University Police Services

OSU Police Mission Statement:

To use proactive and professional law enforcement techniques to protect life and property, to enforce the law and to prevent crime by making maximum use of available resources in partnership with the university community.

Philosophy and Service

The Oklahoma State University Police Department is dedicated to enhancing the opportunity for students, faculty and staff to participate in the educational experience. As a service organization, the department offers a full range of police resources, including patrol, investigations, crime prevention, facilities security analysis and event planning. Members of the department serve on University and community committees in addition to providing training and specialized presentations on safety related matters. Staff participate in the design and implementation of safety programs and traffic-control devices, and act as special advisers to all campus departments and administrators. The professional police men and women, full-time staff members, and part-time employees meet high standards and embrace the multidimensional mission of a police department.

The OSU Police Department was the first policing agency in the State of Oklahoma to receive accreditation from the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. The OSU Police Department gained accreditation in 1998 and continues its accredited status after undergoing accreditation reviews in 2002, 2005, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The OSU Police Department is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The staff is comprised of Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certified sworn law enforcement officers with full police powers and authority, a professional dispatching staff, and a police records section. The department also employs a number of part-time student employees that support full-time staff by performing duties ranging from records management to low-threat public service duties. Those duties include checking the security of buildings, providing access to facilities, assisting motorists, and supplementing traffic and crowd control. Everyone at the department works together as a team to provide timely police services to the Stillwater campus and OSU properties within Payne County.

The SafeWalk program was implemented in 2013 and is staffed with students trained as Public Service Officers. The SafeWalk program promotes personal safety by offering free walking escorts to members of the OSU community to destinations within the campus grounds or within the Greek Neighborhood. To utilize this service one simply needs to call the OSU Police Department’s non-emergency number (405-744-6523) and request assistance, use the SafeWalk button in the Orange Shield app, or make a request directly to any Public Service Officer on duty. The SafeWalk program generally operates between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. daily, but is contingent upon funding and requests by other campus departments. In addition to the SafeWalk program, these Public Service Officers maintain direct radio contact with the law enforcement officers of the OSU Police Department and perform security checks of campus buildings and serve as an additional set of eyes and ears used to report safety concerns on campus. 

OSU police strive to provide a positive image to visitors and members of the campus community by providing directions, assistance, information, or just a friendly welcome. Officers represent the University with a caring and professional demeanor and are intent upon enhancing a friendly community atmosphere. Necessary enforcement activities include using alternatives to arrest when reasonable, and cooperating fully with administrative services and functions that have an impact on student conduct. Enforcement efforts are geared toward providing a safe community from an educational rather than a punitive focus.

OSU police participate in athletic and special event staging and planning to better ensure the safety and security of participants and a successful outcome of the event. As first responders to emergency situations, OSU police are often commended by citizens for decisive and professional actions. Students and staff find the OSU police willing to share statistics, insights and experiences as a basis for class reports or vocational interest. OSU police managers take proactive measures to avoid problem situations, and they do this by suggesting security measures, providing insight on planned activities, and using data and analysis when utilizing resources.

OSU's emergency “blue phone” system continues to evolve as the campus grows and changes. As of 2018, there are in excess of 100 emergency phones strategically located around campus. These phones, with immediate response from the police, have been in operation since 1979 and are still being copied by other universities.

To augment the static positions of the emergency blue phones, OSU provides the Orange Shield App as a free download for smartphone users. The Orange Shield App can be used for a variety of purposes from reporting an emergency, accessing useful safety resources links, to using the link for tracking The Bus.

Thousands of visitors, campers, fishermen, and sightseers visit Lake Carl Blackwell and its surrounding recreational areas. OSU Police Officers provide friendly and efficient police response, including lake patrol and rescue operations on the water. Typically, the department assigns two or three officers to Lake Patrol duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day; however, officers may patrol or respond to calls at the lake at any time of the year.

