The Catholic University of America


Mission Statement

The Department of Public Safety has the primary responsibility for providing a safe and secure campus environment that is conducive to visiting and learning, working, and living at The Catholic University of America. The department provides comprehensive programs, which include security patrol, escort, transportation, identification and access services. A staff of trained professionals, including commissioned special police officers, focuses on crime prevention and investigation, safety education and emergency preparedness, response and recovery. The department works closely with federal and local law enforcement agencies to coordinate services and activities to enhance safety within the boundaries of the university. The department seeks opportunities to partner with students, staff and faculty to achieve the goal of a safe and secure campus.

Enforcement Authority

The safety and security of personnel and property at CUA is the primary responsibility of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The associate vice president of public safety, as the chief physical emergency management officer for the university, develops safety and security policies that are designed with the safety of the entire CUA community in mind. All safety and security procedures must be consistent with local District of Columbia laws and regulations. Campus and university special police officers are appointed by the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department under the provisions of the D.C. Official Code to protect the campus property of an academic institution of higher education. The term “campus” includes any building or property owned or controlled by the academic institution of higher education. The duties of the campus and university special police officers consist of integrating the principles of private and public policing and adapting them to the academic community. Campus and university special police officers have full police authority, including arrest power, on the premises they are assigned to protect or outside of the premises in fresh pursuit for offenses committed on the premises. They may arrest based on probable cause for any offense committed in their presence, either felony or misdemeanor; however, if the offense was not committed in the officer’s presence, the arrest may only be made on probable cause if the offense is a felony, or one of the probable cause misdemeanors enumerated in the D.C. Code. Persons arrested by campus and university special police officers are transported to a facility of the Metropolitan Police Department for processing.

Campus and university special police officers are subject to the rules promulgated for the Metropolitan Police Department insofar as those rules are applicable. The Metropolitan Police Department staffs a Security Officers Management Branch to facilitate the issuance of special police officer commissions and to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Campus and university special police officers must complete the Campus Law Enforcement Academy (250 hours) or an equivalent law enforcement academy within two (2) years of receiving a campus and university special police officer commission. Individuals who have previously completed an equivalent law enforcement academy are not subject to this requirement. Armed campus and university special police officers must successfully complete a 56-hour basic firearms course that must include lethal and nonlethal force, “shoot, don’t shoot,” and police liability. Armed campus and university special police officers are required to qualify with their firearms semiannually.

The Department of Public Safety maintains a close working relationship with local law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, MetroTransit Police, FBI, Consortium of Universities and the National Capitol Region University Healthcare Investigations Task Force. Joint efforts are frequently undertaken with these agencies to address crime problems affecting the campus. The campus police function is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week, service-oriented operation.

The Department of Public Safety employs a staff of commissioned special police officers. Campus officers have no authority to investigate crimes or make arrests off campus. Campus police officers work closely with the local police and make every reasonable effort to follow up on crimes referred to them. Less serious incidents and violations of university regulations are investigated by the campus police and referred to campus administrators as necessary. Any student or employee is free to report any matter directly to the appropriate local police authority and is provided instructions on how to do so.


Several interrelated functions comprise the department, including the patrol section, which consists of vehicle, bicycle and foot patrol; and the police Communications Center. The campus Locksmith Unit, a part of the Department of Public Safety, responds to all campus requests for locksmith services. The Communications Center handles all radio communications and calls for service. The center monitors the Closed-Circuit Television cameras, the alarm systems and the emergency telephone systems. The Communication Specialist also acts as a secondary campus information center. The Investigation and Crime Prevention Unit handles all investigative and crime prevention activities for the campus. The Campus Transportation Management and Identification Office provides traffic and parking management as well as identification and fingerprinting services.

