Campus Safety and Security

Berea College Public Safety (at 985-3333 or ext. 3333) is the central point of contact for all matters related to the safety of the College community and all issues related to personal security and protection of property.

Berea College has developed policies and procedures, offers educational programs, cooperates with local law enforcement agencies, and supports a Department of Public Safety to enhance the safety and security of its students, employees, and guests. The College recognizes shared responsibility for the welfare of the community and reminds students and employees of their personal responsibility to take prudent precautions and to inform others, especially Public Safety, about known safety hazards or security concerns.

Criminal, threatening, or suspicious activity, as well as injury or serious illness, should be reported promptly by calling Public Safety.

Officers have direct 24-hour radio contact with Berea and Madison County emergency response personnel and can contact other agencies for assistance when conditions necessitate. Telephone ext. 911 is used only for confirmed emergency situations that require the immediate assistance of Berea City Police, Berea Fire Department, and Madison County Ambulance Service. Please use discretion and call only in cases of an emergency. If 911 is dialed in error, please stay on the line and let the operator know that it is not an emergency.

Public Safety officers provide on-campus escorts to students who find themselves out on campus late at night and feel concern for their safety.

The persons recognized by the institution as Campus Security Authorities have a responsibility to report to Public Safety any known reportable crime within 24 hours of becoming aware of the situation. In addition to the Public Safety Director and all professional security staff members, the following are recognized Campus Security Authorities:

  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Associate Vice President for Student Life
  • Associate Dean of Student Life and Members of the Student Life Team
  • Residence Hall Student Staff
  • Faculty and staff advisors to clubs and organizations
  • Director, Black Cultural Center
  • Director, Associate Director, and International Student Advisor of the International Student Center
  • Athletics Director and Coaches for: Baseball, Women’s Softball, Women’s Golf, Volleyball, Women’s Track, Men’s Track, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Cross Country, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, Country Dancers, Swimming, Dance Group, Cheerleading
  • Intramural Director and Athletic Trainers
  • Trio Program Director and Upward Bound Director
  • Students for Appalachia Director, CELTS, and Project HEAL Staff members
  • College Deans
  • Director of Academic Services
  • Members of the Administrative Committee
  • Director, First-Year Programs

The Public Safety Director is the person responsible for the proper notification to State Fire Marshall’s Office for all fires and threats of fire.

Safety alerts to campus of potentially threatening situations

When an incident occurs that may have a bearing on the present safety of the campus community, the College, within 24 hours of the first report of the incident, notifies members of the campus community. Information on the type of incident and threat is given, along with recommended prudent safety practices and procedures related to the incident. Information is sent directly to students, faculty, and staff members by the E2 Notification System (text via cell phone), and use of the College e-mail system. Depending on the perceived needs at the time, the school may additionally choose to post written notices in residence halls, distribute information through the College Web site, post information in the Berea College Post Office or notify through the E2 Notification Systems or other appropriate media. The community is urged to heed any advisories issued by the institution and work together in the joint effort of making the campus a safe place to live, work, and learn.

While students are members in the general society and academic community, they are expected to abide by each communities' standards. Berea College makes no attempt to shield its students from consequences of their actions, thus, status as a Berea student does not exempt anyone from local, state, or federal laws. In fact, being a member of an educational institution imposes an additional obligation to abide by all the rules of the institution, as well. Laws and the College’s conduct rules operate independently, though Public Safety and law enforcement agencies work cooperatively. When a crime has been committed, the College is obligated to notify the proper authorities so they may discharge their duty under the law. In such a case, the law does not substitute for Berea College’s rules and the College may pursue its own procedures for adjudicating alleged violations of the College’s conduct rules independent of any legal proceedings. Public Safety reports to the appropriate department on violations of College policies and regulations.

Public Safety Escorts

Escorts to and from on-campus locations will be given to students, faculty, staff, and visitors for safety concerns, after dark, and for medical reasons. The intent of this service is to provide members of the College community with safe transportation who are either physically unable to traverse the campus or are concerned for their safety.  These escorts are only provided to and from locations on Berea College’s Campus and Public Safety Officers do not give escorts to or from off-campus locations.