Overall, the OSU Police Department believes in providing proactive law enforcement and service to the University community.

Crime Awareness

Security, Prevention, Statistics, Intervention

Crime, it is an unfortunate fact that criminal incidents of all types occur on college campuses. Campuses around the country, in compliance with the Clery Act, investigate and make public the nature of crimes, the number of crimes, and their dispositions. Oklahoma State University subscribes to fulfilling that obligation in an open and transparent manner and further believes the public should know how active the OSU Police are in crime prevention and detection.

The OSU police sponsor a number of special programs for faculty, staff, and students designed to provide information about campus security practices and procedures. During freshman parents' orientation each summer, and during monthly new employee seminars, procedures, suggested practices, availability of pertinent information, and individual responsibilities are discussed. The OSU police crime prevention staff can provide additional safety and security programs as requested.

Crime statistics for the current and past years for OSU may be found on the Internet at police.okstate.edu. Additionally, the Annual Security Report, published by October 1st each year, provides crime statistics for the three past calendar years.

Reporting Crimes

Crime victims, regardless how seemingly insignificant the crime, are encouraged to promptly report the incident to the OSU Police or the appropriate police agency. To report a crime, a victim or witness need only call the police by dialing 405-744-6523, or 311 using a campus phone for non-emergency calls. Dial 911 or 405-744-4196 from any phone for emergencies. The Orange Shield Safety App may be used for both emergency and non-emergency calls and crime reporting. The Orange Shield Safety App directs emergency cell phone calls to the OSU Police Department when the user is on campus, and automatically connects to the local 911 center serving the location the caller is in, if the user is off campus. A police officer will meet the caller to gather information for a report, if one is requested or required. When an official report is made, copies are available for the victim usually within three business days. Each day the incidents from the previous day, excluding victim and witness names, are summarized and made available to the OSU president, key OSU staff, other law enforcement agencies, the media, and published on the Public Safety Internet page. Each month the number of incidents in each category of crime are counted and reported to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, who in turn provide the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Each year, the FBI publishes a book of crime statistics called Crime in the United States that includes accurate accounting of the criminal incidents that occurred on the OSU campus. OSU has reported crime statistics in this manner since the FBI began publishing campus crime statistics in 1971.

Students and others are encouraged to report crimes or incidents to police, or to persons on campus with significant reporting responsibilities. The OSU Public Safety Department has further developed procedures for collecting information on crimes and violations pertaining to liquor laws, drug-related violations, and weapons violations from such counseling personnel and persons referred for campus disciplinary actions on these offenses. Such violations are published along with other criminal statistics.

Should a student need assistance in reporting crimes or incidents on or off campus, university counselors or police will provide guidance, direction or assistance.

Crimes in Progress

To report a crime in progress, a person, victim or witness, can dial 911, use one of the outside emergency telephones, call one of the police phone numbers, or use the Orange Shield Safety App. Any reporting method will result in the response of police, fire, ambulance, or other first responders as needed. The Orange Shield Safety App also allows texting of pertinent information along with video or still images of crimes in progress or suspicious activity. The Orange Shield Safety App directs emergency calls to the OSU Police Department when the user is on campus, and connects with the normal 911 center serving the location the caller is in, if the user is off campus. Crimes in progress or suspicious activity can be reported anonymously through the Orange Shield Safety App. In addition, the victim of serious crimes can request support personnel, such as ministers, rape crisis or domestic violence counseling, during or after reporting. Additionally, crime victims may be eligible for funds through victim compensation laws administered by the Office of the District Attorney.

Actual Crime at OSU

Although both OSU and the Stillwater Community enjoy a relatively safe environment, it is important to realize that crimes do occur and that everyone should take reasonable precautions and remain aware of their surroundings to protect themselves and their property.

