Department of Public Safety


The department’s mission emphasizes crime prevention, problem solving and joint officer-community responsibility.  

The Brown University Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a fully functioning police department and serves the Brown Community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, patrolling the campus to deter crime, develop community relations, and respond to calls for service and assistance. The department’s mission emphasizes crime prevention, problem solving and joint officer-community responsibility.


The Department of Public Safety consists of over 95 highly trained members who are here to serve you. Our Police and Public Safety Officers are charged with protecting the university community and enforcing university rules and regulations. The Department’s Police Officers are required to attend a state-certified police academy, and are licensed as RI Special Police Officers. DPS Police Officers also enforce the laws of the State of Rhode Island and the Ordinances of the City of Providence and have police jurisdiction on campus and upon the streets and highways adjacent to the campus.


The Department is comprised of two major divisions - The Police Operations Division, which is our largest division, is primarily responsible for crime deterrence, crime investigation, dignitary protection, emergency response and handling routine calls for service. The Patrol Operations Division also staffs and operates a 24-hour state-of-the-art Dispatch Communication Center.

The Center handles all emergency and non-emergency calls for service and dispatches officers via a statewide 800 MHz Radio System.

Our Administrative Services Division is responsible for the strategic and fiscal planning, building security technology, community relations and outreach for the department.  The Administrative Services Division is also responsible for administering the university’s building access and security systems. All residence halls require card access and are equipped with door alarms. When exterior doors are propped open or access is gained illegally, an alarm is generated. This division also includes a Community Relations and Outreach Bureau that coordinates safety and educational programs for members of the community, as well as providing crime victim support and advocacy.

The Department of Public Safety is also a nationally accredited police department through the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), which administers a rigorous accreditation process whereby law enforcement agencies must adhere to over 480 standards, codes and policing state-of-the-art best practices.