We are proud to be a part of a dynamic university in a growing region. Although we have been providing law enforcement and public safety services to the university community for over thirty years, many individuals are not aware of who we are and the role we play in supporting the University’s mission.
In the 1960s, Western Carolina University (WCU), like many other universities and colleges, recognized the need to upgrade their security force to one that could deal with the social dynamics of the era. The emergence of civil unrest, the assertion of individual rights, and the changing nature of crime on campus were issues that were beyond the scope of the traditional security force. In order to address these and similar problems and support the university’s mission of providing quality education, research, and service, it was necessary to transform the security force into a professional police department.
The Western Carolina University Police Department (WCUPD) is comprised of professional commissioned police officers and support staff. WCUPD officers receive the same level of training as municipal and county law enforcement officers. Officers are required to complete a minimum of 602 hours of training at a regional police academy and pass a statewide examination to become certified as a police officer in the state of North Carolina. All WCUPD police officers are certified through the North Carolina Department of Justice.
WCUPD officers are authorized to carry firearms and enforce laws and make arrests on University property and adjacent roadways. WCUPD works closely with the Sylva Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Carolina Highway Patrol to enhance the safety and protection of members of the university community and the surrounding area. The Department also works closely with the Office of Student Community Ethics and the Residential Living Department in enforcing the Student Code of Conduct.
The WCU Police Department is a full-service agency that is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year. The Department works towards building partnerships with the university community to provide a safer environment. The Police Department may be contacted at 828-227-7301 (non-emergency) or 828-227-8911 (emergency) for information or requests for services. Additionally, during emergencies, individuals may dial 9-1-1 from their cellular telephones and report an emergency to the Jackson County Emergency Management Department. Telecommunicators from the Emergency Management Department will relay the information to the WCU police telecommunicator.
The Department is also responsible managing the registration of vehicles and enforcement of parking rules and regulations. Motorists may contact the Parking Services Office at 828-227-7275 (PARK) with questions about parking permits, rules, or parking arrangements. Anyone wanting to register their vehicle may do so online.
We are concerned with the quality delivery of customer-oriented services. While we realize that not everyone may agree with the laws and rules that we are ethically obligated to enforce, we do invite constructive suggestions that help us improve the delivery of services. You are invited to submit your suggestions to one of the following individuals:
Law Enforcement Services: 828-227-3209 (Lieutenant Kent Davis)
Administrative Services: 828-227-2690 (Lieutenant Martin Anthony)