At Christopher Newport University, the responsibility of protecting the students and other members of the University falls to the University Police.
According to the police department’s website, “University Police enforces all state laws and University regulations and prevents, detects and investigates any criminal activity on the campus.” They have the same police powers as other local and state police officers, and their “jurisdiction includes all University owned, leased and controlled property and the adjacent streets and sidewalks.”
“CNUPD utilizes several methods of tactics in order to maintain prevention and crime deterrence,” according to Capt. Scott Austin, the head of the Operations Division for the University Police, in an email interview.
The department has three types of personnel: Sworn police officers, security officers and police aides.
The sworn police officers are patrolling campus property, enforcing traffic violations and “responding to and arresting/dealing with any criminal incident.”
The security officers, who are non-sworn officers, also patrol campus property, as well as control access to academic and public use buildings.
Finally, the police aides are the student personnel who control access to the residence halls.
One of the ways that the University keeps students safe is by sending out text messages and emails to let people know if there is some kind of incident on campus or nearby that they should know about. Another tool used is the emergency “blue lights,” which are located throughout campus.
“When you have an emergency, you can push the button on the box which activates and goes directly into the University Police Communications Center. The Communications Officer (911 Dispatcher) from CNUPD will talk directly to the person at the box to find out what the emergency is and dispatch a Police Officer to the location to assist,” said Scott. He said that “call-boxes are traditionally found on many campuses in both the Commonwealth of Virginia and nation-wide.”
Peter Trant, a freshman at CNU, said that he is content with the security situation at CNU.
“I feel perfectly safe walking around my campus,” said Trant.
Lindsay Hall, another freshman at CNU, feels the same way
“It really feels safe. I know that there are plenty of people around me, and I know that they are willing to help anytime,” said Hall. “There’s always the cops that are all over campus so it’s a safe environment usually.”
However, Hall, even with all of the security on campus, feels that it’s still possible to become the victim of a crime.
“You can’t count that out because things can happen anywhere. CNU has us pretty protected, but you have to be careful.”