Department of Public Safety

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The Department of Public Safety exists to ensure that Kennesaw State University remains a safe and secure community, conducive to the free exchange of ideas within an academic setting.


Concern about personal safety in today's world makes sense. Too often we hear or read about crimes to life and property. Although university campuses seem in some ways as secure as a small town, no campus is immune from crime.

Fortunately, Kennesaw State University has one of the lowest crime rates among colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia. The Department of Public Safety at KSU is commited to preserving that record. That's why we have prepared this information - to inform students, faculty, staff and parents about our efforts to keep the campus safe and sound.


The KSU Department of Public Safety maintains a force of 36 Georgia POST certified police officers, whose duties include enforcing State and Federal laws and local ordinances;, preventing and investigating crimes;, providing security;, and encouraging safety awareness. Officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Security Officers provide additional security by patrolling parking lots and buildings, assisting motorists, and providing safety escorts.


All KSU police officers have the power of arrest and the authority to enforce all laws. Their jurisdiction includes the entire campus and extends 500 yards outside any property owned and controlled by the state Board of Regents. If an offense occurs within the officers' jurisdiction, they can leave this area to pursue the offender.


All KSU law-enforcement personnel annually receive in-service and specialized training in fire arms qualifications, criminal-law procedures, first responder for medical emergencies, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, crime-scene search, report writing, and interpersonal communications. In 2012, KSU Police officers completed more than 5816 hours of training. Several members of the department belong to professional police organizations and are instructors at the regional police academy.


The department has established open lines of communication with nearby law enforcement agencies and maintains on-going relationships with them, so that information about criminal investigations may be exchanged and any assistance needed may be obtained. A Memo of Understanding (MOU) exists with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office that indicates that the Sheriff's Office will provide investigative support to the KSUPD, when necessary. A Mutual Aid Agreement exists with Cobb County Police, who are the local law enforcement agency that has concurrent jurisdiction with the KSU DPS, as well as those law enforcement agencies that have official non-campus land or facilities within their jurisdiction. Under the mutual aid agreement, Cobb County PD will assist with investigations if requested by KSU DPS. Constant contact with other law enforcement agencies is also maintained through the Georgia Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center computer terminal. The terminal also provides important data on wanted persons, drivers license information and criminal history information.


While classes are in session, Kennesaw State University, with the exception of the residence halls, is open to students, parents, employees, contractors, guests and invitees. During the normal business hours and into the evening hours for night classes and activities, access to KSU facilities is through unlocked doors or key locks, along with a card access system deployed at KSU, where applicable. After hours, which includes when classes and events are completed, KSU DPS officers make rounds and secure doors by locking them. Persons wanting to enter the building after hours must have approved card access and use University issued swipe cards. In the case of periods involving extended closing times, the University will admit only those with prior written approval or approval from public safety to enter the facilities.

Security cameras are placed at strategic locations around the campus, most in facilities for safety reasons, and most of the parking decks. Specific building interior corridor facilities have interior cameras focused on areas of higher risk, such as facility entrances, elevators and telecommunication rooms. These cameras are not actively monitored, but all footage is saved on a digital feed for at least 12 days, however all cameras monitoring cash handling functions have 30 days of memory. Cameras are checked routinely through visual confirmation to ensure the component is working via the central monitoring station.

Employees of the University (faculty and staff) may be present in buildings after hours provided that they have a background check on file. Student assistants may be present in the building as well as long as a background check has been performed within the last two years. Exemptions from background checks may be approved in writing by the President or his designee. Public Safety is responsible for verifying the eligibility of student assistants to stay in closed buildings after hours. Academic programs that require after-hours access by graduate students must inform their students that a background check is a requirement for gaining after-hours access; however, it cannot be used as a requirement for admission to any academic program. The University System of Georgia Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual provides additional information about background investigations.

Police officers regularly patrol all campus facilities to maintain security and inspect all doors and locks to ensure they are properly maintained.