Patrol Division

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for providing protection and service to the entire campus community. The shift supervisors generally perform motor vehicle patrol. The patrol staff covers the area in five ways: on foot, by bicycle, in a vehicle, at fixed posts and at the Metro kiosk (covered 4 p.m. until 3 a.m.). The campus is divided into 11 patrol beats. An officer is assigned to each of the patrol beats during a 24-hour period. The department uses a problem-oriented, community-based philosophy. Patrol officers are assigned to several fixed posts, the Columbus School of Law during their hours of operation. During the school year, patrol officers provide coverage at the CUA/Brookland Metro station on the CUA side and the Taylor Street Bridge at John McCormack Road during the evening and late-night hours. Officers are also deployed to Harewood Road  area when the need arises. The bicycle patrol officer is a foot patrol officer who uses a lightweight, durable high-tech bicycle. The bicycle gives the foot patrol officer greater mobility. Officers who seek this position must complete a minimum 32 hours of physically demanding training provided by an outside police agency. The training encompasses agility testing, long-distance biking and off-terrain riding, which challenge the durability of the bike and the officer’s endurance. Community response to the bicycle patrol unit has been uniformly positive, and the efforts of the bike patrol officer have done much to further the department’s commitment to community policing. A campus police officer is dispatched to requests for police service. An event report is prepared for criminal offenses and noncriminal incidents. The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia is immediately notified in all cases of serious felonies. Patrol officers are responsible for a full range of security and safety services, including generating crime reports, conducting investigations, assisting in medical emergencies, enforcing traffic regulations, and enforcing all local laws and the provisions of the University's Code of Conduct and policies.


The Investigations Unit is responsible for conducting investigations and follow up activites into incidents ocurring on University property.  The Investigative Unit works with the local police department on investigations of all crimes, including felonies that are reported to the Department of Public Safety by members of the campus community.  The investigative unit maintains departmental records for all criminal and noncriminal incidents, and is responsible for compiling data that is submitted annually in compliance with state and federal crime reporting laws.  The unit also prepares and distributes safety alerts when a crime occurring on campus represents an on-going threat to the University community.  In addition to conducting investigations, the investigator responds to requests for pre-employment background checks and works in conjuction with patrol officers and other University departments toward crime prevention on campus.  Presentations are conducted several times during the course of the year in residence halls and throughout campus for students, staff, and faculty.  

Communications Center

The Communications Center, as part of the Department of Public Safety, receives and dispatches calls for servic 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  A communication specialist may be contacted from any campus emergency phone by dialing ext. 5111 on campus phones. If calling from an off-campus phone, dial 202-319-5111, TTY 202-319-5736. Communication specialists are responsible for disseminating information to officers, directing calls for police service, coordinating emergencies, dispatching escorts, and monitoring the alarm and access control systems.

Public Safety Customer Service Center

This office is responsible for providing customer service for the Department of Public Safety to include issuing parking permits and Cardinal Cards.  It is also charged with administering the campus transportation program, including parking enforcement, vehicle immobilization, and shuttle bus operations. The  Public Safety Customer Service Center is located in 121 Leahy Hall and is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m, Saturday and Sunday,  9am to 5 pm.

The Public Safety Customer Service Center will be closed on all University holidays and on any occasions when the University announces emergency closing.

Fire Safety Program

The Catholic University of America provides a comprehensive fire safety program for the protection of the campus community. This an aggressive program, which promotes fire prevention while coordinating personnel, electronic, and fire protection systems to ensure effective emergency notification and response. University staff members in Public Safety, Residence Life, Facilities and Environmental Health & Safety are trained and receive continuing education in various area that encompass possible hazards to life, safety and health. Professional staff and student assistants who also live in the residence halls, participate in required fire safety training sessions annually, regardless of prior experience.

Program Highlights

Fire Protection Systems

  • Fire protection systems are installed in all residence halls, academic and administrative buildings. Alarm systems report electronically and directly to the Public Safety Communications Center, which monitors activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Public Safety Officers respond first to every emergency call on campus.
  • All residence halls are equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. The university cornerstone building Caldwell/Seton Hall which was erected in 1887, was recently retrofitted for sprinklers along with a new fire pump and fire alarm system. The sprinkler system work is 90% complete with the remaining portions of the building in the design phase.  The new systems are designed to meet current fire Life Safety regulations.  
  • Fire Life Safety systems, including all fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems are tested on a regular scheduled basis in compliance with the International Code Council (ICC), the District of Columbia building codes, local and international fire code regulations, and The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.  
  • In addition to the independent testing of the Life Safety systems, various ongoing safety inspections are conducted by professional staff for all campus structures and facilities.

