About the Department
The Rice University Security Department was organized in July of 1967. The department consisted of a Chief, five officers, one dispatcher, student assistants and two contract security guards. The department was created in answer to incidents that contract security did not handle to the satisfaction of the administration.
In 1969, legislation was passed through the State of Texas Legislature allowing private universities to create a Police Department and hire licensed police officers. In 1970, the department became a Police Agency.
Initially, the department, under the leadership of H. R. "Ike" Rhodes, was responsible for security of buildings and gathering of information on incidents occurring on campus and had little to do with student conduct. During the student unrest of the early 70's, Rice University had it's share of disagreement and demonstrations. With limited staffing, the personnel met the challenges with good judgment and continued to grow in size and proficiency.
Director Rhodes remained head of the department until his retirement in 1989. A chief's position was created in 1985 and it was filled by Mary M. Voswinkel who had been Assistant Director since 1978.
The department reached staffing of sixteen licensed officers by 1978. Since that time, the department has continued to progress in training and technology available to the department. In 1994, an extensive assessment of all phases of security on campus was initiated. Resulting from the in-depth look, nine officers, including a crime prevention and training officer, were added. The department has responsibility for traffic and parking control and enforcement with five staff members devoting full time to the function.
The nine new officers were hired using an entry level assessment center. The assessors were predominately faculty, staff and students. The selection process was extremely successful. Eight of the officers were assigned to beats in the residential colleges and after a year of service have been found to be highly successful.
Our policy has been to train all officers as crime prevention officers, but the addition of a person to coordinate their efforts has vastly improved this feature. We have increased our participation in orientation activities and now offer RAD training for the women of Rice. All of our state mandated training is now offered in-house, as well as our crime prevention and multi-cultural diversity training. We cosponsored a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design course instructed by the Crime Prevention Institute and an Executive Protection and Event Planning Conference with the State Department during the summer of 1996.
Our AuthorityUnder the Texas Education Code, Subchapter E, Chapter 51, Rice University is authorized to operate its own police department. The department is staffed by 25 licensed and commissioned police officers, 4 security guards, 5 dispatchers, 2 ticket writers, and 4 support personnel. Officers patrol the campus twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
All police officers have completed their training at a state-approved police academy and have the same authority and power as any other police agency within the State of Texas. Police officers enforce all applicable federal, state, county, and city laws as well as university regulations.
The People We ServeRice University enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students. The university employs 449 full-time, 135 part-time, and 155 adjunct and emeriti faculty as well as approximately 1,400 staff personnel. Of the approximate 4,100 students, 2,000 of them live on the 300 acre campus. The very successful School of Continuing Studies attracts an additional 8000 students each year and the campus hosts nearly a million visitors for various events, functions and games.
What We DoRice University Police Department takes the lead in providing a safe environment for the university community by protecting life and property. To achieve this protection, RUPD maintains patrols to deter and detect crime, to report fires and safety hazards, and to control traffic on campus.
The police department is also responsible for investigating all crimes that occur on campus. To ensure the security of the campus, it is important that members of the community promptly report all crimes and emergencies, including personal injuries, fire and traffic accidents to the University Police. If requested by the complainant, RUPD will either file charges with the district attorney or describe the options for handling the matter.
The mission of the Rice University Police Department is to provide a safe and secure environment so as to further the education process. This will be done through the protection of life and property. To achieve this, the departmental services will be organized and implemented in a way that maintains the dignity of those served. The department is charged with the responsibility of (1) protecting the constitutional rights of members of the community, (2) the enforcement of institutional regulations, local, state and federal laws, (3) the creation of maintenance of a feeling of security in the community, (4) the identification and elimination of hazards and of opportunities for crime, (5) the establishment of effective crime prevention programs, in which the institutional community is educated to protect life an property, and (6) the maintenance of protective patrol to deter and detect fire and safety hazards, and to prevent traffic accidents and congestion. In all functions members of the department have a public relations role in rendering information and assistance to faculty, staff, students and visitors.
© 2013 Rice Unversity
Rice University Police Department
6100 Main Street MS-551, Houston TX 77005-1892 • p:713-348-6000 f:713-348-5156 • firstname.lastname@example.org