The St. Mary's College of Maryland Department of Public Safety is responsible for the safety and security of more than 1,900 baccalaureate, graduate and non-matriculating students, 225 full and part time faculty members, 356 full and part time staff members, and 47 buildings in an open and accessible environment covering 361 acres. The Department of Public Safety is a full-service public safety agency that includes Commissioned Public Safety Officers, Non-Commissioned Public Safety Officers, and full time as well as student Communications Officers, as well as support and administrative personnel. The Commissioned Public Safety Officers are sworn Special State Police officers with full arrest powers on all properties owned or controlled by St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Some core functions of the Department are: responding to criminal incidents; checking on the well-being of students, faculty, and staff; responding to disturbances; providing escorts; taking reports of lost and stolen property; responding to lockouts; investigating suspicious activity; responding to alarms; and investigating trespassers or unwanted guests. In addition to these activities, officers present safety and security information at community meetings, make presentations at student orientations, teach self-defense classes, register laptops and bicycles, and initiate informal contact with students, faculty, and staff while patrolling on foot, bicycle, golf cart, and motor vehicle, and while eating in the Campus Center Great Room. Officers are approachable and committed to keeping the St. Mary's College of Maryland community safe and secure.

Department of Public Safety Responsibilities to the Community

  • To protect life and safeguard property
  • To create a safe and secure environment for the entire community
  • To prevent crime, control criminal behavior, maintain order, and reduce fear of crime
  • To accomplish all law enforcement objectives legally and constitutionally, guided by Department values and mindful at all times of the rights of individuals and the interests of the community
  • To create partnerships with St. Mary's College of Maryland and community groups, service agencies, institutions, and other criminal justice agencies
  • To identify and solve problems
  • To listen to community concerns
  • To establish and support crime prevention programs
  • To respond to calls for service
  • To investigate crimes
  • To apprehend those who commit crimes
  • To help to convict persons charged with crimes

Investigations

St. Mary's College of Maryland Public Safety Officers investigate complaints filed by community members and pursue investigations to their most reasonable conclusion. Officers may also conduct follow-up investigations, with support when necessary from a number of law enforcement partners, including the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, the Maryland State Police, federal agencies, District Attorneys' offices, and victim-witness programs. The interest of the victim is always the primary concern. The Department of Public Safety recognizes the importance of confidentiality and of protecting the identity of the victim in the course of an investigation. In criminal matters, the victim's preferences greatly influence the way in which a case is processed.

The College has a number of alternatives at its disposal to adjudicate inappropriate behavior, whether or not it is of a criminal nature. In addition to pursuing cases through the courts, the College uses an internal judicial structure to decide on specific issues unique to campus life. Furthermore, cooperation between the College and other law enforcement agencies can result in a student's receiving disciplinary action for off-campus behavior.