The crime and arrest statistics reported by the OSU Police Department are generally those which occurred within the jurisdictional boundaries of campus. However, certain crimes occurring at locations meeting Clery Act requirements are listed within the Annual Security Report crime statistics. It is the responsibility of the Stillwater Police Department to monitor and record criminal activities off campus. Crime statistics concerning these locations or areas are available at the Stillwater Police Department.

Crime Statistics

The OSU Public Safety Department collects and publishes crime statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning the occurrence on campus, in or on non-campus buildings or property, and on public property adjacent to OSU. The following reported offenses are included:  Criminal Homicide, Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter, Negligent Manslaughter, Rape, Fondling, Incest, Statutory Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, Arson, as well as arrests or referrals for liquor law violations, drug law violations, and weapon violations. Crime statistics are also reported by category of prejudice for any Hate Crimes reported.

All of these statistics are published on the OSU Public Safety Internet site at http://police.okstate.edu and are available for printing if individuals desire a printed version of the publication. A paper copy can be obtained by calling the Public Safety Office or by writing to OSU Public Safety, 104 USDA Building, Stillwater, OK 74078 or by requesting a copy electronically at the above Internet site.

Future

Although it is believed that the low incidence of crime will continue, this report is not intended to give a false sense of security. Crime will occur, but prevention efforts can be effective in reducing the opportunities for criminal activity. Citizens play a key role in crime prevention efforts by being cautious, careful, and alert to personal safety and protective of personal and University possessions. The crime prevention tips noted below should be followed.

Security and Access Control

It is OSU's policy to lock the doors of buildings that are not in use. However, when working or studying in buildings after normal working hours, it is suggested that individual offices be locked, based upon an assumption that unrestricted access to the building is possible. Some buildings on campus are rarely locked, at the department's request, since students study and work on projects all hours of the day and night. Again, individual offices should be locked by the user on a presumption that the building is accessible. Residence halls have varying hours of open access from hall to hall. During non-open access hours, all residence hall doors are locked except the front desk entrance, for halls with a staffed front desk. Instances of propped open doors have occurred, and residents are encouraged to take security precautions in the halls and rooms. Individual rooms should be locked at all times for safety.

Crime Prevention

OSU has experienced success at reducing and preventing crime. Some of the more notable efforts are:

  • Emergency telephone system - "Blue Phones"
  • Emergency 911 dialing
  • Orange Shield Safety App
  • SafeWalk Program
  • 24-hour preventive patrols
  • Campus foot patrol by uniformed officers
  • Police officer bicycle patrol
  • Police officer Segway patrol
  • Burglar alarms in key areas
  • 24-hour staff in residence halls
  • Custodial staff in academic buildings after hours
  • Crime prevention seminar presentations to groups
  • Crime prevention pamphlets for students and employees
  • Monitoring of some parking lots by surveillance cameras

Crime stopper telephone line - 744-TIPS (744-8477)

In addition to preventing crime, considerable effort is devoted to crime intervention. All reported crimes are investigated immediately by a responding officer. Follow-up investigation occurs as necessary to gather additional information and to identify the offenders. Where multiple incidents occur, surveillance techniques are implemented to help apprehend violators. When caught, offenders are processed through the county court system and OSU internal venues, such as Student Conduct, when appropriate.

Police Protection

The OSU campus is protected by the OSU Police Department in accordance with state statutes (74 O.S. 360.15). In addition to the OSU Police Department, multi-jurisdictional agreements with the City of Stillwater and Payne County Sheriff's Office provide for additional public safety resources and assistance from the surrounding area. The OSU Police Department enjoys an excellent working relationship with all partnering agencies.

Community Policing

The department subscribes to the concepts of community policing. The officers have been practicing problem-solving concepts for years. A police officer bicycle patrol, Segway patrol, and more recently a Core Campus patrol was established to provide an opportunity for the officers to have closer contact with students.

