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WAU-Safety and Security Department

The Department of Safety and Security (DSS) is a resource and service for Washington Adventist University. The WAU-DSS at WAU can perform its activities in a safe, secure, healthy and environmentally responsible manner by working with our safety partners. Our mission is to provide leadership and outstanding services that enhance the research and Christian education process by integrating excellent safety, security and sustained practices into WAU campus culture. We provide campus security services including: emergency response, investigations, escorts, building security, as well as fire safety inspections and host a CCTV system. DSS is composed of regular security officers as well as auxiliary student officers. Our staff holds certifications in emergency management, fire and life safety inspections, CCTV Specialist and Evidence Specialist. Washington Adventist University, security officer has the authority to ask any individual/person for WAU identification and to determinate whether the individual has lawful business at WAU. WAU-DSS security officers have the authority to issue parking tickets, which are billed to the financial account of students, faculty and staff. Safety and Security officers do not possess arrest power. Criminal incidents are referred to the local police who have jurisdiction on campus. The Safety and Security Department maintains a highly professional working relationship with the Takoma Park Police Department and the Montgomery County Police Department. All crime victims and witnesses are strongly encouraged to immediately report the crime to campus safety and security department and the appropriate police agency. Prompt reporting will assure timely warning notices and timely disclosure of crime statistics and are available to WAU students, employees, prospective students and prospective employees as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security policy and Crime Statistics Act.


Reporting Crimes:

WAU community and Visitor should report all crimes in campus immediately to the DSS or law Enforcement agency that has Jurisdiction. All reports are considered confidential.

There are several ways to report a crime: by calling the Security office, by e-mailing security, and by speaking to a Security Officer by coming to the Security Office. You can also report to a Dean, Office Executive, Counselor, or Faculty Member. In the case of reporting non-security personnel, please contact the Security office.

Emergency Takoma Park Police line 911 or non emergency tel. 301-270-1100
Emergency Montgomery County Police and EMS 911
or non emergency tel. 301-565-7744
Emergency WAU-Safety and Security Dept. line
301-891-4019 or 301-300-0342
 The Department of Safety and Security is located in the General Services building #6, office GS-4, ext. 4019. Security officers can be called in case of emergency at any time at ext. 4911. Security officers are on campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Campus Crime Logs are able to been see or copy 24/7 at the DSS officer located at General Services building #6 GS-4, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park Maryland.

The University provides this information to all students and employees in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. This act requires all higher education institutions to make public their campus security and fire safety policies and reported crime and fire data for the previous three years and disseminates this information to the campus community. The goal of this legislation is to help maintain a safe campus environment by increasing the awareness of crimes committed on campus, the security and fire safety policies in place and crime prevention programs available.

You may view or download a pdf version of the annual security and fire reports below.

For a paper copy, contact the Department of Safety and Security at 301-891-4019  or stop by the Safety and Security Department in General Services building during business hours.


 Crime Prevention

Power Outage/Building Evacuation

In the event of an unexpected power outage (or a planned outage lasting more than 1 hour), the university may call for the cancellation of classes, evacuation of buildings, and orderly shutdown of administrative and computer network systems.

In non-daylight hours, battery-operated emergency lighting will stay on for approximately 15 minutes before batteries are depleted. Gather essential items (wallet, toiletries, etc.) before evacuating to another part of campus or taking other action as directed by Public Safety.

When directed to evacuate buildings:

  • If able to do so safely, help those who need assistance to reach a designated Place of Refuge for Evacuation. Once outside, gave Public Safety the name(s) of those who still need to be evacuated.
  • Shut off switches to as many electrical items as possible and follow evacuation procedures.
  • Use clear, safe escape routes and exits and proceed to the nearest outside Safe Assembly Location.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until directed by university officials.


*Each week a new Crime Prevention procedure will be posted*



Crime Prevention and Awareness presents the following programs to all faculty, staff and students upon request, and at the request of resident assistants, in the residence halls. They address specific needs of the audience and focus on individuals taking personal responsibility for their safety, avoiding unsafe situations, and using Department of Safety and Security services. The sessions (unless otherwise noted) last one to one-and-a-half hours.