Upon University closure due to inclement weather (i.e., snow or icy conditions) or other instances where sheltering-in is required, KSU employees may stay in a building after it has been locked. In certain instances of inclement weather that do not require a campus closure (i.e., tornado watch or warning), egress from campus buildings will be discouraged and all employees will be asked to gather in their designated storm shelter areas.

Residence halls are managed through a cooperative relationship between the KSU Department of Residence Life and KSUF Housing Management, LLC, a private subsidiary of the KSU Foundation. KSU Department of Residence Life and KSUF Housing Management LLC provide operational oversight for maintenance, housekeeping, and key distribution and management. KSU Residence Life provides oversight for emergency and crisis response and safety and security programming.

The locking mechanisms in the residential communities vary based on the design of the facility.

  • KSU Place - Each apartment is secured through deadbolt locks and keys for both unit and individual bedroom doors.

  • University Place - Each apartment/unit door is secured through an electronic door access system. Each bedroom door is secured with a deadbolt and key system.

  • University Village - Access to the facility and to apartment/unit doors is secured through an electronic door system. Each bedroom dooris secured with a deadbolt and key system.

  • University Village Suites - The facility uses a deadbolt and key system to secure individual bedrooms. Interior corridors and unit doors are secured through an electronic door access system. The main lobby also uses an electronic door system, but those doors are open during specific daytime hours of the week.

  • Card Access systems are different than the KSU main campus Key Card system. Only the University Village Suites maintains a desk operation although sworn police officers and non-sworn security officers patrol the grounds. This desk is staffed 24 hours a day by KSUF Housing Management, LLC or KSU Residence Life personnel. Other community areas are staffed by a resident assistant in evening hours. Residence Life staff members are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to student needs. An emergency maintenance person is on call 24 hours a day to handle all lock and key problems.

    Door-to-door solicitation and distribution of leaflets by individuals or organizations other than KSU Residence Life or KSUF Housing Management, LLC is prohibited. Delivery vendors are not granted facility access and students are expected to meet those vendors at the exterior entries to receive order items.


    Facilities and landscaping are maintained in a manner that minimizes hazardous conditions. KSU DPS regularly patrols the campus and reports malfunctioning lights and other unsafe physical conditions to Facilities Management for correction. Other members of the University community are helpful when they report equipment problems to KSU DPS or to Facilities Management. The Office of Residence Life works closely with residential buildings to ensure that exterior doors are secure and that any maintenance issues are responded to promptly. KSU DPS, when in residential spaces, responds to security issues by un-propping doors and responding to security related calls.


    Facilities Kennesaw State University does not have off-campus organizations or housing, but student organizations may sponsor an event, such as a dance, at an off campus facility. At those times, a Kennesaw State University police officer may be assigned to the event for security purposes. If a Kennesaw State University police officer is not present, the local law-enforcement agency will be responsible for responding to a crime or incident, but individuals are encouraged to report any problems to the KSU Police.


    A timely warning notice is considered for distribution to the KSU community for all Clery Act crimes that are (1) reported to Campus Security Authorities or local police and (2) determined by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees.

    The decision to issue a timely warning shall be decided on a case-by-case basis. The decision is made by the Chief of Police or his designee or the VP of Strategic Security and Safety considering all available facts, including whether the crime is considered to be a serious or continuing threat to students or employees. Certain specific information may be withheld from a Warning if there is a possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts, but if a crime occurs that would pose a serious or continuing threat to the KSU community, a timely warning notice would be distributed to the campus community. Timely warning notices are typically distributed to the KSU community via blast email.

    Timely warning notices are usually distributed for the following Uniformed Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) classifications: arson, criminal homicide, and robbery. Cases of aggravated assault and sex offenses are considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts of the case and the information known by KSU Police. For example, if an assault occurs between two students who have a disagreement, there may be no on-going threat to other KSU community members and a timely warning notice would not be distributed. The KSU Police Chief or designee reviews all KSU Police reports to determine if there is an on-going threat to the community and if the distribution of a timely warning notice is warranted. Timely warning notices may also be posted for other crime classifications, as deemed necessary.

