Originally Posted by Hervoyel
They are not worlds apart. They have the exact same set of "powers" across the board (note: What I know about is inside the state of Texas. I assume that this is the same there but who knows). Campus police can do everything that city police can do. They don't have courts or jails because everything they handle goes through the county court and jail but they can handle any investigation that HPD could. In the event that they are faced with something that the do not feel their department has the expertise to handle they can and do request help from the county or in the case of UH for instance HPD. Their juristictions overlap.
Yeah, this is right, at least for several cases. Here at A&M, the campus police is a full-fledged police force, not just a security force (although they have both fully state-certified police officers and security officers on staff). I remember one point they made is that they have authority to operate in any county in the state in which the A&M system owns property, which turns out to be every county.
I know some schools do have security (not police) forces, though, which might be where some of this confusion is coming from.