One of the aspects of a police officer’s job that they don’t prepare you for in the academy is answering questions, many on non-criminal topics. A few of the most frequent questions that people ask the Case Western Reserve University police officers are “where are the bathrooms,” “how do I get to the Cleveland Clinic from here” and “why is the police department here?”
The answers to those questions are: depends on where you are; go west until you are surrounded by immense buildings; see below.
The CWRU Police and Security Services Department was founded in 2006 to enhance campus security. The police in blue uniforms are commissioned officers, which means we are police academy graduates and have the same authority as any as any other 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 the CWRU PD are taken downtown to the Cleveland Police holding facility in the Justice Center, so we are about as real as it gets.
As to why we are here, in the United States, just about any community of 15,000 people, which is roughly the daytime population of this university on a typical academic day, has its own police force. We are here to provide an additional layer of protection to the university population and the surrounding University Circle area, in addition to the coverage provided by the Cleveland Police Department.
In general, we are a service-oriented department whose primary goal is to ensure the safety of the campus community: students, staff, faculty and visitors. We are here to help you. That is not to say if you get drunk and start tearing out university shrubbery we won’t notice and take action, but, in general, we prefer to be viewed as a department you can call for help if needed.
We are also heavily dependent on the campus community to communicate with us on what is going on out there that we need to know about. If you see something, say something. Let’s look out for each other and have a great year.