    The KSU Police are primarily responsible for the determining the content and distributing of a timely warning notice to the community and such notifications are distributed via official KSU email. If the Department of Public Safety is unable to distribute the notice, the Office of Strategic Security and Safety is also authorized and trained to develop and distribute a timely warning notice to the community.


    Consistent with the Clery Act requirements, the KSU DPS maintains a Daily Crime Log that records, listed by the date the incident was reported, all crimes and other serious incidents that occur: on campus; in a non-campus building or property owned or operated by the University or its students "in a reasonably contiguous geographic area"; on public property within, adjacent to, or immediately accessible from the campus; or within the departmentís patrol jurisdiction. The Daily Crime Log is available for public inspection at the department or online at Public Crime Logs.html.

    The Daily Crime Log includes the nature, date, time and general location of each crime reported to the department, as well as its disposition. The department posts incidents in the Daily Crime Log within two business days of receiving a report of an incident, and, in accordance with the Clery Act requirements, may exclude incidents from the log in certain circumstances, particularly those in which inclusion may compromise the investigation. Limited information may be temporarily withheld if it could jeopardize and on-going investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, result in the destruction of evidence, if the disclosure is prohibited by law, or if the disclosure would compromise the confidentiality of the victim.


    The KSU Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is designed to provide a resource for Kennesaw State University personnel, administrators, students and to include Crisis Coordinators in assisting with information and guidelines in planning and responding in a crisis. While the Plan does not cover every conceivable contingency situation, it does supply the basic administrative guidelines necessary to cope with most campus emergencies.

    All Campus administrators, especially those whose responsibilities and authority include the operational areas specified in the manual, must adhere to these guidelines. Only those University administrators responsible for directing and/or coordinating emergency operations may approve exception(s) to these crisis management procedures as required to fulfill the emergency response. This document contains the procedures to test emergency response and evacuation procedures on an annual basis.

    The AVP for Strategic Security & Safety (SSS) will be responsible for annual review of these procedures with input from the Director of Environmental Health Safety (EHS) and the Public Safety Director.

    The University's Emergency Action Plan, located at, contains "best practices" and information about Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community; University emergency procedures; pre-emergency planning and performance expectations; "shelter in place" and evacuation guidelines; and local contingency and continuity planning requirements. University departments are responsible for developing contingency plans and continuity of operations plans for their staff and areas of responsibility. The University conducts numerous emergency response exercises each year, such as table-top exercises and tests of its emergency notification system, the KSU Alert System (immediate notification), on campus. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution. Public safety officers and supervisors have received training in Incident Command and Responding to Critical Incidents on Campus. When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, the first responders to the scene are KSU DPS, Cobb County Police, local fire responders, and emergency medical services. All departments typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other University departments and other local or federal agencies could also be involved in responding to the incident. General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures for Kennesaw State University are publicized each year as part of the institution's Clery Act compliance efforts (Safe and Sound publication), and that information is available on the University's Department of Public Safety website at


    Sheltering in provides protection from external hazards minimizes the chance of injury and/or provides the time necessary to allow for a safe evacuation. This should be done by selecting a small, interior room if possible, with no or as few windows as possible. When authorities issue directives to shelter-in-place, do not walk outdoors, take refuge indoors immediately.

    A Shelter-in-place order may be issued for several reasons:

  • Active Shooter

  • Severe weather

  • Hazardous materials

  • Civil Unrest

  • Hostage situation

  • Or any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid any outside threat.

    When this occurs:

    1. Remain CALM.
    2. Faculty should recommend to students and others not to leave or go outside.
    3. If you are in dorm rooms, remain there.
    4. Select a small interior room with no or few windows as possible.
    5. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings that lead to the outside.
    6. Stay away from all windows, doors.
    7. Plant Operations personnel or trained Crisis Coordinators should shut down all building ventilation fans and air conditioners, when and if appropriate.
    8. If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
    9. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or air vents.
    10. Room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit down comfortably.
    11. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms when necessary.

