About The Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety aspires to provide resources to prevent crime, to proactively develop community partnerships and to provide services to the University that promote the ultimate goal of campus safety. The department welcomes your participation and encourages you to become involved in the function of a secure campus.

The Department of Public Safety is the primary department at the University charged with creating a safe and secure environment. This task, however, is not one we can accomplish alone. Crime prevention, risk identification, and problem solving are the responsibilities of everyone. We ask you to join us in these efforts by reading our Annual Clery Security and Fire Safety Report and referring to it often.

The Department of Public Safety is a service oriented branch of the university's Student Affairs division. The department has a Director, 3 Shift Commanders, 19 full time officers (9 of which are EMTs), an Administrative Assistant, and a Manager of Transportation and Parking who are charged with assisting the campus community with various services including the enforcement of local, state, and federal laws, as well as campus policies and regulations.

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for monitoring activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year on University property to include the Bristol campus, including the School of Law, Almeida Apartments and Baypoint Residence Hall. Public Safety also provides security for the Providence Campus during classroom hours. Department officers patrol the campus on foot, bicycle, motor vehicles, and on fixed posts such as the main entrance to the campus. Public Safety Headquarters is equipped with surveillance monitors in order for the dispatcher to monitor live video footage of selected locations. All reports of crimes, minor or major, should be reported to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety is the campus liaison to the Bristol Police, Portsmouth Police, Providence Police and Fire Departments and works in close relation to both. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for parking enforcement, emergency medical services on campus and transportation needs.

Department of Public Safety members also act as first responders to campus emergencies. A major component of this service includes the emergency medical technicians (EMT) who respond to medical emergencies on campus and are licensed by the state of Rhode Island. The Department of Public Safety has nine EMT's who also serve as Public Safety Officers.

Public Safety Officers are not sworn officers and do not possess arrest powers; however, within the jurisdictional boundaries of the campus they have the inherent right and authority to detain persons for alleged misconduct, search backpacks and/or on-campus rooms and apartments with reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause. They may detain and/or restrain persons who create disorder. Officers can also refuse admittance to the campus, ask persons to leave who become disorderly or who violate Rhode Island laws, campus policies and regulations, or who demonstrate improper behavior.

The University community is encouraged to promptly report incidents to the Department of Public Safety at 401-254-3333.

Comment on the Department of Public Safety's Performance

The Department of Public Safety's relationship with the community is vital to achieving our mission. All community members should expect to be treated in a courteous and professional manner by members of the Department. Your positive and or negative feedback is important; email Director of Public Safety at mporter@rwu.edu with your feedback.

Safety Monitoring

In addition to the Public Safety Officers monitoring campus lighting to enhance security, administrative members of various departments routinely conduct surveys to assess the operability and adequacy of lighting throughout the campus. The Department of Facilities Management maintains the ability to respond on a 24-hour basis to correct significant discrepancies related to safety and security.

This response facilitates prompt repairs to building and room access, equipment, fire and safety equipment, lighting and other deficiencies that present an immediate risk to the University community. Utilizing portable radios, officers are able to notify Public Safety Headquarters of situations requiring the immediate attention of the Facilities Management Department.

As previously noted, maintaining a safe and secure campus is not the sole responsibility of the Department of Public Safety. We encourage all individuals who are on this beautiful campus to be conscious of their surroundings and assist in making security and safety a matter of routine in their activities with the Departments of Facilities Management and Department of Residence Life and Housing to provide a safe and well-lit campus.