Department of Police and Public Safety
In 1981, nine years after George Mason was officially established as a four-year university with legislation that legally separated the institution from the University of Virginia, the University’s 21 person security department was reorganized and formed as an autonomous law enforcement agency.
Today, the George Mason University Department of Police and Public Safety (Mason Police) has grown to a force of over 135 full and part-time personnel including over fifty sworn police officers who provide services to the Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Campuses.
Mason Police officers are state certified police officers empowered to enforce all state and local laws on all Mason campuses, with the authority to make arrests and carry firearms. They are trained in emergency first aid, criminal law, criminal investigation, defensive tactics, crime prevention, use of firearms, sexual assault victim counseling, crisis intervention, crowd control, and enforcement of traffic regulations. A comprehensive background investigation is completed on all police personnel.
Mason Police maintains a close working relationship with the Virginia State Police and the police departments of the City of Fairfax, Arlington, Fairfax County and Prince William County. As a participant in the National Crime Information Center and the Virginia Crime Information Network, Mason Police shares information with other police agencies nationwide. Through its membership in a wide network of other regional, state, and international law enforcement organizations, it can exchange information used in investigating crimes and learn new crime prevention techniques. Each month, Mason Police activities and intelligence data are reported to the Virginia State Police for inclusion in crime statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Available 24 hours a day year-round, Mason Police officers are responsible for maintaining order and public safety. Mason Police officers regularly patrol the streets, parking lots, and grounds of the campus. In addition to motor and foot patrols, officers from the Community Outreach Patrol use bicycles to monitor the grounds, particularly those areas not readily accessible by patrol car. The bicycle patrol enhances communication between officers and persons on campus and enhances response time.
Mason Police is comprised of three main divisions as well as a robust student Police Cadet program that provides additional support to all three divisions in various capacities. The three primary divisions of Mason Police, as well as the Office of the Assistant Vice President & Chief of Police are described below:
Police Services Division
The Police Services Division, led by the Assistant Chief of Police, consists of the Operations Bureau, which is responsible for oversight of the law enforcement functions of the Department such as Patrol, Investigations, the Support Bureau, and the Special Services Bureau. The Support Bureau oversees Emergency Communications, and CAIT/Threat assessment. The Special Services Bureau oversees special events, training, and administrative functions.
Public Safety Division
The Public Safety Division provides technical and operational support for card access and camera technology as well as physical security functions.
Management Operations Division
The Management Operations Division, led by the Director of Administration, includes the Office of Central Records, Human Resources, Purchasing and general departmental administrative functions.
Office of the Assistant Vice President & Chief of Police
The Office of the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety & Chief of Police consists of the Professional Standards Division and the Public Information Officer. The Professional Standards Division, which has a direct reporting line, is responsible for the Internal Affairs and Citizen’s Complaint function, management of the VLEPSC Accreditation process, Crime Analysis, and Clery Act compliance functions.