student journalist by determining that police departments at private universities are public entities and must release records.
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of ESPN and decided that Notre Dame’s police department should be held accountable to the state’s public records law. Notre Dame is appealing to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Also in Illinois, a legislative bill that would have made private colleges’ police departments’ day-to-day actions more transparent stalled in the state Senate after passing unanimously in the House last year. The bill’s sponsor said she hopes to see more action on it this spring.