Director's Welcome

On behalf of Gettysburg College (GC) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), welcome to our department's webpages.  DPS is an organization of committed professionals who possess a strong desire and willingness to provide its community members with quality safety and security services that they truly want, need, and prefer. DPS espouses to the philosophical and organizational strategy of Community Service Oriented Patrolling (CSOP), a proactive approach to the implementation and provision of safety and security services. We value the input of our community and use this feedback to modify existing Departmental operations, ensuring we provide the quality service demanded of us.

Public Safety Structure

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for policy enforcement, security and emergency response on the campus. DPS is guided by the mission strategic principles of Service, Protection, Enforcement, Continuous Quality Improvement, Constancy of Purpose, and Community Service Oriented Partnerships (CSOP) or Community-Caretaking. The Department is under the leadership of the Executive Director of Public Safety, who reports to the Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students. Institutional Clery compliance initiatives are managed by the Executive Director. The Department’s two Associate Directors, who report to the Executive Director, are responsible for coordinating the daily patrol, security and fire safety operations and activities of the Department. The Department is open and staffed 24 hours a day/7 days a week by eleven Community Service Officers, an Assistant Director, and three Shift Leaders/Supervisors who patrol the campus and staff the communications center and a variety of other fixed posts. The Assistant Director of Community Engagement is specifically assigned Title IX investigations and violence prevention initiatives, along with department crime prevention and security awareness programming.  A Life and Fire Safety Manager is assigned the responsibility of coordinating the institution’s life and fire safety program initiatives; and a Clery Compliance and Auxiliary Services Coordinator is assigned the task of coordinating administrative duties and assignments relative to the public safety environment, coordinating functional needs associated with departmental technology, and managing Clery Act and Pennsylvania UCR Act compliance records retention processes.

The Department also has a contingent of approximately 10-15 part-time public safety officers who supplement patrol and communications center operations, life safety operations, parking enforcement operations, and work campus special events and details performing crowd and vehicular control activities, as well as other pertinent security related operations. DPS additionally employs a small contingent of students (typically ranging from 10 to 15) as student patrol officers, or SPOs, who supplement DPS operations by performing basic security functions including:  foot patrol, foot escorts, building checks, interior building patrols, exterior patrols, directed patrols, traffic control, access monitoring, and special event security. Contract Security Officers provide additional support during large-scale campus events and assisting DPS with the management of on-campus social events/activities. The Department patrols the campus and provides public safety services through the deployment of vehicle, foot, and bicycle patrols.

Crime/Emergency Reporting and College Response

Campus community members - students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests - are encouraged to report all criminal actions, emergencies, suspicious behavior or other public safety related incidents occurring within the College’s Clery geography to the Gettysburg College Department of Public Safety (DPS) in an accurate, prompt, and timely manner. The College’s Clery geography includes:

  • On-campus property including campus residence halls, buildings, and/or facilities;
  • Designated non-campus properties and facilities;
  • All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that are within the campus or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus or on-campus property/facilities.

The Department of Public Safety has been designated by Gettysburg College as the official office for campus crime and emergency reporting. DPS strongly encourages the accurate and prompt reporting of crimes. Accurate and prompt reporting ensures Public Safety is able to evaluate, consider and send timely warning notices, disclose crimes through ongoing disclosure processes such as the posting of crimes in the Daily Crime Log, and accurately documenting reportable crimes in its annual statistical disclosure.  Gettysburg College further encourages accurate and prompt reporting to DPS and/or the local police when the victim of a crime elects to, or is unable to, make such a report

DPS has primary responsibility for patrolling the Gettysburg College campus and has been designated as the institution’s primary reporting structure for crimes and emergencies. However, criminal incidents or incidents off-campus can be reported to the local Gettysburg Borough Police Department.  Additionally, as outlined below, the College has also identified a list of primary campus security authorities (CSAs) or preferred receivers of reports to whom crimes can be reported.

Primary Campus Security Authorities (CSA) or Preferred Receivers of Reports:

  • Call the Department of Public Safety, by dialing (717) 337-6911 or on-campus extension 6911
  • Report in person to the Department of Public Safety at the Public Safety office, located at 51 West Stevens Street
  • Crimes or emergency situations can be reported to the Gettysburg Borough Police or local emergency services by dialing 911
  • Sex Offenses and other incidents of sexual or relationship violence can also be reported to the college’s Title IX Coordinator, by dialing (717) 337-6907 or on-campus extension 6907, or in person at the College Life Office Suite located in the College Union Building (CUB), Room 220
  • Contact the Office of Human Resources (HR) by dialing (717) 337-6202 or on-campus extension 6202, or in person at the HR office located on the ground floor of Penn Hall
  • Contact the Dean of Students or Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities by dialing (717) 337-6921 or on-campus extension 6921, or in person at the College Life Office Suite located in the College Union Building (CUB), Room 220
  • Emergency Phones located throughout campus can also be used to contact Public Safety to report a crime or emergency
  • Complete the online “community concern” reporting form at:
    (This form should only be used for non-emergency or non-urgent reporting)

Dispatchers are available 24 hours a day to answer campus community calls by dialing (717) 337-6912, or on-campus extension 6912 or 6911.  In response to a call, DPS will take the required action by either dispatching an officer or asking the reporting party to go to the DPS headquarters to file an incident report in person.  All reported crimes will be investigated by the college and may become a matter of public record.  Crime victims are given on and off campus resource information as necessary and appropriate.  DPS procedures require an immediate response to emergency calls. DPS works closely with a full range of borough and county resources to assure a complete and timely response to all emergency calls.  Priority response is given to crimes against persons and personal injuries. DPS responds to and investigates all reports of crimes and/or emergencies that occur within the College’s Clery geography.  Public Safety personnel also have the ability to notify Adams County emergency dispatchers of emergency situations occurring on-campus via portable, mobile, and fixed two-way radio communications systems, and transferring telephone calls to the 911 emergency center.  This system allows Public Safety to summon assistance from emergency responders if deemed necessary and appropriate. Incidents occurring within the College’s Clery geography are documented and processed for further investigation and review by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and/or the local Gettysburg Borough Police, depending upon the nature of the crime or emergency and the involvement of the local Gettysburg Borough Police.  Additional information obtained via any investigation will also be forwarded to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  Residential & First Year Programs professional and student staff may also complete reports of potential criminal incidents that are forwarded to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for review and processing.

To obtain information or request any public safety or safety escort services, community members should call DPS.  Located throughout campus are well-marked exterior phones. These phones access the campus phone system and can be used like any campus extension for example, to obtain emergency assistance (extension 6911), contact community members, or obtain general information.

When placing an emergency call, remember to stay on the line and wait for the dispatcher to end the call. These exterior phones should be used when seeking information and/or reporting activities – to include criminal incidents. If a member of the community finds any of these phones inoperative or vandalized, they should call the DPS so that the phone can be repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. If assistance is required from the local Gettysburg Borough Police or Gettysburg Fire Department, DPS will contact the appropriate unit.

If a sexual assault or rape should occur on campus, staff on scene, including DPS, will offer the victim a wide variety of resources and services. This publication contains information about on- and off-campus resources and services and is made available to the Gettysburg College community. The information regarding “resources” is not provided to infer that those resources are “crime reporting entities” for Gettysburg College.

As mentioned, crimes should be reported to DPS to ensure inclusion in the annual crime statistics and to aid in providing timely warning Campus Safety Alert notices to the community, when appropriate. For example, a crime that was reported only to the Gettysburg College counseling center would not be known to DPS, a campus security authority (CSA), or other College official.