Fire Safety Education & Training

  • Unannounced emergency drills, with performance standards, are held once each semester during the academic year(in September) for academic/administrative buildings. An emergency drill is performed four times a year in all of our residence halls.  Emergency drill procedures are also held at various times during the semester for all academic/administrative buildings and residences on campus.  These activities may include active shooter drills, preparation for potential health epidemics, shelter-in-place, and earth quake exercisesas well as various weather and environmental scenarios.  All of these procedures require the coordination of all University staff, faculty, and resources in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety.
  • Building-specific emergency evacuation plans are posted in prominent locations in all campus buildings, including residence halls. These procedures are reviewed during required orientation programs, follow-up safety sessions, and emergency drill exercises. The general building evacuation procedures are available on the Environmental Health and Safety website
  • Current policies regarding portable electrical appliances, smoking and open flames (such as candles) can be found on the Department of Environmental Health and Safety Web page at  See General Fire Prevention and Safety section
  • All fire incidents on CUA property are reported through the Department of Public Safety at 202 319-5111.  This ensures appropriate emergency response, incident recording for follow up and statistical reporting.  All fire incidents are required to be reported to DPS, even if discovered after a fire has been extinguished (cold fire) or burned out.  "For the purposes of fire safety reporting, Higher Education Act (HEA) defines a fire as any instance of open flame or other burning in a place not intended to contain the burning or in a uncontrolled manner."

Below you will find a table reflecting the current history of the University's procedures in compliance with 20 USC 1161 Student Safety and Campus Emergency Management requirements.

2016-2017 On-Campus Residence Hall Fire Statistics*

Residential Facility Total Fires Cause

Fire-Related Injuries

Fire-Related Deaths Property Damage FP System Installed      
Caldwell Side 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS/Fire Pump    
                   Fire Pump
Seton Hall Side 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS/F    
CV - Camalier House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Engelhard House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Magner House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - McDonald House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Quinn House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Reardon House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Unanue House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
CV - Walton House 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Flather Hall 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Gibbons Hall 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Millennium North 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Millennium South 0 N/A  0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Opus Hall 1 Cooking 0 0 $825.01 0 FA/SA/FS/Fire Pump    
Regan Hall 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    
Ryan Hall 0 N/A 0 0 0 0 FA/SA/FS    

*These figures primarily represent the academic year and reflect data for incidents where,in most cases, property damage and injuries were not encumbered.


  • FP = Fire Protection

  • FA = Fire Alarm

  • SA = Smoke Alarm

  • FS = Fire Sprinkler


Emergency Notification, Timely Warning and Evacuation Procedures

CUA Emergency Notification Plan

Emergency occurrences, perceived or actual, are communicated or reported to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on 202-319-5111

  • In an emergency situation where the campus requires an immediate response, the CUA Emergency Notification Plan will be activated.

DPS will:

  • Activate CUAlert via Rave Mobile Safety.
  • Alert Catholic University's Office of Marketing and Communications.
  • Alert University President and/or the senior administrator on duty.


  • The Office of Marketing and Communications willl:
  • Maintain continuous contact with DPS on the secure telephone line.
  • Send additional text, email (to CUA-Announce listserv) and voicemail to update students, staff, and faculty.
  • Send alert and updates to social media.  Post a messageto faculty and staff on CUA voicemail.
  • Provide initial messages and updates as needed for the University websites
  • Send out messages to all of the above either updating the emergency situation or announcing that the campus is clear to resume normal operations.
  • Set message for callers to the main University phone number (202) 319-5000.

The CUA emergency mamangement plan utilizes multiple redundent systems for notification, including:

  • All-Campus Alert, an audible public address alert system.
  • Rave Alert, a service of Rave Mobile Safety, provides members of the campus community with the ability to receive urgen text message, email, and voicemail notifications to their cell phones and other wireless devices.
  • University staff alert via email lists.
  • University telephone voice mail messages.
  • Building watch captains, resident assistants, and area coordinators.
  • University's Safety First website
  • Social media updates.
  • Fire alarms.
  • Audible public announcements broadcast via public safety vehicles.
  • Verbal announcements via public safety foot patrol officers.
  • Messages on plasma screens in the Pryzbyla Center and on all CUA cable TV stations through programming interruption feature. 

Timely Warning

Used to communicate in such a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similiar crimes occuring in the designated reporting area required by the Clery Act.  Timely warning will be issued in the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that in the judgement of the associate vice president of Public Safety, or his/her designee, represents a serious or continuing threat to the campus community.  The warning will be issued through the most effective and efficient means available, and may include emailing the campus community notices posted in the common areas throughout the University, and information posted on the University website.

Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the Department of Public Safety by telephone 202-319-5111, or in person, Department of Public Safety, Leahy Hall, room 121.

