Safety & Security

Safety & Security Information

This information is available to all current students and employees of Southwestern University, and upon request, to any applicant for enrollment or employment. Information is provided pursuant to the disclosure requirements of the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

Police Authority and Jurisdiction

As peace officers, SUPD’s armed police officers have the same authority under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to detain and arrest as municipal police officers.

SUPD is the primary police authority for Southwestern University. The boundaries of Southwestern University fall within the incorporated city limits of Georgetown, Texas. SUPD officers are certified Texas peace officers as defined by article 2.12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Pursuant to Section 51.203 of the Texas Education Code, police officers commissioned by an institution of higher education have authority and jurisdiction in all counties in which property is owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of the institution of higher education.

Working Relationships and Agreements With Other Law Enforcement Agencies

SUPD has a written agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Georgetown Police Department (GPD) and the Southwestern University Police Department (SUPD) that provides for a cooperative arrangement for regional law enforcement and public safety. This agreement pertains to the communication of criminal activity reported to each department as well as requests for assistance in investigation of alleged criminal incidents, including sexual assault and other sexual misconduct offenses.

SUPD is also an active partner with the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC). This partnership allows SUPD the ability to receive law enforcement bulletins related to criminal activity in our five-county regional area.

Timely Warnings

In an effort to provide timely notice to the campus community about a Clery Act crime or other crime that may pose a serious or on-going threat to members of the community, the SUPD issues “SU Crime Alerts”. SUPD will issue these warnings in a manner reasonably likely to reach the entire campus community including, but not limited to, emails, phone calls, texts, and other media.

For more comprehensive information concerning timely warnings please refer to the University Emergency Action Plan or the Annual Security Report found within this site.

Emergency Notifications

Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to members to the campus community, the SUPD issues “SU Alert” notifications. Examples include, but are not limited to, tornado warning, severe thunderstorm warning, gas leak, hazardous material spill, bomb threat, active shooter, etc.

SUPD will issue these notifications in a manner reasonably likely to reach the entire community including, but not limited to, emails, phone calls, texts and other media.

For more comprehensive information regarding emergency notifications and the emergency notification system, please refer to the Emergency Action plan or the Annual Security Report found within this site.

Crime Reporting and Response

Southwestern University encourages everyone on campus to report all criminal actions, emergencies, or other public safety-related incidents occurring within the University’s Clery geography to SUPD in an accurate and timely manner. The University’s geography includes: on-campus property including campus residence halls, buildings, and/or facilities; public property adjacent to and immediately accessible from on-campus property, and non-campus property owned or controlled by the University. SUPD strongly encourages the accurate and timely reporting of crimes. Accurate and timely reporting ensures that SUPD is able to evaluate, consider and send timely warning reports, disclose crimes through ongoing disclosure processes such as the posting of crimes in the Daily Crime Log, and accurately document reportable crimes in its annual statistical disclosure. SUPD further encourages accurate and timely reporting when the victim of a crime either elects to, or is unable to, make such a report.

To report a crime or emergency, members of the community should:

  • Dial 911 from a campus phone or a cellular phone.
  • Call SUPD directly at 512.863.1944 or call by using the shield icon within the SU App.
  • Go to the SUPD station, located at 1005 Maple Street (Old Field House).
  • Contact an officer in uniform on patrol.

To obtain information or request any public safety escort service, community members should call SUPD at 512.863.1944 or extension 1944.

Confidential Reporting

While the University prefers that community members promptly report all crimes and other emergencies directly to SUPD, we also recognize that some may prefer to report to other individuals or University offices. You may report a crime to any Campus Security Authority, including resident assistants, peer advisors, and student organization advisors.

Southwestern University also has a confidential, anonymous option for reporting a crime to the institution. The link can be found on any page of the Southwestern University website by clicking on “Title IX Reporting” at the bottom of the page.

A student may talk directly with an SU counselor (512-863-1252) or the University Chaplain (512-863-1056) during normal business hours or after hours by calling SUPD at (512-863-1944) and telling them it is a confidential matter. The SU counselor and University Chaplain will provide confidential support and will discuss options regarding reporting, accompany the student to the hospital and/or police department (either on or off campus) if requested, and facilitate arrangements to ensure safety.

Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics & Clery Compliance

The following information provides context for the crime statistics reported as part of compliance with the Clery Act. The University Police Department is primarily responsible for preparing the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The procedures for preparing the annual disclosure of crime statistics include reporting statistics to the Southwestern University community obtained from the following sources: the Southwestern University Police Department (SUPD), the Georgetown Police Department (GPD), the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WILCO), the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction for international and domestic non-campus property locations, and non-police or public safety personnel who have been designated as Campus Security Authorities or CSAs. The Office of the Dean of Students and Human Resources Department are key offices from which drug, alcohol, and weapon offense referral data is obtained.

A written request for statistical information is made at least on an annual basis to all identified Campus Security Authorities or CSAs (as defined by federal law). CSAs are also informed in writing and/or through training to report crimes to SUPD in a timely manner so those crimes can be evaluated for timely warning purposes. A Campus Security Authority or CSA is a Clery-specific term that encompasses four groups of individuals and organizations associated with an institution:

  • A campus police department or a campus security department of an institution
  • Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police department or a campus security department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance into an institutional property)
  • Any individual or organization specified in an institution’s statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses
  • An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution

Statistical information is not from, nor is it provided by, licensed counselors, nurses, or physicians of the Counseling and Health Center or the University Chaplain who are performing that function and role as their employment with the University. Licensed counselors and pastoral counselors are not required by law to provide statistics for this compliance document. Counseling and pastoral professionals, as defined by Federal law, who act in such capacities, have been advised that, while they are not obligated to report crimes for the purpose of compiling these statistics, they are encouraged, when they deem it appropriate, to inform the persons they are counseling of their ability to report any crimes to SUPD for inclusion in the annual statistics.