Tips for personal safety and property security:

  • Be cautious of strangers.
  • Avoid getting into vulnerable no-exit places.
  • Do not hesitate to call police when confronted by unknown persons.
  • Keep house or residence hall room locked.
  • At night, walk in groups of at least two.
  • Walk with confidence, and avoid walking near bushes and parked cars.
  • Become familiar with the location of emergency telephones.
  • When parking, remove valuables from plain view and lock the vehicle.
  • Engrave valuables with a driver license number, or other uniquely identifying number, and record serial numbers.
  • Make copies of credit cards and lists of other valuables normally carried on your person.
  • Write name and ID number in several places in textbooks.
  • Lock bicycle in a bicycle rack.
  • Report all incidents and losses to police immediately.

When serious crimes occur on or off campus that are considered to be a threat to the campus community, that information will be provided to faculty, staff and students. The medium for this information dissemination may be the campus newspaper, faculty/staff newsletters, by electronic means, or in special instances, specific notices to on-campus residences. Such notices may be posted on residence hall entrance doors, in residents' mail boxes, or placed on electronic voice mail. In addition, the OSU Department of Public Safety maintains an Internet page at police.okstate.edu. This page allows access to the daily crime log, crime prevention tips, and links to other sites providing similar information pertinent to the OSU campus.

Alcoholic Beverages and Other Drugs

As set forth in local, state and federal laws, and the rules and regulations of the University, Oklahoma State University prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees in buildings, facilities, grounds or other property owned and/or controlled by the University or as part of University activities.

Under OSU regulations, with limited exceptions, no low-point beer or other alcoholic beverage is allowed in OSU single student housing, including fraternities and sororities. Furthermore, under the same regulations, the possession/consumption of low-point beer or alcohol by those of legal age (over 21) is allowed only in certain designated places on the OSU campus, properties, and facilities, which include Lake Carl Blackwell and its grounds.

Drug and alcohol laws are vigorously enforced on the OSU campus. Violators are subject to criminal prosecution in the District Court of Payne County. The enforcement techniques range from plain-view violation arrests to long-term undercover investigations by local, state or federal agents and agencies.

University Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Program have counseling and rehabilitation programs for students and employees, respectively. Should these programs not meet an individual's needs, there are other programs in the community or nearby that may be better suited.

Students should be aware that a student who has been convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the table below (the Conference Report on the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 [H.R. 6], September 25, 1998, Suspension of Financial Aid for Drug Convictions, Sec. 483. Student Eligibility).

If convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, ineligibility period is:

First offense 1 year
Second offense 2 years
Third offense Indefinite

If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, ineligibility period is:

First offense 2 years
Second offense Indefinite

Sexual Assault

The OSU Police Department takes all reports of sexual assault very seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent possible, in order to provide the District Attorney's Office the information required for charges to be filed, with the goal of a conviction.

What to do if Victimized

Oklahoma State University's prevention efforts in the area of sexual assault, in all of its forms, involve the entire community, from the newest student to the President of the University. Many groups are involved in sexual assault prevention. These groups include the OSU Police Department, 1 is 2 Many, Department of Wellness, Student Conduct Education and Administration, and Title IX office. They provide training programs, presentations and workshops to any interested individuals or groups.

Program topics generally include consent, victim services, bystander intervention, supporting others and available resources.

Procedures to Follow

A victim of sexual assault should follow certain procedures and consider several options. These procedures and options are clearly outlined at https://1is2many.okstate.edu or in 1 is 2 Many Sexual Violence resource booklets available around campus.

Evidence

Preserving evidence is of paramount importance after a sexual assault. Victims should be careful not to bathe, douche, wash clothing or tamper with other potential evidence after a sexual assault. The first inclination may be to do one or more of these; however, the temptation should be resisted. Evidence is critical in achieving a successful criminal prosecution and conviction.

Contacting the Police Department

When a sexual assault is reported to the OSU Police Department or to the Stillwater Police Department, an officer is dispatched. Determining the extent of physical and emotional trauma that the victim has suffered will be the officer's first concern. If the attack just occurred, the officer will want a brief review of the events, a description of the assailant, the direction of travel and a description of the vehicle used by the assailant, if any. This information is necessary in order to apprehend the assailant as soon as possible. After the initial interview, the officer or whoever is designated by the victim will assist in getting a complete change of clothes.