University Siren: used only to alert the campus community of a threat imminent to or occurring on campus that is deemed a catastrophic and life threatening situation (e.g., severe weather or release of hazardous materials). The siren will indicate the need to shelter-in-place, unless otherwise directed.  

Messages about criminal activity generally will not trigger an emergency communication unless it is determined there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus community.  There are, however, limited instances when University officials may deem it appropriate to send a timely warning to the campus regarding criminal activity in or around campus that does not involve an immediate threat.  For more information, see How We Manage Emergencies on the Public Safety website,

How to Respond to On-Campus Emergencies


The two basic responses in an emergency are Evacuation and Shelter in Place.

Evacuation: For an emergency that would be dangerous to your life and health if you were to stay in your building. Be prepared: Before an emergency happens, find at least two emergency exits from your building. Sound the fire alarm in the event of fire. There are emergency fire alarm pull stations located at each building exit.  For other evacuation emergencies, call the Department of Public Safety at ext. 5111. Exit the building from the closest available exit. Don’t use the elevator. If you cannot get out of the door, get someone’s attention, e.g., yell and scream out a window. If you can, hang an attention- getting item on or from a window (e.g., a sheet, sign or coat) and phone ext. 5111.

Shelter-in-Place: For an emergency that would put you in danger if you were to leave your building. Shelter-in-place is advised in most situations, unless the building you are in is affected by the incident. Stay calm and do not panic. Stay inside unless a fire alarm sounds or you have been instructed to leave by a CUA official. For news bulletins, monitor the University homepage, e-mail, voicemail, mobile devices for “Urgent Alerts” and turn on the radio or TV.  If you are outside, seek shelter inside a building — do not remain outside. Follow building-specific instructions from your resident assistant or the building watch captain. Wait for further instructions from a University official before returning to your building. For more information, visit

Safety In On-Campus Student Housing Throughout 2016, the university operated 17 residential buildings divided into five residential neighborhoods accommodating approximately 1,900 on-campus residents.  The university strives to develop and implement safety and security procedures and programs with a goal to maintaining a safe environment for residents and visitors.

The Department of Public Safety employs a problem-oriented, community-base patrol in all residence hall areas.  Exterior doors to all residential facilities are locked 24 hours a day. A card access system (Cardinal Card) grants each resident access only to his or her assigned building through a primary set of exterior doors. Other exterior doors are alarmed as emergency exits. Safety and Security checks are made in the residence halls to detect damage to facilities and any suspicious activities.  Any suspicious activity, suspicious person, or crimes should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety.  

Many residence halls are also staffed with hall security or public safety assistants who monitor the front entrance ways and sign in all nonresidential visitors who enter the premises during the evening and nighttime hours.  All residents and visitors should be prepared to present identification upon request.

Within each residential building, each  individual unit/room  is equipped with keyed door locks. Residents are urged to keep their rooms locked they are not there.

Residential areas around residence halls may be subject to video surveillance as needed. Residence are discouraged from holding open or opening exterior doors for persons they do not know.

Each neighborhood is staffed by an community director, (CD) and a team of resident assistants (RA). An CD is a full-time professional staff member who lives on campus in a residential neighborhood and is responsible for the neighborhood’s day-to-day operations and management. RAs are student residents who are primarily responsible for developing community and promoting a balanced, responsible and respectful residential atmosphere that is safe, friendly and supportive. A DPS crime prevention officer works closely with the Residence Life staff and schedules regular security meetings in the residence halls.

Ultimately, residents themselves must join together to assume responsibility for their own personal and community safety by implementing the best possible safety practices.

Note: At times nonresidents may be in the residence halls.  Residents should expect the following:

  • All maintenance, custodial services and power plant staff are required to wear identification badges on their outer garments while on duty inside residence halls.
  • All contractors are issued and required to wear identification badges while working in or around a residence hall. Contractors must be escorted by a CUA staff member when inside occupied residence hall rooms.
  • Visitors are expected to sign in with the hall security assistant and must be escorted by his or her student host while on the premises.  (Hosts are held accountable for the conduct of their guests at all times.)

