Meet the Campus Public Safety Office

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Having the ability to learn, study and grow in a safe environment will be an integral part of your successful college career here at Portland State. To that end, PSU’s Campus Public Safety Office is constantly striving to maintain the utmost level of safety and security on campus.

“We are committed to student success [through safety],” CPSO Chief Phil Zerzan said.

CPSO is located in Shattuck Hall, room 148, and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help keep campus life at PSU as safe as possible. There is always a dispatcher available to take your call at 503-725-4404 and a campus public safety officer on duty to help you.

CPSO’s website states: “The Campus Public Safety Office provides emergency response, emergency campus dispatching, and patrol services to the campus 24/7. CPSO works with our university partners to ensure that Portland State University is a safe place.”

One of the more recent examples of CPSO’s commitment to safety came at the beginning of summer term, when access to university buildings after hours and on weekends was tightened. This security measure will continue through the coming 2013–14 school year, with after-hours and weekend access to many buildings on campus available only through an access control identification badge, which new and returning students are encouraged to obtain through ID Services in Neuberger Hall.

“Portland State is a safe place. With that being said, it is an urban institution located in the middle of a large city,” Zerzan said. “So we ask students to be aware of that and be aware of their surroundings as they experience this vibrant, active and exciting university.”

One important way you can keep yourself safe while on campus is to register for PSU Alerts. This system allows timely warnings to be sent via text message, phone call and email to advise students of safety issues that arise on campus. When registering for your PSU Banweb account through my.pdx.edu, there will be a pop-up screen to allow you to sign up for PSU Alerts. Use your most current contact information and make sure to update it with changes so you can continue to receive safety alerts and timely warnings.

Here are more ideas to help you remain safe while on campus:

Preprogram CPSO’s emergency dispatch number (503-725-4404) into your cell phone.

Always be aware of your surroundings when walking on campus, regardless of the time of day or night.

If you are nervous about walking to your car by yourself after dark, call CPSO for an officer escort.

Keep the doors locked when in your dorm or apartment.

Make sure to lock your vehicle, and do not leave valuables inside it.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need help, ask for it, either by calling CPSO’s emergency line or by asking people around you for assistance.

Be aware of the location of red (inside) and blue (outside) emergency phones on campus. They are strategically located throughout campus as a way to immediately summon emergency aid and connect directly to CPSO’s emergency dispatch line.

Promptly and accurately report on-campus crimes and emergencies, including suspicious activity.

CPSO’s public safety force consists of 12 patrol officers, three sergeants, a lieutenant, a detective and the chief, as well as six dispatchers and four additional access and records management personnel. They all work together to ensure that CPSO runs smoothly and efficiently in its mission to keep campus life safe.

CPSO also works very closely with many agencies on campus to help promote the safety of PSU students. These agencies include the Student Health and Counseling Center, the Office of the Dean of Student Life, Student Legal Services and the Women’s Resource Center, among others.

CPSO likewise works closely with the Portland Police Bureau and local fire and emergency medical services.

Additional safety information, including what to do in case of an active-shooter incident, security-awareness programs and maps showing the locations of indoor and outdoor emergency phones are available on CPSO’s website at pdx.edu/cpso.

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