Safety Escorts

Public Safety will provide escorts for up to two people after dark or for serious concerns for one’s safety or imminent harm.  These escorts may be provided using carts or patrol vehicles, or Public Safety Officer may provide a walking escort.  Because escorts are provided for safety reasons only, groups of three or more people requesting an escort may be denied. 

Medical Escorts

Public Safety provides escorts as a service to the community and aids those with physical ailments in traversing the campus, when possible.  Public Safety will provide escorts for those with short term injuries for a limited time.  Individuals with long-term needs (e.g. physical disabilities, broken ankles, torn ACL, etc.) will need to make arrangements for transportation or parking privileges through Disability Services or Student Life.  Specific needs for transportation (inability to get into patrol vehicles or tall carts) should be communicated with Public Safety Dispatch at the time of escort request.  Requests for transportation should be made at the time the transportation is needed, and cannot be scheduled ahead of time.  Public Safety cannot guarantee that an officer will be immediately available due to emergency response, so those with time sensitive appointments should plan accordingly.

General Information

Public Safety staff responds to all calls for escorts as quickly as possible.  However, due to staffing and service demands, there may be delays in response due high-priority emergency response.  Those requesting escorts should be at the pick-up location at the time of call.  The Public Safety Officer responding to the call may choose to wait on the caller, however they are not required to do so. It is the responsibility of the caller to be present when the Public Safety Officer arrives.  Public Safety reserves the right to deny escorts at their discretion due to callers not being present at officer arrival, disruptive behavior, or abuse of the service.   When the service for escorts is abused or fraudulently obtained, it could put the campus at risk by taking Public Safety away from regular patrols and other important safety and security matters. 

Some Safety DOs and DON’Ts

General Campus Safety

  • Don’t walk alone late in the evening.
  • Don’t study alone in classroom buildings at night.
  • Do walk in well-lit areas.
  • Do walk with confidence and self-assurance.
  • Do know where phones in the area are located.
  • Do read all caution and warning labels on containers.

Vehicle Safety

  • Do wear your safety belt.
  • Don’t travel alone for long distances.
  • Do carry keys to the vehicle in-hand for quick access to car if necessary.
  • Do park in well-lit areas.

Bike Safety

  • Do record serial numbers, the make, and the model.
  • Do lock bike to bike racks.
  • Do engrave your name or Student ID number on bike.
  • Do cross the street at crosswalks.
  • Do wear a helmet.

Residence Halls

  • Do lock your room door, even if you plan to be away only a short period of time.
  • Do record serial numbers on all electronic equipment.
  • Do unprop and close any residence-hall doors found open.
  • Do report immediately any suspicious activity or crime you observe.
  • Do avoid placing yourself in dangerous situations.

Fire Prevention

  • Don’t attempt to exit a room if door handle is hot or smoke is in the hall.
  • Don’t use a fire extinguisher on other than very small fires (example: trash cans)
  • Do activate fire alarm pull station immediately.
  • Do become familiar with fire evacuation procedures posted on residence-hall doors.
  • Do know where fire extinguishers and pull stations are located.
  • Do call ext. 3333 or 911 when alarm sounds in any building.

Crosswalk Safety

  • Don’t enter a crosswalk if the “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing.
  • Do cross only at crosswalks and whenever possible, cross only at signaled crosswalks.
  • Do wait until traffic stops before entering a crosswalk.
  • Do push the button once to request a “Walk” signal.
  • Don’t expect the “Walk” signal immediately.
  • Do remember that motorists also are trying to get somewhere and we need mutual respect in these busy intersections.

The College produces an annual report of campus crime statistics and security policies and procedures, available at their office on the first floor of Woods-Penniman Hall, or online at http://www.berea.edu/public-safety/campus-information/campuscrimestatistics/. (Also see Residence Hall Rules and Regulations, and the Department of Public Safety.)

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