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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Safety Concerns

Is the campus safe?

The Department of Public Safety makes every effort to ensure that UMass Dartmouth is a safe campus. However, incidents can occur anywhere, at any time. Part of the department's mission is to deter incidents through community policing activities and through crime prevention education. We are ready to respond appropriately when an incident does occur.

How can members of the UMass Dartmouth community protect themselves on campus?

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors must keep in mind that crimes can occur on university campuses, as they can in any other part of society. Important steps to safety are to be aware of one's surroundings and to be prepared.

Members of the campus community should review these Public Safety resources:

  • campus crime prevention services such as the emergency call boxes
  • safety tips that the department makes available here on the web site, through campus emails, and in printed flyers

Can community members carry MACE?

The carrying of weapons, including pepper spray and MACE, is prohibited. We recommend that members of the UMass Dartmouth community stay aware of their surroundings and be prepared. Alternatives to carrying a weapon such as MACE are to:

  • familiarize oneself with the location of emergency call boxes on campus
  • use the the campus shuttle service
  • participate in the UMassD whistle program (As part of the UMass Police Departments initiative to promote sexual assault awareness, the Crime Prevention Unit provides free whistles for students, faculty, and staff)


What If...

Whom do I call when I have a concern or when I need information?

Visit the contact page for details about how to get in touch with various offices within the Department of Public Safety.

What should I do if I have been sexually assaulted?

Go to a safe place. Then contact someone you trust and tell them what happened. They can help you consider options, obtain medical care and support you. If you can, write down, or have your support person write down, everything you can remember about the assault/rape.

Get medical care. Go to the hospital emergency room for treatment.

It is your choice to report the crime to the police. Reporting the crime does not obligate you to pursue prosecution of a suspect. If you want police assistance: on campus, contact the University Police/Department of Public Safety. The emergency number is 508-999-9191 or x9191; the non-emergency number is 508-999-8107 or x8107; off campus, contact the local police at 911.

Reporting the crime can help you gain a sense of control and can help ensure the safety of other potential victims. In order to preserve evidence, clothes should not be laundered and a shower should not be taken.

Sexual Assault Anonymous Reporting Form

What should I do if I think a friend has alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is an "overdose of alcohol."  It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.  If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, you should call the university police immediately at 508-999-9191 or x9191. (Don't try to guess the level of drunkenness. Make the call.) Then:

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Do not give the person anything to eat or drink
  • Roll the person onto his/her side and monitor his/her breathing (should be approximately 10-12 breaths/minute) until medical assistance arrives

For more detailed information: Facts on Tap for College Students: Alcohol Poisoning

Can a student on campus be arrested for domestic violence as a result of an act of violence against his/her partner or roommate?

Yes, after investigation of such an incident, the preferred response by the responding officers shall be to arrest an individual if it is determined that there is probable cause of abuse as defined in C209A of the Massachusetts General Laws. If there is a restraining order in effect, then the officer shall arrest the violator of the order.

What happens if I am stopped by the UMass Dartmouth Police?

During the course of their duties, police officers may need to stop citizens for various reasons. From time to time, it becomes necessary for a police officer to stop people in the community to make an inquiry. Usually this occurs in areas of high crime, soon after a crime has been committed or in an area at an odd hour of the day/night. The most frequent stop or encounter that occurs between police officers and citizens is the traffic stop. If an officer stops you, your forthright responses will usually quickly resolve the situation.

More information


About the Department

Why does UMass Dartmouth have its own police department?

UMass Dartmouth is a community, and its members should be able to learn, live, work, and take part in recreational activities in an atmosphere that is as safe as possible. The members of the Department of Public Safety are here--24 hours a day, 365 days a year--to provide a professional level of service and to ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Who is in charge of the police department?

The department is led by the Director of Public Safety.

Message from the Colonel/Director

What services are provided?

The Department of Public Safety provides police services, community policing programs, crime prevention and safety services, as well as dispatch, security and parking services. Department staff provide safety escorts, offer informative presentations to students and staff on a number of safety and crime prevention topics, conduct programs such as Costly Decisions (Alcohol Education Program) and SLAM (Students Learning A Message), and instruct women in self-defense through the RAD system.

How many officers are on staff, and what is their training and experience?

There are 26 police officers and 8 institutional security officers on staff.

UMass Dartmouth police officers receive the same initial training as municipal law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Officers are also assigned frequently to attend in-depth training in a wide variety of specialized topics such as crime prevention theory, the investigations of sexual assaults and bias-related incidents. In addition to specialized training, our officers also receive annual in-service training covering areas such as firearms training, first-responder training, and legal updates.

What authority do the officers have?

UMass Dartmouth police officers are sworn under Chapter 75, Section 32A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are vested with full law enforcement powers and have the same authority as the police officers in any city or town in Massachusetts.

What is the difference between a university police officer and a university security officer?

The university police officer patrols the campus in police cruisers, on foot and on mountain bikes; is vested with full law enforcement powers; and receives the same initial training as municipal law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth. Police officers are responsible for enforcing the Massachusetts General Laws as well as university policies. The university security officers also patrol the campus on foot and on mountain bikes and have the authority to enforce university policies; however, security officers do not have the power to arrest.


Parking

Where should I park?

Parking areas for residential, commuter and PCE (Professional & Continuing Education) students are indicated on the campus map. Please note that parking for residential students is restricted by living area, as indicated on the map. For more information:


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