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WSU Vancouver Campus Safety throws its doors wide open

Fall 2014 has brought about a wide variety of changes for organizations on Washington State University Vancouver’s campus. Among them is a new location for the Public Safety and Police Services department. Previously, Public Safety was located in an outer corner office adjacent to the cafeteria in the Dengerink Administration Building (VDEN). Lieutenant Dave Stephenson, Department Head of Public Safety and Police Services, said, “[Public Safety] is now serving campus from our new office in Classroom Building 120. Our door is in the breezeway on the east side of the building.” Lt. Stephenson also said that the new location is “more centrally located on campus for easy accessibility and so everyone knows where we are.”

Public Safety hosted an open house on September 8 and 9 for students, staff and faculty to stop by and check out the new office space. At the event, Lt. Stephenson said, “we [were] making fun of ourselves a little bit by offering doughnuts along with coffee and snacks.”

In addition to a larger space, Public Safety now enjoys more accessibility to technologies like wide screen televisions and multi-line phones so as to better serve people on campus. Lt. Stephenson said that the larger space allows for better interviewing techniques and will be optimal if a large event were to occur on campus because Public Safety will be able to manage it effectively from the new location. Public Safety has been serving the campus since 1996 and is a fully commissioned Washington State police department, which means they have full enforcement and arrest authority. The officers of Public Safety are on duty at all times, including during classes Monday through Friday and after hours. Part-time security officers make additional coverage on the weekends possible.

The officers of Public Safety have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, including service with the Washington State Patrol, regional law enforcement police departments, the Honolulu Police Department, SWAT, Civil Defense teams, mounted patrol, traffic units, detective units and other special assignments. Lt. Stevenson, who has experience with SWAT and the Navy, proudly declared that his staff has over 100 years of combined experience.

Despite their wide variety of experience, Public Safety prefers to patrol campus with a helpful aspect. “We would much rather provide help, assistance, and education to our campus community and we try to provide enforcement through education when possible. We want everyone to have a positive experience with law enforcement.”

Public Safety provides an list of services to the students, staff and faculty of Washington State University Vancouver as well, including traffic and law enforcement, domestic abuse and no-contact order response, emergency management and plans including evacuations and campus lockdowns, vehicle lockouts, assistance with car troubles, equipment engraving, a safety walkout or escort service to vehicles, and self-defense classes. A more complete list can be found on Public Safety’s webpage at http://admin.vancouver.wsu.edu/public-safety/campus-police. The Public Safety and Police Services Department can be reached by email at wsuvcops@vancouver.wsu.edu or by phone at (360) 546-9001.

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