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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Department of Public Safety have powers of arrest or are the just a security department?
Our officers are duly sworn Campus Police Officers whose authority is derived from Pennsylvania Statute to enforce laws within and surrounding the Dickinson College campus. This means that our Police Officers have the same authority as any Municipal Police Officer in your community. Remember, the safety and security of Dickinson College is our primary mission.

Why does Dickinson College have a Public Safety Department?
Dickinson College strives for a safe and secure community for students, staff and guests of our institution and having our own Police Department helps to provide a higher level of protection and service for those individuals. Public Safety also works closely with the Carlisle Borough Police Department to provide a peace of mind for students and staff on/off campus as well as the residents of Carlisle.

How many employees work within the department?
Our department contains 11 full time Campus Police Officers. 4 full time Communication Officers and several part time Campus Police Officers and Communications Officers that are utilized as needed. The department also contains a Chief of Public Safety, Captain of Patrol Operations, Lieutenant of Administrative Services, an Administrative Assistant and Transportation Coordinator. There are also several non-sworn officers who assist with security, traffic control and special events. The department also employs student assistants who assist Public Safety by providing extra services such as the safety shuttle, administrative duties, and assist by serving as an extra set of eyes for crime prevention.

How safe is the campus?
We would like to believe that our campus is a very safe community, however we do realize that incidents can occur. No environment is totally crime free and we are no exception to that. Public Safety takes every reasonable measure to ensure that all members of our community experience a safe and secure campus during their stay. One thing to remember is that the prevention and deterrence of crime on campus is everyone’s responsibility and thus, every member should take steps to assist with maintaining the safety of our campus. Remember, if you see something, say something​​​​​.

What services does the department provide?
In addition to providing the law enforcement capacity within the campus, the department also provides training in first aid/CPR, tips for personal safety, the Campus Safety Shuttle, medical van transport within the Borough, as well as residence hall or room lockout services and motorist assistance, or even someone to walk you across campus Officers act as liaisons to their assigned residence halls so that students and Residential Advisors can meet the Officers and provide feedback or ask questions about safety and security of Dickinson College.

What training do your Campus Police Officers have?
All of our Campus Police Officers are required to receive and maintain certification as a Police Officer in compliance with the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which also consists of yearly updates and continuing education. Our officers also bring several skills and strengths to our department and many of our officers have prior training and experience while in a different law enforcement capacity such as previously working in Municipal Police, Deputy Sheriff, Fish and Game Commission, State Police and Probation and Parole. Officers have also received specialized training in areas such as emergency medical response, hazardous materials, drug recognition, active shooter response and anti-terrorism. Many of our officers are also certified instructors in several different capacities and teach for various law enforcement agencies.

What are the most prevalent crimes on campus?
Theft is the most common crime that occurs on our campus and mainly take place within our residence halls. Most thefts could have been easily prevented by locking your living quarters or not leaving personal property unattended. Other significant crimes that occur on campus are alcohol related offenses such as underage drinking and public drunkenness. Dickinson College is required to list all crimes that occur on campus and is readily available to review at our office or online.

What happens if I get in trouble?
All individuals on and surrounding college property are subject to the same laws and regulations as defined in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Our Campus Police Officers have the authority to issue citations, make on-view arrests and utilize search and arrest warrants. If an individual is cited or taken into custody, all procedure governed by the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and Rules of Criminal Procedure will be followed by our officers. Some incidents that occur on campus involving only students and could be considered a minor offense can be handled within the college by being referred to the Student Conduct Board.

When should I contact the Department of Public Safety and why?
Our Police Officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and should be contacted to report any suspicious behavior or criminal activity and must also be notified of any emergencies occurring on campus including medical issues. Questions regarding motor vehicle regulations, parking, traffic control or concerns with an officer should also be directed to our office.