Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) wants its student and staff community to know that it exists to keep them safe and provide a welcoming, educational environment for all. In the Vanderbilt University News this week, the VUPS department put out an article to reassure students and staff of its presence and its ability to help, as safety concerns have increased amid reports of national incidents of violence and social unrest.  

The team reminded its community that it actively monitors for any potential threats to the campus and coordinates with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as needed to protect the Vanderbilt community. One of Tennessee’s larger law enforcement agencies, VUPS provides comprehensive law enforcement and security services to all components of the university as well as to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

VUPS also encouraged students and staff to take advantage of a number of services the team provides 24/7/365, including safety escorts and educational programs and training regarding personal safety and workplace violence.

“Our goal is to maintain the safety and security of the campus with the utmost care and compassion and under the highest standard of conduct. As part of this, our department is always willing and able to provide safety escorts, especially in light of recent events. We will make additional personnel available for safety escorts as needed,” said Rick Burr, VUPS assistant chief of police.

VUPS-commissioned police officers complete officer training at a state-certified police academy. These officers hold Special Police Commissions and are required to attend annual in-service, as well as on-the-job, training. VUPS also employs non-academy-trained officers for security-related functions. As part of their commitment to a culture of service, VUPS also focuses on training topics such as de-escalation and implicit bias.

Vanderbilt’s police department is an institutional member of and accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The department is also accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation (TLEA) program. Vanderbilt is the first university police department to achieve accreditation in the state-wide program.