General Safety Precautions

The cooperation, involvement, and personal suuport of the campus community in a campus safety program are crucial to its success.  Members of the campus community are encouraged to take responsibility for their personal safety and the securityof personal property by taking simple precautions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Never take your personal safety for granted. Stay alert, confident, and aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid alleys, short cuts, and vacant lots.  Stick with well-lighted busy streets.
  • Immediately report stolen or missing Cardinal Cards and keys to your residence hall office and campus police.
  • Never prop open exterior doors of residence halls and buildings.
  • Never admit strangers into your room or hall. When in doubt, request to see a Cardinal Card.
  • Lock room doors, offices, and other student and employee work spaces, even when leaving for a short time.
  • Carry keys and your Cardinal Card at all times and never lend them to anyone.
  • Use the university shuttle bus systems and the escort service during evening hours and particularly when traveling alone.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and keep it locked at all times.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view inside a vehicle.
  • Report suspicious persons and activities immediately to the Department of Public Safety by calling 202-319-5111 or by using the emergency telephone system.
  • Never leave keys and other valuables visible in rooms, offices, labs or study areas.
  • Never remain alone in isolated or unoccupied areas, including classrooms, libraries or other buildings. When such use is required, special arrangements must be made with the Department of Public Safety.
  • When walking at night, have a friend along and carry a cell phone.
  • Trust your instincts.  If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut.  If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately.  
  • When attending social gatherings go with a group of friends.  Arrive together, remember to check in with each other throughout the evening, and always leave together.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Become familiar with the location of the emergency telephones on campus.
  • Report suspicious persons and activities immediately to the Department of Public Safety by calling 202-319-5111 or by using the emergency telephone system.

Crime Prevention

Crime prevention has been defined as “the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it.” Crime prevention means using your instinct, common sense and action to reduce a criminal’s opportunity. The Department of Public Safety provides proactive crime prevention programs and safety services to assist members of the campus community in reducing their risks of becoming a victim of crime. Plainly speaking, crime prevention is recognizing that a crime risk exists and taking some corrective action to eliminate or reduce that risk. Crime prevention means risk reduction. A close working relationship among management, crime prevention, patrol and investigations units, and the campus community is essential to eliminating crime risk. Reporting suspicious persons and/or activities, locking unoccupied rooms, securing doors and windows at the end of the day, securing university and personal property, and being aware of your surroundings are all-important risk reduction strategies.

Education and Awareness Programs

The crime prevention officer is responsible for developing risk reduction programs that foster a safer environment for all members of the campus community. Additionally, the crime prevention officer is responsible for providing and disseminating educational and instructional printed materials to the entire campus community.

  • All printed materials distributed by the department list the campus police telephone number: 202-319-5111. This number can be used to report incidents and obtain police service 24 hours a day.

Throughout the year, the crime prevention unit provides safety and security presentations in residence halls and other campus locations. Safety information is distributed at all presentations, meetings and seminars, and is available at public safety headquarters.

  • Information is provided on the locations and use of emergency telephones, the location of the Department of Public Safety and the way to contact public safety in the event of an emergency.
  • The procedure for reporting criminal and suspicious activity is explained at the presentations.

The public safety headquarters is located on the west side of campus in Leahy Hall, Room 120. Information about the Department of Public Safety’s risk reduction procedures can be found at

Door Knock Program

Department of Public Safety officers with staff members from Residential Life tour the residence halls, knock on students doors, and engage in informal discussions about stategies to maintain their personal safety on campus and in the community.

Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD)

The Crime Prevention Unit offers classes to students and employees on self-defense techniques. The officers are certified and trained through the Rape Aggression Defense Systems Inc.
Seminars on sexual assault prevention are provided throughout the year. For additional information on Risk Reduction and Campus Sexual Assault Awareness Programs, please visit our website at

Risk Reduction Services for the Campus Community

Emergency Telephones

There are 111 emergency telephones and 46 panic buttons strategically located throughout the campus to assist with communicating with campus police.

Escort Service

The escort service is one of the department’s most requested services used by students, faculty and staff. Escorts are public safety officers who are members of the foot, vehicle or bicycle patrol.

Public Safety Assistants

The Public Safety Assistants (PSA) program is part of the Department of Public Safety crime prevention services. The PSA personnel are not security officers or special police officers; they are part-time employees.

Bus Service

The Department of Public Safety provides campus bus service throughout the campus for students, faculty and staff. For a schedule or additional Proactive Services for the Campus Community please visit our website at for a schedule or additional proactive services for the campus community.

