The police department at Mansfield University has had a rather brief history compared to the history of the University.
Beginning in the mid 1930's, law enforcement services were provided by the Pennsylvania State Police. In the late 1950's and early 1960's the University employed night watchmen to patrol the campus and secure buildings. If any unlawful activity was encountered at nighttime, the watchmen would call the Pennsylvania State Police to handle the problem.
In 1965, Mansfield University hired a full time director of security, the first to hold this position. Under this director were a compliment of security officers, and by 1973 Mansfield University had five commissioned police officers in its employ.
In 1974, Act 149 of the Pennsylvania Administrative Code was amended increasing and outlining the duties of commissioned police officers employed by commonwealth property, state campuses, and universities. Although passed, it was still not mandatory for state colleges and universities to have a full staff of commissioned police officers.
On January 4, 1980, a state bill was amended. The bill required state colleges and universities to employ only those who have completed the required training and certification in the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Academy as officers of their respective police departments. These officers are commissioned by the Governor of Pennsylvania.
By 1984, Mansfield University had its security guards enroll in the state municipal police academy and commissioned as police officers. This established a certified police department at Mansfield University.