The Clery Act is designed to assist the campus community in making decisions which affect personal safety by requiring institutions of higher education to provide certain campus security information to current students, prospective students and employees annually.

The Annual Security Report is published every year by October 1st and contains three years of selected campus crime statistics and certain campus security policy statements in accordance with the Clery Act.

For more comprehensive information and a listing of reportable Clery Act crimes for the past three consecutive years, please refer to the Annual Security Report “Southwestern University - Reportable Crimes” found within this site.

Alcohol/Drug Enforcement

The laws regarding the possession, sale, consumption, or furnishing of alcohol is controlled by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). However, the enforcement of alcohol laws on campus is the primary responsibility of the Southwestern University Police Department. The Southwestern University campus has been designated “Drug Free.” The possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal laws. Such laws are strictly enforced by the University Police Department. Violators are subject to University disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. It is unlawful for anyone under 21 years of age to possess or consume alcohol and it is unlawful to sell, furnish, or provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21. Organizations, groups, or persons violating alcohol/substance policies or laws may be subject to sanctions by the University.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information

Southwestern University is committed to educating the entire campus community in the areas of alcohol and other drug use. The Health and Counseling Services Office coordinates education and resources on substance use and abuse. If students have questions concerning the health risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, they are encouraged to contact the Heath and Counseling Services Office at 863-1252. In addition, Southwestern University Heath and Counseling Services can provide the following services for students seeking help for their substance abuse problems:

  • assessment
  • referral
  • individual therapy

Students may obtain these services on a confidential basis by calling Counseling Services at 863-1252 for an appointment.

Every student should read and become familiar with the policies on alcohol and other drugs that are discussed in the Southwestern University Student Handbook.

Employees should refer to the “Drug-Free Workplace Policy” Appendix B Page 58 in their Staff Handbook.

Sex Offender Registration

In accordance to the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000, which amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the Southwestern University Police Department is providing a link to the Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry. This act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community of law enforcement information provided by the State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained.

Registry information shall be used for the purposes of the administration of criminal justice, screening of current or prospective employees, volunteers, or otherwise for the protection of the public in general. Unlawful use of the information for purposes of intimidating or harassing another is prohibited.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) is responsible for maintaining this registry. Follow the link below to access the TXDPS Public Sex Offender Registry.

Crime Prevention and Security awareness

SUPD places a high priority on crime prevention. While it is impossible to prevent all crimes, the Department believes that people can be aware of ways to reduce their chances of becoming victims. The Department provides a wide range of services and educational programs designed to promote campus security and that aid in anticipating and minimizing potential dangers to the community and property of the University.

SUPD offers a wide variety of primary and ongoing prevention and awareness programming and services to our community members. The programs are designed to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own safety and security and the safety and security of others. Program topics include: Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention, Classroom Safety (Active Shooter), Protest Safety, Bicycle or Personel Property Engraving, Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Identity Theft and Burglary Prevention, Safety Talks, Domestic/Dating Violence/Stalking Awareness and Prevention, Hate Crimes, Identifying and Reporting Suspicious Person(s) and Activity, Emergency Action Representative (EAR) Training, and RA Training.

Crime prevention programs stress campus community awareness and interaction through dissemination of materials and presentations geared toward familiarizing students, faculty, and staff members with their individual responsibility to help reduce criminal opportunity.

These and other programs are scheduled through Student Life and are available upon request and are presented throughout the year to groups on campus. In addition, crime prevention posters and handouts are utilized in an effort to make all members of the campus community aware of the potential for crime. Anyone desiring information on crime prevention programs or related literature may contact SUPD at 512.863.1944.


Safety of and Access to Campus Facilities

Residence Halls

Access to residence halls is restricted to residents, their approved guests, and other authorized members of the University community. Residence hall exterior doors operate under a computerized access control and security monitoring system. Identification cards are coded so that only students who are residents in a particular hall have authorized electronic access entry to that hall; the system denies entry to all unauthorized persons. When any exterior door is left ajar, an audible alarm is activated. Student Resident Assistants are responsible for checking and securing doors when needed. When a door is malfunctioning, Facilities Management personnel are summoned for immediate repair. All residence hall exterior doors are equipped with locks and/or crash bars to ensure a quick emergency exit. Interior residence hall doors are key-locked. Residence hall areas are patrolled regularly by SUPD.

Resident Apartments

Access to resident apartments is restricted to residents, their approved guests, and other authorized members of the University community. The Dorothy Lord Center Apartments, Moody Shearn Apartments, and Herman Brown Apartments operate under a computerized access control and security monitoring system. Identification cards are coded so that only students who are residents in a particular apartment have authorized electronic access entry to that apartment; the system denies entry to all unauthorized persons. The Grogan and Betty Lord Apartments and the McCombs Apartments are key-locked with deadbolts and have peepholes. Resident apartment areas are patrolled regularly by SUPD.

Academic and Administrative Buildings

Southwestern University is located within the City of Georgetown, and the public areas of campus are therefore readily accessible. In general, the academic and administrative buildings are open to the public, at a minimum, during normal business hours. Individual facilities may have specific hours of operation, which can vary depending on factors such as the time of year and operational requirements. Access to some buildings, or portions of buildings, may be limited to authorized personnel at various times. Card swipe systems, locks and other means may be employed to limit access. SUPD Officers generally are not assigned to specific academic or administrative buildings. However, they do patrol these areas on a regular basis.