  • Who is Public Safety. Introduces students to the functions, purpose, and services of WAU-Department of Safety and Security (DSSS). Offers important phone numbers and educates students on the training, credentials, and authority of Public Safety officers, on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. Also includes descriptions of Public WAU-DSS role in the campus emergency plan.

  • Safety in the City: Educates students about living in an urban setting and using crime prevention skills. Typically customized for the specific audience.

  • Be Safe At Home: Provides students with safety tips and tools for use in their campus residence and around campus. Encourages safe living on campus; tells how to avoid becoming a victim and how to enhance safety during unexpected emergencies.

  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness: Illustrates the effects of alcohol and the dangerous consequences of underage drinking. Additional programs educate students on the hazards of drug use, including, not only the danger to an individual’s and well-being, but the legal ramifications, financial hardships, and social difficulties to which drug use or experimentation can lead.

Dating Violence Awareness: Educates individuals, primarily women, on acquaintance rape and preventive strategies to avoid dangerous dating situations. Educates students on forms of dating violence, such as emotional and sexual abuse.


Crime Prevention and Security Awareness Programs

At any time during the year, the WAU-Department of Safety and Security and Residence Life Services are able and willing to offer student programs concerning personal safety and crime prevention. These programs include safety in the residence halls, safety at parties (off-campus or on-campus), and safety while on the WAU campus. Also, WAU works with various local agencies and the local police department to present various programs for the benefit of the students, faculty, and staff at the university community.

The WAU Safety and Security Department, at all times, stresses the fact that safety starts with the student, faculty, and staff member during the year and during the various programs.

When time is of the essence, information may be sent via the Washington Adventist Univeristy Electronic Notification System, campus e-mail, and/or signs posted around campus.

If anyone would like to schedule a program for their group, they are encouraged to contact the Safety and Security Department at 301-891-4019, or send an e-mail to


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) security assessments are available free to the University community by appointment through the Safety and Security Department's Crime Prevention Officers.


Crime Prevention Officers have had extensive training and are certified to conduct CPTED security evaluations. There are four important CPTED design concepts which are used when conducting a security evaluation of your property or business. Assessments are available for residences, apartment communities, churches, schools, businesses, and other facilities. Below is a brief overview of the four main CPTED design guidelines that our Specialist will utilize in conjunction with other survey elements while conducting your security review:

CPTED Principle #1: Natural Surveillance

Two-way visibility is the overall goal when it comes to CPTED and natural surveillance. A person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it. Appropriate use of lighting, fencing, and landscaping all play an important role in CPTED.


CPTED Principle #2: Natural Access Control

Natural Access Control is more than a high block wall topped with barbed wire. CPTED utilizes the use of walkways, fences, lighting, signs, and landscape to clearly guide people and vehicles to and from the proper entrances. The goal with this CPTED principle is not necessarily to keep intruders out, but to direct the flow of people while decreasing the opportunity for crime.


CPTED Principle #3: Territorial Reinforcement

Creating or extending a "sphere of influence" by utilizing physical designs such as pavement treatments, landscaping, and the use of signs enables users of an area to develop a sense of ownership, and it is also the goal of this CPTED principle. Public areas are clearly distinguished from private ones. Potential trespassers perceive this control and are discouraged.


CPTED Principle #4: Maintenance

CPTED and the "Broken Window Theory" suggests that one "broken window" or nuisance, if allowed to exist, will lead to others and ultimately to the decline of an entire neighborhood. Neglected and poorly maintained properties are breeding grounds for criminal activity. Officers will work with you to develop a CPTED-based maintenance plan to help you preserve your property value and make it a safer place.


For more information on CPTED, please contact the WAU-Safety and Security Department at 301-891-4019, or visit our office located on the WAU campus, Building #6 (General Services), Office GS-4, and ask for the CPTED Specialist.


