The primary purpose of the Department of Public Safety is to support the University’s core mission of teaching, research, and public service by providing comprehensive and professional public safety services, as well as secure convenient access to the UNC Chapel Hill campus and UNC Hospitals. We will protect and serve the University community by enforcing the laws of North Carolina, preserving and optimizing resources, and by maintaining an environment that fosters education and community-oriented service.
The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Commission require all law enforcement officers to meet certification and recertification standards through established training. The officers of the UNC at Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety have met the required standards for certification through the NCCJETC and continue to meet the recertification standards through mandated in-service training.
Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police
The Director of Public Safety presides over all aspects of the department. He is the Chief of Police, as well as the Director of Transportation, Parking and Security.
The Deputy Chief at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel oversees Patrol Operations, Telecommunications, Investigations, Security and the Reserve Program. The Deputy Chief is second in command. In the absence of the Director, he has full authority over the Department of Public Safety.
There are five captains in the Department of Public Safety each with specific duties.
Patrol Commander – He is in charge of daily patrol operations and the Reserve Officer Program. He is also responsible for special events management for the department.
Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief - He is the chief department armorer and firearms instructor, as well as the motor fleet manager, and the quartermaster. The Executive Officer is also charged with maintenance of all the keys used by the department.
Supervisor over Investigations - He is the supervisor over investigations. He ensures that an investigator is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and is responsible for all criminal investigations initiated by complaint or incident, dignitary protection, background investigations, and threat assessments.
Employment Background Investigator - He is responsible for checking backgrounds for prospective employees of the University for positions identified as “positions of trust.”
Professional Standards - He supervises the Crime Prevention Section, Staff Development Section, Records Section, Training Section, and Accreditation Section, which also includes Internal Affairs Investigations.
The Department of Public Safety has five lieutenants that are the primary supervisors of the patrol squads. They are responsible for ensuring that quality law enforcement services are provided to the university community. Four lieutenants supervise the primary patrol squads. The fifth lieutenant supervises the Community Response Unit which is comprised of the Traffic Team and the Larceny Reduction Team.
There are four sergeants in the Public Safety Department. They are assistant supervisors and responsible for assisting the four primary squad lieutenants. In addition, they are in charge of the squads in the absence of the lieutenant.
Patrol provides basic patrol functions 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the protection of students, staff, faculty, visitors and property. Patrol officers provide a wide variety of law enforcement services including responding to calls for service, writing reports, conducting preliminary investigations, checking the security of university property, providing traffic enforcement and traffic accident investigation. Officers patrol in marked police vehicles, a motorcycle, on foot, or by police bicycles.
The criminal investigation section is responsible for the follow-up investigations of all criminal offenses occurring on university owned or leased property. They are also responsible for conducting background checks on potential public safety employees, coordinating security for any dignitary visits, fingerprint processing, threat assessments, and process crime scenes. Each investigator is on-call one week each month.
Community Response Unit
The Community Response Unit is comprised of six full-time officers divided into two teams and supervised by a Lieutenant. One is the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety (TAPS) Team and the other is the Larceny Reduction Team.
The TAPS team consists of two full-time officers who patrol the UNC campus and enforce violations of motor vehicle law. These violations are enforced for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The team focuses on reducing speed violations, reducing violations related to motorists not yielding to pedestrians within crosswalks, and violations of pedestrians crossing outside of crosswalks or against crossing signals and who interfere with traffic flow. The team also conducts programs throughout the university community to educate motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians about pedestrian safety and keeping the streets of campus safe for all who travel on them.
The Larceny Reduction Team (LRT) is made up of four full-time officers who pro-actively patrol the UNC campus on foot and bicycle. The team focuses its patrols in areas on campus where data shows larceny is more prominent such as the libraries, the gyms, and the health science buildings. The LRT officers are also assigned all misdemeanor larceny cases for call-back and investigation. Finally, the LRT conducts programs about larceny reduction to educate the community about how to reduce the risks of becoming a victim of crime and it offers free engraving to the university community to help identify their property if it is ever taken from them during a crime.
Crime prevention is the primary commitment shared by all officers of the Department of Public Safety. The Department is dedicated to promoting and maintaining safety awareness and community outreach programs. The Department has a Crime Prevention Section dedicated to developing and coordinating a variety of activities to meet the safety needs of the campus community. Presentations on personal safety, security surveys, prevention of workplace violence, office/business safety and prevention and other related law enforcement topics are available upon request. Crime Prevention is also scheduled on a regular basis at student orientations, supervisory workshops and by request, for all campus members.
Police Records maintains all official police report documents including reports such as crime reports, arrest reports accident reports and others. I n addition, citations and other documents are maintained by this section, which is open from 8-5 on normal weekdays, excluding State holidays.
The Training Section is responsible for providing professional education to sworn members of the department and oversees sworn orientation training, field training, career development and continuing and advanced training programs in the department. The Training Section also provides in-service training to assure officers are up-to-date in their capabilities to serve the university community New officers are provided 618-hours of Basic Law Enforcement Training through the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission approved academies. Officers attend an additional 48 hours of in-service training each year afterwards. This section, in conjunction with other officers, also facilitates recruiting of officers for the Department.
The Professional Standards Division is comprised of Accreditation Section, Crime Prevention, Records, Staff Development, Training and Internal Affairs. This division is also responsible for department policy development and revisions.
The Internal Affairs function is responsible for overseeing the investigation of all complaints against departmental personnel. The department holds its employees to the highest professional standards and vigorously investigates any allegations of employee malfeasance or misconduct. Internal Affairs also makes policy and training recommendations based on analysis of complaints.
The Staff Development section is responsible for the training of all non-sworn positions for the Department of Public Safety. Each year the non-sworn members of the department undergo 24 hours of mandatory training that is developed by this section. This section is also responsible for the orientation of new department employees and for the career development of those employees.
The accreditation function is responsible for overseeing the department's adherence to accreditation standards. This section maintains proofs of standard compliance for the Department of Public Safety. The department complies with 446 standards and is reviewed every three years by a team of outside assessors from across the country.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety became nationally accredited during November of 1995. Of the nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies in existence within the United States, approximately 600 have received this coveted status.
The accreditation process requires an extensive commitment by all department personnel in the pursuit of excellence as recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Incorporated ( CALEA). CALEA is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 1979 for the purpose of developing a set of law enforcement standards that would improve the delivery of law enforcement services. Four major law enforcement associations - the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff's Association (NSA), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) - combined efforts to develop and review these standards. The 446 standards are designed to:
- Increase the law enforcement agency's ability to prevent and control crime;
- Increase agency effectiveness and efficiency in delivering law enforcement services;
- Increase cooperation and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and with other agencies of the criminal justice system; and
- Increase citizen and employee confidence in the goals, objectives, policies, and practices of the agency.
The national accreditation process requires the law enforcement agency to comply with applicable standards and to document this compliance for a final on-site review by a CALEA assessment team. The assessment team report is then reviewed at a subsequent CALEA meeting.
On November 18, 2006, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety was issued their Certificate of Accreditation, recognizing the department as an accredited law enforcement agency for a period of three years. This was the department's fourth consecutive accreditation award.