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 Protective Services Department of the School of Medicine. 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 protection of persons and property, 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 badge and patches.
The Senior Director of Protective Services and Protective Services 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 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 Station 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 agency security officers are unarmed. These officers wear their company uniforms. They 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. On campus, protection is provided for buildings totaling approximately 164 acres, within the 4.6 mile campus boundaries. 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. 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 School of Medicine administrators.
Police and community liaison (off-campus crime)
The Washington University Medical Center and the School of Medicine are located within the Fifth Police District of the City of St. Louis. Liaison is maintained with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department through direct contact by Protective Services to share information about crimes committed in the area. Participation with organizations such as the Fifth District Security Directors, Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, WUMC Redevelopment Corporation, Forest Park Southeast Redevelopment Association and Metro Campus Investigators provide additional sources of information. 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 Police Department notifies Protective Services that it has documented a report of a criminal offense which has occurred on campus.