A sign that reads, Campus Police, stands in front of Flynn Hall, the building that houses the Xavier University Police Department

Director of Public Safety Robert Warfel discusses campus preparedness

Nov 16, 2022

In the wake of recent violence that shook the communities of the University of Virginia and the University of Idaho, the importance of campus safety is top of mind for many in the Xavier community, including Xavier Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police Robert Warfel.

Below, Chief Warfel offers several resources to help Xavier faculty, staff and students stay safe, details the steps his department takes to protect campus, and outlines ways community members can support that effort.

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How does the Xavier University Police Department (XUPD) protect faculty, staff and students?

XUPD works closely with Cincinnati PD and Norwood PD to ensure the safety of our community as they live, work, and learn here on campus.

There are two anonymous reporting programs in place that allow reporting for individuals who observe concerning behaviors or to identify individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. A Student Concern Report tab is located on Xavier’s online hubs for both current students and employees. This information is immediately reviewed by a team of individuals who determine the best course of intervention, support, or action for the individual(s). The second method, EthicsPoint, is an anonymous reporting process. Xavier community members may report such matters using the web-based hotline or by the telephone hotline, 855-481-6238.

Does XUPD offer active aggressor/shooter response training for our campus community?

Xavier University Police Department offers training regularly upon request and through community engagement programs. The Xavier University Safety webpage includes links for a request and safety training calendar. XUPD is pleased to provide customized, convenient, on-site training for your group. If you are interested in scheduling a session, please complete our Safety and Life Skills Event Request Form. Once your form has been received, a staff member will contact you shortly to coordinate your event.

Are there any protective measures faculty and staff can take in classrooms on campus?

Many universities include safety and security planning into the syllabus for their courses, a practice XUPD continues to strongly recommend. This brief Active Aggressor/Shooter awareness video prepared by XUPD also highlights techniques to handle an active shooter situation.

Maintaining positive situational awareness and practicing what to do before there is an incident will help prepare and empower our community to better respond should an actual incident occur.

What protocols does XUPD use to handle threats to campus safety?

Threats are taken very seriously by XUPD. Frequently, information is shared directly with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and other threat assessment partners within our region. There are networks of Campus Law Enforcement that share information regarding threats and intelligence regarding patterns of activity and best practices. There are mass notification capabilities named XU Alert Me which provide text, phone, and email notification resources to our community regarding imminent, potential, or only information regarding possible threats.

How does Xavier identify and address students of concern?

The University’s reporting process engages a wide array of subject matter expertise and community support for the identified individuals. The Xavier Care and Action Team provides assessment and triage by partnering with the Xavier Counseling Center, Tri-Health partners, Xavier Police Department, academic support, Student Affairs, and Residence Life among many other partners. The goal is to provide rapid assessment and appropriate response with resources to provide support to the members of the Xavier community impacted by the actions of the individual(s) and provide support to the student of concern.

Where can community members find the most up-to-date information on emergency alerts and other safety tips?

The Xavier University Safety webpage is filled with resources and links to safety programs and practices for our campus community. There is a monthly Safety Committee meeting which is co-hosted by XUPD and faculty engaging students, staff, and community members regarding current and ongoing safety-related projects and concerns. There is also a weekly Chat with the Chief hosted at Flynn Hall for an open dialogue about any related XUPD and Safety topics, this is regularly posted on Engage XU. Finally, the Xavier University Campus Emergency Response Team meets monthly and engages in tabletop exercises, discussions, and reviews Campus Emergency Response plans and resources for the Xavier Community.

The XU Alert Me system ties community members directly to emergency notifications for the Xavier community. The Guardian app is available for download from the App Store or Google Play. Community members may download the app for free, select Xavier University (Cincinnati), and then set their preferences for the application. The app features a virtual escort feature, direct text to XUPD dispatch and communications, geolocation, and pre-loaded contact and safety resources/numbers for staff, faculty and students.

Additionally, the campus community is always welcome to attend Chat with the Chief, held on Thursdays from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Flynn Hall. I highly encourage community members to stop by and share ideas or ask me whatever questions they might have about campus safety.

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