    For severe weather and civil unrest:

    1. Stay inside and move away from windows.
    2. Close and lock all exterior doors and offices.
    3. For extreme weather, relocate to lower levels in the building

    For external chemical, biological or radiological incidents:

    1. Stay inside and move to an inner corridor or office.
    2. Plant Operations personnel or trained Crisis Coordinators may shut down all building ventilation fans and air conditioners, when necessary and appropriate.
    3. Since many chemical agents are heavier than air, and tend to hold close to the ground move to higher levels of the building if possible to reduce the transfer of contaminated air from outside to inside.
    4. Remain alert for instructions and updates as they become available from the emergency personnel and university administrators.

    How to evacuate:

    At the sound of a fire alarm or if you are instructed to evacuate, leave your work area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit, and leave the building. If you are the first to recognize a fire situation, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit, and notify Police Emergency at ext. 6666 or dial 770-423-6666.

    1. Remain Calm
    2. Do NOT use Elevators, Use the Stairs.
    3. Assist the physically impaired. If he/she unable to exit without using an elevator, secure a safe location near a stairwell, and immediately inform KSU Police or the responding Fire Dept. of the individual's location.
    4. Proceed to a clear area at least 150 feet from the building. Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
    5. Make sure all personnel are out of the building.
    6. Do not re-enter the building.

    Muster and Head Count

    Individuals in leadership positions should attempt to account for students, faculty, staff, and visitors who are under their supervision at the time of the evacuation. Those positions may include:

  • Faculty or Instructors in the classroom

  • Crisis Coordinators

  • Office Managers

  • Supervisors

  • Once you have assembled at your designed meeting place, conduct a reasonable accounting of personnel. Inform Public Safety officials or Crisis Coordinators if someone is unaccounted for, or if you suspect someone did not exit the building, and inform them of the missing person's last known whereabouts.


    KSU will immediately distribute emergency notification warnings to the campus community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation on campus involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. Examples of emergencies that would warrant such a notification include but are not limited to: an active shooter on campus, hostage/barricade situation, a riot, bomb threat, a tornado, a fire/explosion, suspicious death, structural damage to a university-owned or controlled facility, biological threat (anthrax, etc), significant flooding, a gas leak, or a significant hazardous materials release.

    Authorization of the KSU Emergency Notification Systems:

    The AVP for Strategic Security and Safety is primarily responsible for making the recommendation to the Vice President of Business Operations for initiation of the Emergency Notification System or in the event of an immediate need , determining the segment of the community to receive the notification if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population) and activating the system to all students and employees registered after confirming a significant emergency or dangerous situation has indeed occurred. Emergencies on campus are typically confirmed by the Department of Public Safety, in consultation with other offices such as the Office for Strategic Security and Safety, Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Office of the Dean of Student Success, Student Health, the National Weather Service and fire departments. KSU DPS is also authorized to activate the systems in an emergency situation. The KSU DPS or the AVP for Strategic Safety and Security will determine the content of the notification by selecting from the templates existing in the Connect-Ed system based on the emergency type and may alter language based on the facts and circumstances that present. The AVP SSS will then notify the Director of University Relations who, in turn, will notify local media outlets to provide information to the larger community. The Chief of Police or his designee or the AVP for the Department of Strategic Security and Safety or his designee will be responsible for disseminating the following notifications using some or all of the below listed systems when activation is required and to provide follow up information regarding the emergency as needed:

  • Activate the Connect-ED Emergency Notification System (text, email, telephone calls to registered users)

  • Deploy the Emergency Broadcast Alert Popup Override System

  • Post closure or other information on the KSU Campus Advisory Webpage (

  • Activate the Early Warning Siren System when necessary

  • Place a recorded telephone message on the University Information Phone-Line at (770-423-6000), if necessary.

  • To learn more about KSU Alert go to



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    All Rights Reserved.

    Kennesaw State University
    1000 Chastain Road
    Kennesaw, GA 30144
    Phone: (770) 423-6000