Rave Guardian 

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety app allows students to create safety profiles to alert friends and family when they are walking alone.  It also features a safety timer to alert campus security when a student does not arrive at the planned distination within a certain amount of time.  The app has a panic button that, when pressed, alerts campus security of where a student is. *

Turn your cell phone into a personalized safety device by downloading the FREE Rave Guardian application, available for Android and Apple devices.  Rave Guardian can be used to alert your friends and the Department of Public Safety for assistance.  The service is free and voluntary, and the information you provide is kept private.  

How Does it Work? 

Emergency GPS Locator - If you set up a profile with the application, it will assist in identifying, locating, and assisting you when you initiate and emergency communication.

Set a Safety Timer - Notify people you trust and/or the Department of Public Safety to check in on you if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place by setting a saftey timer that will automatically alert if at the end of the time you set you do not deactivate it.

Manage & Message your Guardians - Invite family, friends, or others to be your Guardians, and communicate with them within the app as needed.

Easy Emergency Communication - Call saftey officials directly for help if you are in trouble through one-touch dialing and sent text tips - including photos - if you see something suspicious.

*Rave Guardian is not a substitute for calling Department of Public Safety (202-319-5111) when on campus or the polic (911) when off campus.  Rave Guardian should not be your first choice for making and emergency assistance call. 


Crime Reporting

Community members, students, faculty, staff and guest are encouraged to report all crimes and crime related incidents to CUA in a timely manner.   

Efforts are made to inform members of the campus community on a timely basis about campus crime and crime-related issues.

These efforts include the following:

  • Daily Crime Log — Public Safety maintains a daily crime log, which is available at our Communications Center.
  • Crime Alerts — Crime Alerts are published when a crime occurs on or near campus that potentially threatens the university community. The crime alerts are e-mailed to each CUA campus watch captain. Watch captains post the alerts in residence halls and on security bulletin boards throughout the campus.

How To Report Crimes on Campus

The Campus Security Act (the Act) requires colleges to collect and report campus crime statistics.  The Act requires that any employee who is a "Campus Security Authority" who receives a report on or is aware of certain crimes to immediately report them to the Department of Public Safety.  Report crimes to the communications specialist, Department of Public Safety 120 Leahy Hall, (202) 319-5111.

Campus Security Authority at The Catholic University of America are individuals who provide security on campus, in addition to the Public Safety staff, including but not limited to the following:

  • Library monitors, hall security assistants in the residence halls, and others who are hired to monitor dorm or building access, campus escorts. 
  • Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
  • Director and associate director of athletics and all coaches and athletic trainers.
  • All professional staff in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
  • All associate and assistant deans and other professional staff in the deans offices, such as associate deans for student support or director of disability support services.
  • Title IX Coordinators.
  • All professional staff working with student organizations and extracurricular campus activities.
  • All faculty or staff advisors to undergraduate or graduate organizations or teams, including debate teams.
  • All faculty who accompany students on University-related trips, both within the U.S. and abroad.
  • All resident advisors or community directors for campus housing.
  • All professional staff in the Office of Global Education.
  • First Year Experience directors.

Regardless of one's status as a campus security authority, all are encouraged to report crimes to the communications specialist, Department of Public Safety.


Reporting a Missing Student

Reports of missing students shall be immediately referred to the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety shall notify the Metropolitan Police Department if appropriate.

On-file emergency contact information will be used to notify family or legal guardians in cases where a student is determined to be missing. Students may change their emergency contact information through Cardinal Station. Students living in an on-campus student housing facility have the option to register a confidential contact person to be notified in cases where the student is determined to be missing. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this information. Local law enforcement will be notified that the student is missing even if they have not registered a contact person. Parents or guardians must be notified in cases involving students younger than 18 years of age  who are not emancipated. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) requires institutions to respond when it has been determined that the student has been missing for 24 hours; however, the Department of Public Safety will initiate an investigation into the whereabouts of a missing student when notified.

Mandatory Reporting

The District of Columbia requires that any person over 18 years of age report known or suspected sexual abuse of an individual less than 16 years of age to the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency at (202) 671-7233 or to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) at 911.

The Distric of Columbia also requires that persons in certain occupations and professions report known or suspected mental or physical abuse or neglect of an individual under the age of 18 years of age.  The professions are called Mandatory Reporters and include but are not limited to the following: teacher/faculty member, athletic coach, physician, psycologist, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, person involved in the care and treatment of patients, law enforcement officer, school official, social service worker, day care worker, and mental health professional.  Mandatory Reporters must report information of neglect or abuse learned in their official or professional capacity including whether the child is in immediate danger of such abuse or neglect.  Reports must be made to the D.C. and Child Family services Agency at (202) 671-7233 or to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)911.

