Safety & Security
The George Washington University campuses are situated in some of the safest areas of Washington, D.C., and its suburbs. The George Washington University Police Department (GWPD) has several safety programs and services to assist members of the GW community. All students, staff and faculty are encouraged to take responsibility for their own personal safety and the security of their belongings and property.
Our department's motto, "Pride in Protection and Service," reflects the University’s commitment to work with the GW community to keep our campuses safe and secure. GWPD takes a proactive role in progressive campus policing. As the campus law enforcement agency, the George Washington University Police Department is responsible for protecting life and property, conducting crime awareness and prevention programs, defending University rules and regulations, enforcing District of Columbia laws and upholding federal statutes. It provides emergency and safety services, serving as a resource for information on emergency procedures, theft and crime prevention and campus crime statistics.
GWPD employs more than 100 uniformed personnel. All are special police officers commissioned by, or security officers licensed by, the District of Columbia government. The GWPD patrols our campuses and the neighboring community 24 hours a day, every day. The department has 15 additional staff members who work at GWPD headquarters in Woodhull House. GWPD officers cover the campus by foot, on bicycle and in vehicle patrols. They also staff fixed posts. GWPD also hires students to work as community service aides in some residence halls and academic buildings. These students check IDs and serve as extra “eyes and ears” for the GW police.
GW Safety Programs and Services:
Emergency Medical Response Group (EMeRG)
This is a basic emergency-response and life-support agency within the District of Columbia. EMeRG’s certified GW personnel provide quality emergency medical services to the campus.
4-Ride Escort Service and Colonial Express Shuttle Bus
GWPD coordinates two safe travel alternatives. 4-Ride is a fleet of escort vehicles that pick up and drop off students, faculty and administrators anywhere within three blocks of campus. The Colonial Express Shuttle Bus runs two routes around campus, stopping at residence halls and major campus buildings. These routes are outlined on the GWPD Web site.
Blue Light Phones
There are approximately 36 emergency phones throughout our campuses. When the button on the emergency phone is pressed, a bright light flashes atop the phone tower and the phone automatically dials the George Washington University Police Department Dispatch Center. A caller's location is immediately reported and officers are quickly dispatched.
The GWPD engraves driver’s license numbers on valuables to assist in their positive identification or recovery in the event the items are lost or stolen.
Self Defense Classes
The GW Police Department offers a self-defense course that consists of basic techniques from various martial arts disciplines. Women learn to utilize their greater lower body strength, enabling them to increase their power when defending themselves.
Crime Prevention Programming
GWPD presentations to campus groups aim to educate the GW community about current crime trends and security programs and services. The programs also educate community members about ways to protect themselves from being victimized.