Public safety and security across the WSU system

Exterior of the Public Safety Building on the WSU Pullman campus.
The WSU Pullman Public Safety Building

Efforts to standardize public safety procedures as well as open new opportunities for training and information sharing across the WSU system are underway thanks to a new executive policy.

Executive Policy 47 — Coordination of Police and Public Safety Services — gives representatives from across the university system a seat at the table of the new Public Safety Council. It’s this group that will carry out the mission of coordinating and sharing resources across physical campuses while updating existing policies to ensure alignment with the OneWSU strategic plan.

“We’re working to ensure as much consistency as possible from a safety and security perspective for students and visitors, regardless of which physical campus they are on,” said WSU Police Chief Gary Jenkins, who heads the new council.

The council held its first monthly meeting in January and members are already discussing critical policies pertaining to use of force, complaint procedures, anti-bias policing and campus emergency notifications. Members have also identified opportunities for trainings on community and trauma-informed policing techniques, among other topics.

Only the Pullman and Vancouver campuses have their own police forces with commissioned law enforcement officers, while the Everett, Tri-Cities, and Spokane campuses employ non-commissioned security personnel. Each campus also has cooperation agreements in place with local law enforcement agencies.

Beyond matters of policy, smaller changes, such as standardizing the uniforms of public safety staff across the WSU system, can go a long way to provide consistency, Jenkins said.

Each campus, as well as the Washington Attorney General’s Office, is represented on the council. In addition to monthly meetings, the Public Safety Council will produce a report of its efforts for review by campus chancellors as well as the president.

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