The Oregon State Police office on the Oregon State University campus is a unique duty assignment.
No other state university has an OSP presence on campus. And enforcing public safety on a college campus is a different breed of cat than doing it on Interstate 5.
“I’m still trying to understand all of the dynamics,” said Lt. Teresa Bloom, who took over Friday as station commander. “Other patrol offices are geared more toward highways and safety. In rural communities troopers play a large role in law enforcement.
“Here, it’s a lot of education and working with the university to make it a safe environment. A lot of teaching and awareness.”
Bloom, 42, replaced Lt. Steve Mitchell, who moved on to a position in Coos Bay. The OSP office on campus consists of 10 troopers who play the lead role in university law enforcement, augmented by the unarmed officers of the OSU Department of Public Safety.
Bloom joined the OSP in 2004 and worked in Coos Bay and Roseburg as well as with internal affairs in Salem before pursuing the OSU job.
“I did seek this one out,” Bloom said. “I get to work with the university and with the community. I’m pretty excited about it.”
Bloom said she “wanted something different” after her internal affairs assignment.
“I was ready to put the uniform back on,” Bloom said. “There isn’t always a lieutenant’s position opening up..”
A key piece of the OSP operation is crowd control and public safety at Beaver football games.
“I’m already working on the operational plan for our first football game,” Bloom said. “It’s a huge part of what I do. I have to make sure we have the right amount of resources to keep everybody safe.”
The Beavers open the season Aug. 30 against Portland State.
On football game days the 10-person on-campus OSP staff is bolstered by troopers from other offices as well as the Corvallis Police Department and the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.
Bloom has experience with OSU football games, serving regularly at Reser Stadium from 2006-08 when she was stationed in Roseburg.
“The games bring thousands and thousands of people here,” Bloom said. “As the season goes on we might have to adjust our plans. If a team coming in is undefeated, or if the Beavers are undefeated ... that can change the fan base.
“And, of course, we have the Civil War here this year.”
Bloom joined the Army at age 17 and also worked with the United States Forest Service and as a surveyor before returning to school on the GI bill. Bloom received her Associate in Arts degree in criminal justice from Umpqua Community College.
When not working for the OSP Bloom is working hard in the outdoors.
She is an avid runner, cyclist and mountain climber. She has participated on numerous Hood to Coast and Cascade Lakes relay teams and has climbed daunting Mt. Thielsen near Diamond Lake seven times.
Bloom also made a successful one-day assault of Mt. Shasta in Northern California, with her son, Jason, who will be a senior at OSU in the fall. Bloom also has climbed Mt. Washington, Broken Top and Three Fingered Jack. Her one effort at Oregon’s tallest peak, Mt. Hood, was snowed out.
She prefers mountains that she can tackle in one day, without the need for excess gear.
“We did Shasta in 17 hours,” Bloom said. “I would rather beat myself up in one day than stay overnight in the snow. I like to go light and fast.”