Priest are required to report sexual assault or abuse of a minor in accordance with the Archdiocese of Washington Child Protection Policy.

Any employee that makes a report to the D.C. and Family Services Agency or MPD must also make a report to the University's Department of Public Safety.  Any employee who is unsure or unclear of the responsibilities or legal obligations under this section should contact the Office of General Counsel for advice at (202) 319-5142.

(Please note- the information in the printed version of the 2014 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report differs slightly from the online version of the report in accordance with the Office of General Counsel).

Where To Find Information on Registered Sex Offenders

In conjunction with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the District of Columbia enacted the Sex Offender Registration Act of 1999, which authorized the Metropolitan Police Department to release sex offender information to the public. A list of Class A  registered sex offenders is provided on the Metropolitan Police Department’s website as a service to the community, http:// (Sex Offender Registry).

Sexual Assault Policy

The CUA Sexual Assault Policy is online at
CUA’s sexual assault prevention education is coordinated through the Office of the Dean of Students. Through collaborative efforts with other university departments and the use of a peer education program, CUA works to prevent sexual violence and harassment through education, awareness and skill building. Programs include self-defense workshops, educational seminars, peer theater, resource information and referral, and Sexual Assault Awareness Week. In addition, Student Health Services is a comprehensive resource center that contains journals, books and videos on a wide range of contemporary college health issues including sexual assault.

CUA sponsors a safety awareness program that provides training in Rape Aggression Defense Systems. Faculty, staff and students may sign up through Public Safety at
In addition, targeted training is provided to other groups of student leaders on campus. Please visit the Department of Public Safety website at for information on sexual assault policies and procedures, resources in the event of a sexual assault and tips on sexual assault prevention.

What To Do in The Event of A Sexual Assault

Any student who has been a victim of a sexual assault should, as soon as possible:

  1. Report the incident to the Department of Public Safety at 202-319-5111. The Department of Public Safety is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, victims/survivors of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to report a sexual assault to the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department. Students may receive assistance with this reporting from the Department of Public Safety.
  2. Seek medical attention and do not interfere with the preservation of evidence (e.g., do not bathe or change clothing).
  3. Meet with a professional staff member in the Office of the Dean of Students. Upon request by either party, the university will help to prevent any unwanted contact between the complainant and the accused by, for example, making reasonably available changes to academic schedules and/or housing situations.

Confidentiality and Support

The university will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon the professional role of the person being consulted. The professional being consulted should make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts. The university has the responsibility to  protect the community at large. In light of this responsibility, certain cases may warrant investigation and resolution beyond the solution desired by the individual reporting the incident.

An individual can speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles. These roles include (professional) counselors in the CUA Counseling Center and off-campus, medical clinicians, clergy, and (professional) sexual assault counselors. However, professional and pastoral counselors are encouraged to inform students being counseled of voluntary disclosure procedures. Students are encouraged to seek counseling in order to speak confidentially with a professional and begin the recovery period. In addition to campus counseling, students may contact local community resources, including the DC Rape Crisis Center (Hotline: 202-333-7273; business: 202-232-0789). A list of community resources and area hospitals is also available in the Office of the Dean of Students.

The CUA Sexual Assault Policy is online at

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy

The United States Department of Education has issued regulations for the implementation of the provisions of the “Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989” (Public Law 101-226). Those regulations require the university to annually distribute to each student and employee information regarding the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and/or employees on university property or as part of any of its on-campus or off-campus activities. In compliance with the federal law, CUA is committed to an educational community that is free of illegal drug use and alcohol abuse. Students and employees can obtain information regarding the legal sanctions under federal and state law for the illegal possession or distribution of drugs and alcohol, as well as the range of university sanctions that can be imposed for violation of the university’s policies regarding substance abuse at the websites listed below. In the event an illegal alcohol or drug-related incident involving an employee or student occurs, the university will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and will determine the appropriate internal disciplinary actions. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol by a student or employee on university property or as any part of a university-sponsored program off campus is strictly prohibited. Information on the federal drug penalties can be found at Students should review and understand the alcohol and drug policy in the Student Code of Conduct, which can be found online at

Employees should review and understand the Faculty and Staff Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy, which can be found at

View 2016  Crime Statistics