Agreeing to have a Sexual Assault Examination

An officer or designee will take the victim to the Stillwater Medical Center to be examined free of charge by a Sexual Assault Nurse. A complete physical examination will be given as well as treatment for any injuries. A friend or relative may be permitted to accompany the victim. In addition, the victim may be examined for the purpose of obtaining evidence that would be needed in court. Appropriate antibiotic therapy can be given to decrease the chances of developing venereal disease. After the examination at the hospital, the officer may bring the victim back to the police headquarters or another location to complete the interview. Again, a counselor is encouraged to be present.

The victim of a rape is not responsible for legal expenses related to the criminal prosecution. The case is prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney. The victim only has to contribute time. The Stillwater Medical Center can provide initial medical services for rape victims. The Crime Victims Compensation Board can provide payment for medical services and counseling, even if charges are not filed. The victim need only file an application with the Office of the District Attorney.

Police Investigation

Later, at police headquarters, the victim will be asked to be more specific about the events of the attack. A person of the victim's choosing may accompany the victim during this period. This questioning is done to help the investigation and to help arrange the events firmly in mind. The victim's comments will probably be tape recorded for future reference. This will make testifying in court much easier and less frightening. It will be handled considerately and courteously. Only the investigating officer will ask questions. Based on conversations with the officer, the victim can then decide whether or not to assist with prosecution. Threats or harassment of a rape victim after charges have been filed are rare. When finished at police headquarters, the victim can go to a place of their choice. OSU and Stillwater Police officers have been trained to deal with sexual assault victims. However, if the victim should feel uncomfortable speaking to a male officer, every effort will be made to notify a female officer, female counselor, or female volunteer.

A rape or sexual assault may be reported to a university employee. However, it is wise to give information to the police for a police investigation. Charges do not have to be filed against the attacker if a rape is reported. The information and suspect description may help locate a suspect in other offenses and possibly prevent another person from becoming a victim of a rape. The police will not know that there is a rapist on campus unless they are told. The police will not pressure the victim to file charges. Victims of sexual assault can elect to petition the court to have personal information redacted from police reports.

Support Services

OSU Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

OSU's Victim Advocates can confidentially provide students with information about on and off campus resources available to victims. OSU Victim Advocates can be reached Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 405-564-2129.

Student Conduct Education and Administration

If the victim does not want the case to be addressed through the criminal justice system, another alternative is available. Incidents involving students who are accused of non-academic misconduct might be assigned to Student Conduct Education and Administration. Persons found responsible of sexual misconduct could be suspended or expelled from OSU. Further information can be obtained by contacting Student Conduct Education and Administration at 405-744-5470. A copy of the Student Code of Conduct can be obtained at https://studentconduct.okstate.edu/code. A victim of a sexual misconduct may request assistance from Student Conduct including, but not limited to, a change in academic and/or living situations. More information about victim services can be found at https://1is2many.okstate.edu.

Role of University Housing and Residential Life

All hall staff, including Community Mentors, Assistant Residential Community Educators, and Residential Community Educators, continually attend sexual assault training programs, and they learn how to respond to a student who has been victimized by a sexual or physical attack. They have been informed about the resources available.

Role of University Counseling Services

University Counseling Services provides individual and group counseling services for those victimized by sexual or physical assault. Services are available to all Oklahoma State University students, regardless of gender, and their significant others.

The psychological and emotional trauma after a sexual assault can be painful. Possible symptoms include:  changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, lack of trust, guilt feelings, depression, mood swings, and relationship and communication problems. Sexual assault incidents can only be greatly reduced when men and women understand the dynamics involved in sexual assaults and are willing to participate in educational programming and ongoing communication.