About Us

The University Police Division (UPD) is an internationally accredited police division, providing the same level of service offered by a municipal police department, as well as other services unique to an academic institution. The division operates twenty-four hours a day, each day of the year. The police division serves approximately 50,000 people on Grounds each day, including students, faculty, staff and visitors both to our academic division and UVA Health facilities. The division partners with our community on and off-Grounds to maximize safety for everyone. UPD has statutory arrest jurisdiction for property owned and controlled by the University as well as the streets and sidewalks adjacent to the property. Through a special agreement with the City of Charlottesville, UPD also exercises secondary jurisdiction in the community contiguous to Grounds. UPD patrols Grounds and the Medical Center by vehicle, bicycle, electric Trikke, motorcycle, and on foot. UPD consists of 170 employees, including sworn police officers certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The department also employs unarmed community service officers, certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. The community service officers do not have arrest powers. The University also employs civilian "ambassadors" through RMC, a private security contractor. Ambassadors patrol areas frequented by students that are located within a portion of the Charlottesville Police Department’s primary jurisdiction and on Grounds. Ambassadors do not have arrest powers. The University Police Division is the primary responder to all calls for service, emergency and otherwise, on Grounds.

The University of Virginia takes great pride in its community, which offers students, faculty and staff many advantages. This community is a great place to live, learn, work and study; however, this does not mean that the University is immune to the kinds of unfortunate circumstances that arise in all communities. With that in mind, the University has taken progressive measures to create and maintain a reasonably safe environment on Grounds. Campuses traditionally have lower crime rates than the locales that host them as a result of collaborative work between the local and university communities. At the University, our community members share a common concern for each other’s well-being. Although the University is progressive with its policies, programs and education, it is up to each one of us to live with a sense of awareness and use reasonable judgment when living, working or visiting on Grounds.

UPD maintains a cooperative relationship with the City of Charlottesville and the Albemarle County police departments. This includes intra-operative radio capability and a joint police records computer system, training programs, special events coordination, joint investigation of serious incidents, and the shared 911 Center. UPD also has well-established and highly functioning relationships with Virginia law enforcement agencies, such as the Virginia State Police and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and several federal agencies, most commonly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the United States Secret Service. The Charlottesville City Police and Albemarle County Police have arrest authority on Grounds as well, although they normally do not exercise this power without notifying or seeking the assistance of the University Police Department. Additionally, UPD often calls on the Charlottesville City Police, Albemarle County Police, Charlottesville City Sheriff’s Office and Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office for assistance with large-scale events on Grounds. During these events, officers and deputies from these four agencies have full arrest powers. However, all four agencies are required to notify UPD upon making an arrest. UPD participates in a mutual aid agreement with other local departments and a cooperative patrol agreement with the City of Charlottesville, which gives University officers jurisdiction in much of the city area surrounding the University. The mutual aid agreements do not apply to the investigation of most criminal cases, as UPD provides the full range of police services. The Code of Virginia also allows the department to provide assistance to, or request assistance from, other Virginia college police departments. UVA and UPD also participate in a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, and other local law enforcement to provide victims of sexual assault with a competent, consistent, sensitive and victim centered response. When assistance has been formally requested, the assisting officers have arrest authority. The University has a mutual aid agreement with the Virginia State Police in compliance with Va. Code Section 23.1-815(C) to define procedures and practices for cooperation in the investigation of any felony sexual assault, medically unattended death or any death resulting from an incident occurring at facilities or upon lands owned or operated by the University. The Charlottesville campus is the only UVA campus with mutual aid agreements and MOUs between the institution and other agencies for the investigation of alleged criminal offenses.

UVA relies on its close working relationships with local law enforcement agencies to receive information about incidents involving UVA students. In coordination with local law enforcement agencies, UPD will actively investigate certain crimes occurring on or near Grounds. However, if UPD learns of criminal activity involving students or student organizations, it will coordinate the external law enforcement agency’s forwarding of information about the situation to the Office of the Deans of Students and/or Title IX Coordinator, as appropriate. All student organizations must abide by federal, state and local laws, as well as University regulations (University of Virginia Standards of Student Conduct).  The University may become involved in reviewing the off-Grounds conduct of student organizations when there are violations of the Standards of Conduct or the Policy on Sexual and Gender-based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence. At the Charlottesville campus only, local police agencies monitor and record criminal activity by students at off-Grounds locations of student organizations officially recognized by the institution, including student organizations with off-Grounds housing facilities.