Crime Awareness and Campus Security
General overview of security personnel
The School of Medicine Campus and certain off-campus properties owned by Washington University are protected by a combined force of:
- armed response officers
- unarmed communications officers
- unarmed public safety officers
on a seven-day per week, 24-hour basis. These officers are employees of the School of Medicine’s Protective Services. Unarmed, contract-security officers supplement this coverage by staffing fixed posts at designated buildings.
All of the response officers, public safety officers, and contract security officers are licensed by the Private Security Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Missouri State statute, through the licensing power of the Private Security Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department or St. Louis County Police Department, grants all licensed in-house officers powers of arrest, search and seizure, etc. on licensed premises during on-duty hours. Some officers are authorized to carry firearms and personal-protection devices. These officers are responsible for the protection of persons and property, and the enforcement of federal, state, and municipal laws and university rules and regulations.
Protective Services supervisors, response officers, and public safety officers wear a uniform with identifying Washington University badges and patches.
Protective Services’ Senior Director, Assistant Director for Patrol, and Manager of Patrol and Investigations are armed and possess the same police powers. They may wear civilian attire, authorized by uniform exemption from the licensing authority, or the designated department uniform.
Selected response officers are assigned to the Bike Patrol. These armed officers wear special uniforms and carry equipment designed specifically for the Bike Patrol function. Response officers assigned to the Bike Patrol are responsible for patrolling the exterior areas of the entire campus, during day and evening hours. Emphasis is placed on the safety of people utilizing WUSM parking lots and garages, walking between buildings, riding bikes, or traveling to and from the Central West End MetroLink and MetroBus Stations located on campus.
Public safety officers carry radios, handcuffs, and authorized personal-protection devices, excluding firearms and expandable batons. They respond primarily to non-criminal, non-emergency situations on campus. Contract security officers are unarmed. They wear their company uniforms and provide basic officer services for their assigned, fixed posts in buildings.
Patrol of the campus is performed on foot, in marked patrol vehicles, and on specially equipped bikes. Protection is provided for buildings located on approximately 164 acres, within the 4.6-mile campus perimeter. There are high-rise WUSM parking garages and numerous surface-level parking lots. Protective Services provides a prompt, professional response to every request for authorized security services or reports of crime on campus.
A close working relationship is maintained with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and security agencies in the area, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital Public Safety, Children’s Hospital Public Safety, St. Louis College of Pharmacy Public Safety, and Cortex Security. Every attempt is made to provide for the safety of persons, to protect their property from theft, and, if necessary, to recover stolen items and evidence. Protective Services works closely with the School of Medicine’s administrators.
Police and community liaison (off-campus crime)
The Washington University Medical Center and the School of Medicine are located in the Fifth District of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Contact is maintained with the Metropolitan Police so that Protective Services can share and receive information about crimes committed in the area. Additional sources of information include the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation, and Forest Park Southeast Safety and Security Initiative. Mutual cooperation is always stressed. Protective Services personnel also participate in organizations that focus on crime prevention.
Security and an open environment
Protective Services seeks to establish and maintain a balance between openness and security. A safe and secure environment is necessary in order to successfully conduct academic and social pursuits at the School of Medicine. The department’s utmost concern, however, is the welfare of every member of the campus community. Emphasis is placed on providing maximum freedom from outside interference. With this freedom comes the responsibility to actively participate in protecting the overall safety and security of the campus. A cooperative effort is the only way for everyone to be truly safe. Large numbers of people visit the Medical Center campus every day. Unfortunately, not every person who comes to our campus does so for legitimate reasons. Campus personnel must take the initiative to secure their own belongings, as well as school property and facilities.
Every member of the campus community who witnesses a crime, is the victim of a crime, or who has information regarding a crime on campus should immediately make a report to Protective Services by dialing 314-362-4357(HELP).
A crime is officially reported when a Protective Services Officer investigating an incident determines that an incident has occurred on campus and is, in fact, a crime, or the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department notifies Protective Services it has documented a report of a criminal offense that occurred on campus.