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VCU statement on the relationship with Richmond Police

Thursday, June 25, 2020

There has been a call by members of our community and others to “sever ties” with the Richmond Police Department. Therefore, it is important to clarify the operational relationship between VCU and the Richmond Police Department.

The Richmond Police Department has law enforcement jurisdiction across the City of Richmond, including VCU’s Monroe Park and MCV campuses. That authority is provided and guaranteed by the City (not VCU) and allows Richmond Police to enforce the law on all city streets, sidewalks and spaces on our campuses. 

Even so, the VCU Police Department is almost exclusively the public safety agency called on by members of our community when there are safety concerns on our core campuses. The department’s primary goal is to keep VCU students, faculty, staff and visitors safe. So far this year, the department has responded to about 10,000 calls for service and incidents, ranging from traffic accidents, property damage and disorderly conduct to more serious issues such as assault, breaking and entering, and robbery. 

Promoting a safe environment for all members of our community is a responsibility we take very seriously. We encourage our community to contact VCU Police because our team is highly trained and is experienced in serving the needs of a higher education community. VCU manages its own law enforcement training academy, policies and protocols, as well as establishes its own operational priorities, separate from other local law enforcement agencies. The department remains committed to safety, community policing, community engagement and continuous improvement. As noted in the message shared by VCU leadership on June 16, VCU will work with the VCU community on a new model in an effort to equitably and more holistically foster the safety and well-being of individuals on our campuses. 

Community members with concerns regarding the Richmond Police Department may share them using this form or alternatively contact their City Council representative or the Mayor’s office. VCU encourages police agencies everywhere to focus on safety, wellness and fair and humane treatment for all.