Security & Safety Mission and Procedures

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a service-oriented branch of the University’s Student Life 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 DPS mission is to promote the protection and well-being of RWU students, faculty, staff and facilities. Public Safety contributes to the quality of University life by fostering an environment in which security is balanced with freedom of movement, and individual rights balanced with community needs. This mission is accomplished with commitment to the core values of honor, honesty, integrity, respect, dedication and with the ultimate goal in mind to promote a feeling of safety and security for all members of our community.

DPS 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 rules and regulations, or who demonstrate improper behavior. The DPS 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.  DPS also provides security for the Providence Campus during classroom hours.

All reports of crimes and or suspicious activity, minor or major, should be reported immediately to the DPS. The DPS is the campus liaison to the Bristol Police, Portsmouth Police and Providence Police and works in close relation with all including state and federal law enforcement agencies. DPS members also act as first responders to campus emergencies. Major components of this service include the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who respond to medical emergencies on campus and are licensed by the State of Rhode Island. The DPS has nine EMTs who also serve as Public Safety Officers. DPS does not have any written agreements or memoranda of understanding with local police agencies at this time.

DPS officers provide services such as access control, patrolling the campus on foot, bicycle, motor vehicles, and 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. DPS is also responsible for parking enforcement, emergency medical services on campus and transportation needs.

DPS officers receive training from the Rhode Island College and University Public Safety (RICUPS) Academy along with bi-annual In-Service training in order to provide continuing safety and emergency services to the Roger Williams University community.