WAU-DSS: Closed Circuit Television (CCTV):

The WAU-DSS, under the support of the DFS, is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus community by integrating the best practices of private Public Safety with state-of-the-art technology.  A critical component of a comprehensive security plan using state-of-the-art technology is closed circuit television (CCTV). The purpose of CCTV monitoring of public areas by Safety and Security personnel is to deter crime and to assist the Safety and Security Department in protecting the safety and property of the University community.  Any diversion of security technologies and personnel for other purposes (e.g., CCTV monitoring of political or religious activities, or employee and/or student evaluations) would undermine the acceptability of these resources for critical safety goals and is therefore prohibited by this program. Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner.  Personnel involved in video monitoring will be appropriately trained and continuously supervised in the responsible use of this technology.  Violations of the Code of Procedures for video policy referenced in this policy will result in disciplinary action consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees of the University. Information obtained through video monitoring will be used exclusively for security and law enforcement purposes.  Information obtained through video monitoring will only be released when authorized by the Director of Safety and Security and appropriate administrative personnel according to the procedures established.

WAU-DSS-Security Operation Center (future):

WAU-DSS will soon have a Security Operation Center (SOC) to enhance proactive security patrols on and the WAU-DSS CCTV security and security communication systems (Pelco System and Andover Continuum software program), door monitoring status, access control, motion monitoring, fire alarm monitoring, glass break monitoring, security central intercom system, wireless communication and its staff: CCTV Specialist actively monitor live and recorded digital video from more than 100 CCTV cameras strategically placed on the campus. All cameras which are monitored and recorded 24/7, are in common areas. While the majority of cameras are in exterior locations a number are installed in interior spaces. Our Security Specialist provides proactive and reactive service designs to both prevent crime and respond to crimes that occurred in our campus jurisdiction, they have the capability to communicate with our security patrol to respond to any situation that required the safety and security officer attention. They also are responsible of the maintenance and inspection of all the electronic systems in the department. Our CCTV Specialist reviews and retrieves digital video by request of a safety and security officer investigating a crime or incidents. Based on a combination of proactive and reactive services, CCTV Specialist responsibilities will also monitor all fire alarms on campus buildings.


Parking Management Division:

WAU IDs and parking permits are obtained at the Office of Safety and Security. The Safety and Security department, also operates a lost and found service; distributes free pamphlets about campus parking, security, fire and safety; and provides security escort services on campus.

 Parking and Traffic Regulations Brochure

Parking Permits:

If you are a student and you need a parking permit, you will need to do the following:

  1. Make sure you have registered the car online first (at the myWAU website: log in, click on My Registration, then Vehicle Registration, fill out the information, then click "Save."
  2. When you come in to the Security Office to get your parking permit, you need to bring your car registration, car insurance card, financial clearance papers, your driver's license, and your WAU ID.
  3. If you are missing any of the above items, you will not be able to get your WAU parking sticker.

WAU Student/Faculty/Staff ID's

If you are a student, before you can get your WAU ID, you need to have been financially cleared first. Then you need to bring the clearance papers to the Security Office when you want to get your ID.

 Guide to obtaining WAU ID's and Parking Permits brochure

Students, faculty and staff must register their vehicles with the Office of Safety and Security in order to park on the WAU campus. Fill out the form online, then proceed to the Office of Safety and Security, GS-4, to pick up your permit. There is a $35.00 annual fee for students. You must obey all of the traffic laws and parking signs. Vehicles must be in operable condition with current state registration and insurance. A permit does not guarantee parking space. Vehicles found in violation of any of the above requirements are subject to ticketing, booting and or towing and impoundment or any of the previous combinations, at the owner’s expense. A brochure about WAU parking and traffic regulations is available from the Office of Safety and Security. The Office of Safety and Security hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, however campus security is available 7 days a week 24 hours a day, to respond to emergencies, and other inquiries: 301-891-4019.


