When I started with Case Western Reserve University PD I quickly got used to the fact that I was going to be asked a lot of questions, and that people who spotted you walking around campus would assume you were some sort of mobile, flesh-colored Wikipedia for the University Circle area. I fielded a lot of questions, many of them around the theme of “I’m lost, where is the Cleveland Clinic?” and others.
Then one day someone asked me “Are you real?” I must have looked a bit puzzled because she swiftly added, “a real policeman.” The answer was yes, and the explanation is below.
The CWRU Police & Security Services Department was founded in 2006 to enhance campus security (I know, I was there). The officers wearing blue shirts with CWRU patches on the shoulder are commissioned Ohio peace officers, and per our agreement with the city of Cleveland, we have the same authority as a Cleveland police officer if we are on or within 300 feet of university property. We are armed and do have arrest powers in our jurisdiction. Suspects arrested by CWRU PD are taken downtown to the Cleveland Police holding facility in the Justice Center, so that’s about as real as it gets. We are assisted by our CWRU security staff you will see in grey shirts and by contract security officers you will see in light blue.
We are all part of a service-oriented department whose primary goal is ensure the safety of the campus community—students, staff and visitors. We like to think of ourselves as a department that is here to help members of the campus community whether you are here for two weeks or 20 years. This is not to say if you get intoxicated and start damaging university shrubbery we won’t take the necessary action, but generally we prefer to be viewed as a department you can call for help, emergency and non-emergency, when needed.
We also depend on the campus community to communicate with us on what is going on out there that we need to know about, so if you see something, say something. Let’s look out for each other and have a great year.