Department of Public Safety

Police Transparency & Accountability

We work diligently in our efforts to develop and maintain positive community relations and trust with the diverse community we serve at Brown.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) believes in fair and impartial policing and takes a proactive role in promoting agency integrity and transparency. Over the past 10 years, DPS has undertaken a number of transformative changes with a community-centered approach, to provide valuable training, police accountability, and principles focused on 21st Century Policing

DPS works diligently to build and sustain trust and positive relationships with the diverse community we serve at Brown. As communities all across the country continue to deal with racial unrest and police reform, we support the University's urge to confront racial injustice. We also recognize that there is always room for improvement within our organization. We will continue to work towards our commitment in establishing and building positive and respectful community relations, especially with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Towards this effort are several core principles that will allow us to be open and transparent as we serve and safeguard this community.

The Brown University Department of Public Safety has categorized training subject matter into six main areas. These areas are Implicit Bias/Racial Profiling, Diversity, Community Policing, De-Escalation/Communications Skills, Policy/Procedural Justice, and Use of Force. The department’s core annual training program is for both new and experienced officers to further their professionalism within the agency. Our ongoing training program ensures that personnel are kept up to date with new laws, and develop the skills necessary to foster positive interactions with the community.

To view the list of trainings, please visit Training and Education for Police and Public Safety Officers.

In 2016, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) launched its Department Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DDIAP) Working Group to explore the department’s strengths and areas of focus as it relates to diversity and inclusion within the department, and also in the context of our engagement with diverse student, staff, and faculty constituencies at Brown. DPS is committed to achieving a diverse workplace that supports the diverse community within Brown University. We understand that having a diverse group of personnel will have the capacity to foster trust with the community we serve as well as to inform and enrich our organizational climate. 

The Department of Public Safety’s vision is to enhance the safety and security of the Brown Community by forming community partnerships. A partnership between a community and its police is one that creates an environment that is free from fear, one that is civil and respectful; which creates an environment for learning and creativity.

A copy of DPS’ DIAP can be found by logging onto the Office of Institutional, Equity, and Diversity website where the document is listed under Department of Public Safety.

DPS has adopted procedural justice as a guiding principle and strives to create a culture of transparency and accountability. Below, please find quick information on the most commonly cited procedures. If you have questions or recommendations regarding these procedures, please contact Quiana Young, Director of Advocacy, Engagement, and Communications.

a. Undocumented and DACAmented Community Members

What happens if DPS is contacted by ICE or other Federal organizations regarding an undocumented community member?

DPS neither inquires about nor acts upon information related to immigration status of undocumented or DACAmented community members, and does not partner with federal or state agencies to do so. 

As a matter of practice, no individual being stopped by a member of DPS shall be requested to provide their immigration status during a routine field interview or traffic stop. In addition, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records, including DPS incident reports which are considered part of FERPA. 

The City of Providence prohibits the Providence Police Department from arresting a person based solely on their immigration status. However, Providence Police will arrest on all federal criminal warrants. 

For more information, please contact Lt. John A. Carvalho or Quiana Young, Director of Advocacy, Engagement, and Communications, at Brown’s Department of Public Safety.

What should I do if I am approached on or off-campus by immigration officials?

If immigration authorities are on campus, or if you are detained off-campus at any time as a result of immigration status, please contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) immediately at 863-3322. DPS will contact the relevant University officials. If a Brown employee is approached by federal, state or local law enforcement seeking information about a member of the Brown community, the Brown employee should contact DPS at 863-3322 and the Office of General Counsel's Deputy Counsel James Green at 863-3122.

What if I have other questions about general support for undocumented and DACAmented students at Brown University (including legal, financial, academic, and emotional support)?

The Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student (U-FLi) Center continues to be the main hub of support for undocu-plus students seeking resources at Brown University. Students, staff, and faculty who have questions or concerns should contact the center staff directly, Julio Reyes or Renata Mauriz, who bring a depth of knowledge and experience to supporting undocumented and DACAmented students.

b. Citizen Complaints 

DPS is committed to providing quality services to the community in a professional and courteous manner. It is the policy of the department to accept and investigate all complaints against the department, or its employees. Once a complaint is received, it is thoroughly investigated. Every complaint is reviewed by the Chief of Police.

Please view the Making Citizen Comments, Complaints & Inquiries - FAQs page. For bias-related incidents, you also have the option of using the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity’s Bias Incident Reporting tool.

c. Pedestrian and Vehicle Stop Data

It is the policy of the Brown University Department of Public Safety to patrol in a professional, impartial, and unbiased manner.

In 2006, the Department of Public Safety launched a proactive Field Stop Integrity Initiative to monitor and analyze the level of activity surrounding all pedestrian and motor vehicle stops conducted by DPS Officers. The Proactive Integrity Initiative encompasses the following key principles: 

∙ Collecting and analyzing citizen/field stop data 

∙ Consistent efforts to sustain accountability and supervision of personnel 

∙ Implementation of strategies that prevent biased-based policing 

As part of our initiative, DPS has established an inquiry process that allows members of the community to request information about their interaction with a DPS Officer if they are unsure of the reason or validity of a stop. This may be accomplished by filing an inquiry form found on our website, which will provide us with details of the stop and a way to contact them.             

d. Your Rights and Responsibilities When Interacting with Law Enforcement

Please view the brochure which is designed to increase your understanding of how to respond if you are stopped by an officer.

e. Community Survey

DPS completes a survey every two years to solicit feedback from the community. Results can be viewed via the 2021 DPS Community Survey Report and the 2019 DPS Community Survey Report.

Two external entities are in place to audit the work of the Department of Public Safety and ensure community input on DPS’ policies, procedures, and practices. They are as follows:

a. Public Safety Oversight Committee (PSOC)

The Public Safety Oversight Committee (PSOC) was established to serve in an advisory capacity to the Executive Vice President for Planning & Policy and the Chief of Police for the purpose of reviewing the practices, policies, and procedures of the Department of Public Safety, and making policy recommendations where appropriate.

b. Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)

The Department of Public Safety is 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 best practices. Each year, the department must keep records to demonstrate its work in meeting these standards.

To make a comment on the performance of the agency, please visit the Accreditation Public Comment Portal