WAU-DSS-Fire Safety Division

The Fire Safety Division (part of the Safety and Security Department) is responsible for managing the University's compliance with the County and State Fire Prevention Codes and other applicable fire safety laws and standards; providing fire safety education and training; investigating all fires that occur on WAU property; and performing fire and life safety inspections. Life safety is the primary objective of the fire safety program. WAU-DSS is not a government code enforcement power under local and state jurisdictions, but has Certified Fire Inspector and Certified Fire Investigator who applies and enforces the Montgomery County Fire Safety Code and Maryland State Fire Prevention Code. Programs include: monthly fire exit drills (residential halls); fire safety education for students, faculty, and staff; fire inspections of campus buildings; public assembly events; emergency procedure planning and training; fire data analysis; code consultation; general fire safety issue consultation, coordination and issuance of required permits; and fire/arson investigations. Life safety systems (fire alarms, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and generators) are serviced by WAU-Department of Facility Services (DFS) who manages the operations and maintenance of the Life Safety Systems. To report problems call the DFS Information Desk at (301) 891-4161 or 301-801-7201. Note: Our Fire Report Logs and 2012 and 2013 Annual Fire Report are available. A copy is available at DSS Office General Services building # 6 GS-4, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, Maryland. Please review and check the following Policies: Annual Fire Reports, WAU Fire Safety Policy, Hot Work Permit, Training Portable Fire ExtinguishersConfined Space Work Permit, and Confined Space Policy. 

Fire Emergency Telephone No:
Fire Department (Montgomery County Fire and Rescue) Tel. 911
WAU-DSS- Fire Safety Division: Tel. 301-891-4019
Fire Safety Awareness
WAU-Fire Drill Log
Click on the following link to access the 2014 Fire Drill Log
Click on the following link to access the 2015 Fire Drill Log
WAU-Fire Log
Click on the following link to access the 2014 WAU Fire Log
Click on the following link to access the 2015 WAU Fire Log
Click on the following link to access the 2015 Hot Work Permit

WAU-DSS-Occupational Health and Safety Division

The WAU-DSS-Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Division promotes and supports a safe and healthy work environment at the WAU campus by providing leadership, program development, and training and compliance assistance for faculty, staff and employees. Our services include outreach and consultation services for hazard identification, assessment and control; training; development of safe work practices; PPE recommendations; project planning review and accident and injury prevention. Our staff includes professionals with expertise in the areas of Laboratory Safety, Occupational Safety, Indoor Air Quality, and Regulatory Requirements. Please review and check the following Policies: Facility Asbestos Management Plan, and Facility Lead Management Plan, and Air Quality Complaint Program.  

WAU-DSS Emergency Response and Emergency Management Division:

The WAU has adopted the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for all of its emergency and non-emergency events. The adoptions of NIMS will improve the WAU response to emergencies and Hazards. In cases of significant emergency or danger situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of any member of WAU community on campus. WAU policies and procedures provide for WAU-DSS to notify the campus community. Notification will be made for immediate threats to the health or safety when such an emergency is confirmed. WAU-DSS will first determine that such an emergency does exist. The highest ranking university department Director on duty is tasked with determining, on a case-by-case basis, whether a situation exists that requires an emergency notification. This determination is based on the size, scope facts and serious of the incident and the threat of life, health or safety of the circumstances. All segments of the campus community are alerts as appropriate warning. Notification are sent without delay, unless such a message will, in the university Public Communication Officer judgment of WAU, compromise the effort to deal with the emergency or assist a victim. A follow up information will be issued thereafter.WAU Emergency Response Plan (ERP) / Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) identify the campus emergency planning, organization and response policies and procedures. The ERP/EOP is available under (click) WAU-Emergency Response Plan. WAU-DSS officers and the University Administrators use the ERP/EOP to address emergencies and critical incidents that affect WAU Campus. Here is a link for the Emergency Response Plan Overview Sheet.
Click on the following link to access the Special Events Checklist form
Click on the following link to access the Montgomery County Special Events form
 Below is a link for information about the flu, information and other helpful articles.
Emergency Alert Notification System:  
It is the policy of Washington Adventist University Safety and Security Department and Campus Information Technology to alert the campus community to certain crimes and safety/security issues occurring on campus, or in the immediate vicinity of the campus. Generally, this area will include the streets adjacent and/or adjoining campus property. However, nothing in this policy is intended to prevent notifications about incidents occurring outside of this area when they are likely to have a significant impact on members of the university community.
Campus (ITS) Alert* is an emergency notification system that utilizes automatic technology to call phones, send text messages and/or emails to individuals who have registered for the service through the University portal or through a proxy procedure;



