The Public Safety and Campus Police Department is responsible for responding to all crimes and incidents on campus, providing emergency assistance, investigating and documenting incidents, and serving as the liaison with local police, fire and medical response agencies.

The department is located in the Tomlinson building basement and provides public safety services 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Working with other college departments, Public Safety encourages all victims of crime to immediately report such incidents to Public Safety and Campus Police officers. This provides immediate and professional assistance to victims. It also provides Public Safety and the college with an accurate statistical account of crimes.

In addition to reporting incidents and crimes to the Public Safety and Campus Police, victims are also urged to report crimes to local police department when incidents occur off campus. Campus Police Officers are trained in CPR, basic First Aid, fire safety procedures, and receive a variety of in-service training on topics pertinent to the law enforcement profession and the college campus environment.

Campus Police Officers derive their police powers from the state under the provision of North Carolina General Statute 74-E. The commission provides the individual officer with all the powers of municipal and county police officers of North Carolina, including the power to make arrests for felonies and misdemeanors within their jurisdiction.

Crime Prevention Services

As part of the institution's educational mission, the Department of Public Safety and Campus Police offers advice to members of the community on how best to reduce their chances of becoming a crime victim. The college's crime prevention philosophy is one of eliminating or minimizing criminal opportunity whenever possible, and encouraging students and employees to be responsible for their own safety and security. Services provided by the Public Safety include: 

  • Personal Safety Escorts: For locations not served by the Safe Rides Program (and when it is not operating), from dusk to dawn escorts are provided upon request from and to any on-campus location.
  • New Student Orientation Program: A representative of Public Safety speaks with parents of new students during the summer orientation programs and to new students in the fall as part of their orientation program.
  • New Employee Orientation Program: In conjunction with the Human Resources Department, a representative of Public Safety speaks with new employees about security on campus.
  • Operation Identification: The engraving of identifying numbers on items of value is highly recommended. Engravers may be signed out at Public Safety at no cost.
  • Security Surveys: Security surveys are conducted of exterior lighting, perimeter security, doors, locks, and the grounds of the college. Deficiencies found are promptly reported to the Physical Plant Department.
  • Blue Light Call Boxes: Blue light call boxes are located at several points on campus. These can be used to call 911. If the user is facing an immediate threat, we encourage them to use their cell phone and continue moving toward a safe location.
  • Vehicle Assistance: Public Safety assists on-campus motorists with vehicle battery jump-starts and unlocks.
  • Community Policing Programs: Public Safety engages with the campus community to proactively scan, assess, respond, and analyze community concerns and issues.
  • Silent Witness Program: We have developed the silent witness program to give you an opportunity to report crimes that otherwise you may not be comfortable reporting.

Reporting Crimes

Numerous efforts are made to advise members of the campus community on a timely basis about campus crime and crime related issues. These efforts include: 

  • Annual Report: The Department of Public Safety and Police annual report contains comprehensive information on crime reporting, safety on campus, community policing programs, as well as crime statistics. This report is available to all employees, students and the public online and at the Department of Public Safety and Campus Police.
  • Student Newspaper: Each week the student newspaper, The Davidsonian, publishes a summary of the previous week's crimes and activities provided by Public Safety.
  • Public Safety Alerts: When circumstances warrant, special printed Public Safety Alerts are prepared and distributed throughout the campus.
  • Campus Wide Electronic Mail: Email is utilized to inform members of the community of public safety issues and concerns.
  • SSAFER: Students can sign up for emergency text notifications through the SSAFER program.
  • Residential Life: Public Safety regularly communicates with members of the Residence Life staff, who then communicate with their resident students.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Davidson College shall take all actions necessary and consistent with state and federal law and college policy, to eliminate the illegal use of drugs, including alcohol, within the college community. In keeping with its mission, Davidson College will utilize educational strategies as its major approach to this problem; however one should be aware that any member of the college community, who uses illegal drugs or abuses any drug, including alcohol, might be subject to prosecution and punishment by police or civil authorities and to disciplinary proceedings by the college. Trafficking in illegal drugs is particularly offensive and the penalties reflect this judgment. Nevertheless, this policy does not seek punitive punishment for those who seek rehabilitation. All information provided by those who voluntarily avail themselves of drug or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation services will be confidential.

Physical Plant

The Physical Plant Department maintains college buildings and grounds with a concern for safety and security. This department communicates all deficiencies found by the Physical Plant for corrective action. 

Access to Campus Facilities

Campus buildings and facilities are accessible to members of the college community and visitors during normal business hours. In order to provide for the security of all, individuals may be asked to produce identification. All students are required to carry their photo identification CatCard at all times, and to produce it to college officials upon request. 

Residential Facilities and Policies

Davidson College houses students in various accommodations, including dormitories and apartments. Residence halls are locked at all times and require the use of a key card or combination code access to gain entry. If the key card is lost or stolen report it to Public Safety immediately, the lost or stolen card can be deactivated and a new key card issued to the student. The assistance of all students in not propping open doors or letting strangers into the residence facilities is very important. Guests of students in dormitories must be sponsored prior to entry and accompanied by that sponsor whenever in the residence hall. Guests must adhere to the designated visitation hours and are the responsibility of the student sponsor. Residence Life staff members reside in each residence facility, and are available to provide assistance to students.


Campus Police enforces state laws concerning the possession of illegal weapons on campus. Weapons, including but not limited to, firearms, explosives, fireworks and knives are not permitted on any property owned or leased by Davidson College. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and criminal charges. The college also reserves the right to remove from the possession of anyone on campus (or their residence) any item, which may be deemed a threat to the safety and well being of others on campus. Such items include but are not limited to knives, pellet guns, and other objects, which in and of themselves may not be illegal.