Why does Bridgewater State University have its own police department?
Bridgewater State University wants its students, faculty, staff, and visitors to have the safest environment possible in which to learn, live, work, and enjoy recreational activities. Having our own police department helps to ensure that we can provide a high level of protection and service to the campus community.
Who is in charge of the police department?
Chief of Police David Tillinghast is the police department's commanding officer. The deputy chief, captain, and two lieutenants assist Chief Tillinghast in the management of the department.
How many police officers are on staff?
At any one time, there are approximately twenty one full-time sworn officers (of all ranks) assigned to the department. The department also employs a variety of support staff members, including communications dispatchers, clerical staff, reserve police officers, parking lot monitors, and student employees.
What authority do the officers have?
The officers of the Bridgewater State University Police Department are empowered by state law with full police authority. Officers have the same law enforcement authority as police officers in your city or town.
How are the officers trained?
All officers are required to complete police academy training equivalent to that of city and town officers. Most officers have been trained in one or more of several specialty areas, such as crime prevention, bicycle patrol, etc. Many officers are certified in emergency medical care to the EMT level, and all are certified in CPR and as first response emergency medical care providers.
What services does the department provide?
In addition to providing a full range of law enforcement services, the department provides programs in crime prevention and personal safety, self-defense, and similar programs. We provide motorist assistance, such as portable jump-starting equipment and lockout service. Our University Safety Escort Service is very popular; it augments the university's bus service and provides safe, reliable, on-call transportation on the campus during the evening and early morning hours.
Is the campus safe?
We think that the campus is very safe, but we know that incidents can occur anywhere, at any time, so we work hard to deter incidents, and we respond appropriately when they occur. Community members should be aware of the potential for crime on the campus and take proactive steps to become prepared for campus living.
How can community members better protect themselves on the campus?
The most important thing community members can do is to be aware of their surroundings, and not fall into the trap of believing that no crime can occur on a university campus. We don't want our community members to be paranoid about the potential for crime, just aware, and prepared.
Can I possess or smoke "medical" marijuana on campus?
No: Bridgewater State University must follow the Federal Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and the Drug Free Workplace Act. Anything less than a total ban on all marijuana on campus could jeopardize BSU's federal funding, including many types of financial aid to students.
If you are a "medical" marijuana user, you must store and use you marijuana off-campus. Anyone who possesses or uses marijuana at BSU may, depending on the situation, be cited under state statutes or federally prosecuted, and face university disciplinary action. Students should be aware that marijuana use may also have an adverse impact on future employment, as many employers require drug testing. A conviction can also limit a student's ability to obtain federal financial aid.
Who do I call when there is a problem, or when I need information?
You are always welcome to call the office of the chief of police at 508-531-6140 with a problem or to get information.
Last Modified: March 20, 2013