To receive up-to-date and live crime alerts, follow the links below and subscribe:

 Montgomery County Alert System

Takoma Park Alert System

Prince George's County Alert System

DC Police Alert System

Dating and Domestic Violence Information:


Dating or domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of ongoing power and control by one dating partner over another. Examples of dating or domestic violence include threatening a partner or their family, coercing them into doing something they don’t want to do, constantly belittling them, controlling what they can and cannot do, deciding who they can go out with and when, isolating them from friends and family, controlling their finances and access to resources, or physically hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, or scratching. Dating and domestic violence can also include sexual violence or stalking.

Domestic violence can happen to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and religions. It occurs in both heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships. While it is important to remember that we all have different cultural practices, beliefs, and experiences that shape our view of what intimate relationships look like, everyone deserves to feel safe and respected.

No one deserves to be abused. Abuse is never the victim’s fault! If you have been the victim of dating or domestic violence, you are not alone. Help is available. Please see the links to the right for resources and for more information about dating and domestic violence.

The HEA defines the new crime categories of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in accordance with section 40002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 as follows:

“Domestic violence” means a “felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by –

  • A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
  • A person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
  • A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner,
  • A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies [under VAWA], or
  • Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.”

“Dating violence” means “violence committed by a person –

  • Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  • Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    • The length of the relationship;
    • The type of relationship; and
    • The frequency of interaction between persons involved in the relationship.”

“Stalking” means “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to –

  • Fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.”

An additional service is provided by DSS-Department of Safety and Security. We have services of a Victim Advocate (Support Operations Specialist), and the description is as follows:

    • Manage all services and personnel working under the department's Support Operations section to include but not limited to Evidence Collection and Victim's and Witness Advocating
    • Providing information on reporting procedures to both on and off campus agencies,
    • Processing reactions to the crime and listening to feeling and concerns
    • Addressing specific issues related to personal safety on and off campus
    • Coordinate with outside resources concerning a change in living arrangements
    • Attending appointment and/or hearing meetings with the victim
    • Contacting others on behalf of the victim with their permission (Dept. Liaison Services)
    • Provide assistance to Command Staff with above listed Support Operations services
    • Manage property room, the collection and storage of evidence
    • Receive lost/found items and manage the storage, follow up, and return of those items
    • Coordinate with campus Mental Health/Counseling departments to provide assistance, information, and counseling for victims and witness of crime or traumatic events.
    • Manage any other services or personnel assigned by the Director to be under the supervision of the Support Operations section.

Our Victim and Witness Advocate is Ms. Melissa Smith, and she is located in the Department of Safety and Security, GS-4, General Service Building #6. You can contact her at (301)891-4019 during business hours, or e-mail at


Montgomery County Dept. of Health and Human Services

Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program (VASAP)

For immediate assistance, call:

240-777-1355 weekdays
240-777-4357 24-hour crisis line
240-777-1347 TTY
240-777-1329 FAX

Contact us by email at


WAU Protection of Minors on Campus

Washington Adventist University (“WAU”) is committed to the safety of all individuals in its community. Particularly, though, WAU has concern for those who are potentially vulnerable, including, but not limited to, minor children, who require special attention and protection. This Protection of Minors on Campus Policy establishes guidelines for those in the WAU community who may work or interact with individuals under eighteen (18) years of age, with the goal of promoting the safety and well-being of minors. Please check the following Policies and Guidelines: Protection of Minors on Campus, Code of Conduct for Interaction with Minors, Safety and Security Protection of Minors, Youth Camp Guidelines and MD For Release of Information/Background Clearance Request. 

Washington Adventist University Campus Map