VCU is committed to taking every reasonable precaution to create a safe environment for all who live, work and learn at VCU. Among the safety measures VCU has taken:
- With more than 90 sworn officers, VCU has the largest uniformed police force of any university in Virginia, and one of the largest in the nation. VCU also operates the only police training academy at any Virginia university.
- VCU is the first university in Virginia to hire a private security firm to assist its police force, and these guards patrol campus seven nights a week. They are additional eyes and ears for VCU police officers.
- There are more than 350 Emergency Reporting Telephone System phones located throughout VCU’s campus. Students can pick up these phones at any time to report an emergency, request a ride from RamSafe or seek other assistance.
- VCU has obtained commitments from the Richmond mayor and police department to provide additional crime prevention and security resources, including increased patrols on and around campus.
- VCU is enhancing the camera surveillance system around campus, a project that will be completed in 2013.
- VCU has reached out to businesses adjacent to campus, including bars and clubs, asking them to be alert and responsive to student safety.
- VCU has an aggressive and comprehensive crime and emergency communications system that is a model for other universities. It goes beyond the requirements of a federal law called the Clery Act, which mandates notification of certain crimes at or near universities, to ensure that students have the information they need to be safe.
- VCU has an increased presence on social media, connecting students directly to its police force in a way that is easy and convenient for them. Crimes and tips can also be reported to police via text message at 274637 using the keyword VCUtip.
What you can do
Parents can help students be prepared for emergency situations as well as be cognizant of ways to prevent crime and avoid dangerous situations. There are several simple steps you can take to contribute to your child’s safety:
- Take a moment to read VCU’s most recent Annual Security and Fire Safety Report and share the information — crime statistics, security initiatives, etc. — with your child.
- Talk to your child about how he or she can take responsibility for his or her own safety. This includes being aware of one’s surroundings at all times, walking with a friend and using RamSafe, VCU’s security escort service. Students should avoid unsafe behaviors, such as alcohol use, that make them more vulnerable to crime.
- Sign up for VCU Alert texts so that you can stay informed about possible safety threats and emergency situations.