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  • GWU Police

    I see these guys around campus but don't understand why they would put officers out in the field with vests, PR24's but no weapon. Are they just suppose to take the bullet but can't do anything to protect themselves? Sounds like a liability issue waiting to happen!

  • #2
    While the officers being out there unarmed may be a liability issue, the School apparently thinks that arming them is a liability issue.
    This is probably the result of the "enlightened thinking" that goes on in institutions of higher learning.


    • #3
      After one gets shot (which a good chance in DC) and the family approaches GWU, I'm sure there will be weapons issued after that. Another amazing fact is Holocaust special officers still haven't gotten vests. I wonder how much Wackenhut settled with the family


      • #4
        Well the chief is retiring this year.
        I don't answer recruitment messages....


        • #5
          The Chief of Police, Dolores Stafford (former President of ACLEA) authored a paper last year along with the Chief of the Princeton University Police stating the official position of the Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (ACLEA) is that any university that employs police officers should arm them. Without exception.

          The university then decided to study the matter and seriously considered arming the University Police Department. However in the end, President Steven Knapp decided against it.

          Unfortunately, it will probably take a tragedy like the US Holocaust Museum (keeping in mind that the GW Police can't shoot back like the SPO's at the Holocaust Museum did), to make him realize the world he lives in is unpredictable and quite dangerous.

          There is still an active movement from within the University Police Department to arm the officers, but for now it has been placed on the back burner by the President of the University.


          • #6
            What was the President's rationale for denying it? Seemed like the general consensus was that it was going to happen...

            I understand why some students don't want to give campus police "more power"...but how can the administration of a major university ignore incidents like VT and other campus violence (aside from regular day-to-day threats/crime of being a urban school)?

            I noticed today numerous security guard "SPOs" standing post at buildings near campus are armed...but not university POLICE OFFICERS?!


            • #7
              After nearly a year of review, GW has decided not to arm University Police Department officers, University President Steven Knapp announced Wednesday.

              Knapp said he made his decision late last week after an exploratory study by the security consultation company James Lee Witt Associates found "no compelling justification for providing firearms to the University Police Department." Knapp decided not to arm UPD officers based on both the recommendations from the consulting firm and his own observations, he said.

              I agree it is ludicrous for a department like GWUPD to be unarmed. The university fully expects the police officers in the department to perform a full range of police services, while refusing to provide them with standard equipment for performing such tasks. I honestly believe that President Knapp didn't get a real understanding of what GWUPD really does during the study of whether or not to arm the department.

              And we all understand the risks of an active shooter scenario ... the university cites its relationship with and the constant flow of Metropolitan Police, Protective Services Police and Secret Service Police cruisers thru and around their campuses as providing adequate armed officers in the vicinity who could provide immediate assistance in an active shooter scenario.

              However, what about a Hurricane Katrina situation? Not only is GWU home to over 30,000 students and 7,000 employees, it is the largest property owner in the District of Columbia with billions of dollars in assets as well as the home of a major University Medical Center and Level 1 Trauma Center, which is CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE. Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina tell us that when it gets BAD, everyone including the government is looking out for themselves and their interests. You are on your own. INCLUDING you GW.

              So yeah, I have a feeling this will be reevaluated in the near future. They are in the process of reorganizing all the emergency services functions under a single Vice President who will be in charge of, OPSEM (Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management), UPD/EMeRG (University Police Dept and Emergency Medical Services) and Risk Management ... the interim VP in charge right now is a former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security; so I am pretty certain he has a more realistic view of the world than President Knapp.

              Until then, we can only wish our brothers and sisters at GWUPD the best of luck.
              Last edited by DCPSDcop; 11-03-2009, 05:27 PM.


              • #8
                Albeit somewhat unrelated, it is along the same lines. The University's EMS System (EMeRG - a Division of UPD) operated until last year without an ambulance. YES, a full service EMS Agency without an ambulance! They operated with EMS Bike Teams and a Quick Response Vehicle (a fully stocked Chevrolet Tahoe) but no transport abilities outside of calling DCFD for assistance.

                They have now added 2 ambulances to their fleet and are part of the DCFD dispatch and radio system.

                So there is still hope for UPD to eventually get the essential tools of their trade, like the EMS folks finally did after all those years.


                • #9
                  Just curious since you mentioned it: does the hospital have a separate police department? I think I've seen a different uniform/patch in there. Are they part of UPD and/or does UPD supercede them?


                  • #10
                    Several years ago the University formed a joint partnership with Universal Health Services (UHS), wherein UHS runs the day to day operations of the hospital including providing their own security department. The University Police Department still responds to calls in and around the hospital, however the day to day security functions of the hospital are handled by the UHS employed security department.

                    In the same way, GW owns a ton of commercial Real Estate throughout DC, wherein private security companies are providing the day to day security operations, while UPD will only respond for reports.

                    In GW properties which support the university's educational and research functions, they use GWUPD employed security guards.
                    Last edited by DCPSDcop; 11-03-2009, 07:52 PM.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info.

                      What about TASERs? That would at least be a step in the right direction.

                      Do you think things will improve / worsen with the change in Chief leadership?


                      • #12
                        TASERs were already considered and deemed acceptable by the university administration several years ago. However, the DC Code currently does not permit their use, even by law enforcement agencies; this it is not going to happen until the law changes AND the Metropolitan Police also start carrying them.

                        I guess we will all see what direction the university wants to go by whom they select as the new chief of police.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lumberjack View Post
                          After one gets shot (which a good chance in DC) and the family approaches GWU, I'm sure there will be weapons issued after that. Another amazing fact is Holocaust special officers still haven't gotten vests. I wonder how much Wackenhut settled with the family

                          Wearing body armor is dictated by the contract between the security firm and the liason between the firm and the FPS. I've asked a few companies already during job interviews. ...and if you wear your own, you'll get either reprimanded, taken off post, or fired.


                          • #14
                            The SPO's at the Holocaust Museum have been wearing body armor since the week after the shooting. You can see it beneath their white uniform shirts of you look closely.


                            • #15
                              Just curious what the Green Lights bars means? If they are LEO's in some form why dont they have red or blues? I know in CA some FD's use a green light attatched to a boom light or a single strobe on the back of their SUV's to indicate IC.
                              I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                              It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.


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