- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Higher education officials are reviewing law enforcement policies after the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a North Dakota State University police officer did not have the power to arrest a woman for drunken driving off campus.

Justices shot down the state’s argument that a joint powers agreement between NDSU and the city of Fargo gave NDSU officer Ryan Haskell the authority to stop Morgan Kroschel after she allegedly drove straight through a turning lane several blocks from campus. Kroschel was arrested for driving under the influence.

Fargo attorney Mark Friese, who represents Kroschel and argued the case in front of the Supreme Court, said the ruling prevents NDSU and other schools from making deals to expand police powers outside of campus.

“Parents of North Dakota college students should be assured that their state tax dollars are being used to provide campus patrols while their children are returning to dorm rooms from desolate parking lots, rather than having campus police officers patrolling deep into residential areas of the communities in which the campus sits,” Friese told The Associated Press.

Murray Sagsveen, chief of staff of the North Dakota University System, sent emails to college presidents Tuesday asking them to detail any agreements their schools may have with local law enforcement.

“We will then consult with the attorney general’s office to determine what legal options are available to provide the best possible security to each campus under existing statutory constraints,” Sagsveen wrote.

Liz Brocker, spokeswoman for North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, said that Stenehjem was out of town Tuesday attending an event and would not comment.

Friese said there will likely be “a whole bunch of cases” thrown out because of the ruling. Fargo attorney Charlie Sheeley, who has two clients who were arrested off campus by university police officers and made similar arguments in district court, said his cases have been on hold waiting for the Supreme Court opinion.

“This decision follows the Legislature’s clear intent that those officers should stick around campus and not become an extra - and free - patrol for the respective cities,” Sheeley said.

Justices said state law allows for temporary assistance and exchange of officers in unique situations, but not on an ongoing basis.

“Officers Haskell lacked authority to arrest Kroschel under the circumstances present here,” Justice Daniel Crothers wrote.

Court documents show Haskell was on “routine patrol” after 1 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2014, when he followed Kroschel for several blocks after she drove straight in a left turn lane. She was pulled over about one block from campus.

Kroschel’s blood-alcohol content was .190, more than twice the legal limit for driving. An administrative hearing officer suspended her license for six months.


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