Public safety is a university priority, is part of the community culture at OSU and is provided in numerous ways on OSU’s Corvallis campus.

Public safety programs and services include SafeRide, blue light emergency phones located across campus and educational safety programs and events that are held throughout the year.

As well, the university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) operates 24/7 and provides numerous services. DPS provides patrols and dispatched response by unarmed campus safety officers.

DPS has a 24/7 dispatch center that provides resources, information and responds to non-emergency calls for service from members of the campus community and general public. DPS oversees the university’s emergency management program and compiles crime data that is published in the annual campus security report required by the federal Clery Act.

Licensed law enforcement officers employed by Oregon State Police serve the Corvallis campus and are co-located with DPS. OSP troopers enforce state and federal laws; provide traffic enforcement on campus; engage in criminal investigations; provide security for major campus events, including athletics games, concerts and commencement; provide special resources, including law enforcement emergency response; and provide use of a mobile crime lab, as needed.

The university also provides public safety and safety educational services through numerous departments and initiatives, including:

  • The Division of Student Affairs
  • Survivor Advocacy and Resource Center
  • Student Health Services
  • Office of Equal Opportunity and Access
  • Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
  • University Housing and Dining Services
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • OSU Athletics during athletic events
  • Emergency responder services provided by the Corvallis Fire Department
  • Mutual aid services provided by the city of Corvallis Police Department


Oregon State University has had armed law enforcement on its Corvallis campus since the early 1970s as part of the university’s commitment to provide for campus safety. Licensed law enforcement provides a campus safety presence; an immediate and trained response to emergencies on campus, including accidents, reported violence and criminal activities; enforces state and local ordinances and laws within university property; and investigates and follows up on crimes ranging from vandalism and theft to stalking, assault and hate crimes. Licensed law enforcement at OSU’s Corvallis campus also engages with university community members to provide safety education and training for many campus units in an effort to provide helpful, strategic and targeted response to various situations.

Since 1989, OSU has contracted with Oregon State Police to provide law enforcement services.

OSU requires specific timely response from its law enforcement provider for any crime occurring on campus. For example, federal requirements mandate a rapid, armed response to incidents that may occur at the OSU Radiation Center.

OSU has had a security department on its Corvallis campus since the 1950s. In 1974, OSU created its own police department, in which armed officers who were commissioned by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office worked on the Corvallis campus. In 1989, the Oregon Legislature passed legislation limiting universities’ ability to have their own police departments. In response, OSU contracted with OSP to provide licensed law enforcement services for the Corvallis campus. In 2013, the Oregon Legislature adopted legislation enabling Oregon’s public universities with governing boards to choose independently to operate their own licensed law enforcement departments. The University of Oregon and Portland State University operate their own campus police departments.

DPS officers provide medical emergency response assistance; 24/7 patrols of campus; occasional transports of students to Student Health Services, collection and reporting of Clery Act crime data, community engagement, public safety patrols within athletic events, crime prevention planning, daily locking and unlocking of campus buildings, safety escorts on campus for students and employees, safety planning, and public safety education. DPS staff members also engage in emergency planning and emergency event management.

OSP provides armed response for the OSU Radiation Center; responses to in-progress crimes; conducts criminal investigations; emergency law enforcement response; welfare checks on campus; mental health response; athletic event public safety services; law enforcement and traffic enforcement.

Yes. Since the 1950’s OSU has recognized the need for crime prevention and timely response by licensed law enforcement personnel, including response to crimes against people, such as sexual assault or robbery, armed or violent intruders, such as the possibility of an active shooter or other significant threat to the campus community. Since the 1950’s, that response has included licensed law enforcement officers who carry weapons.

Yes. Federal requirements require that OSU have provisions for a rapid armed response to the OSU Radiation Center.

In consideration of its staffing needs across the state, Oregon State Police has decided to end its contract with OSU and relocate its personnel working at OSU to duties across the state.

The Public Safety Advisory Committee hosted four community listening and input sessions in March 2020 to understand the public safety values and safety needs of the OSU community. The committee also gained input through two virtual meetings in April 2020 and an online input form. The committee’s findings from these sessions are summarized here. This input was considered in the committee’s recommendations to university leadership and support the OSU Board of Trustees April 2020 decision to establish a police department for the Corvallis campus. This input continues to inform the ongoing design of how the police force will operate.

Virtual meetings to seek additional input with a dozen groups ranging from ASOSU to the Black Student Union and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee are scheduled to continue this summer.

Public Safety Advisory Committee members and OSU Police Chief Eddie Rodriguez are meetingwith more than a dozen groups across campus to discuss the law enforcement transition and public safety operational design. Further outreach beyond these groups is planned.

In addition to the diverse representation of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, listening sessions will enable community input. Committee members and OSU Police Chief Eddie Rodriguez are currently meeting with more than a dozen campus groups to disucss the law enforcement transition and gather input.

Additionally, the Department of Public Safety plans to hire a safety engagement and inclusion manager to work with members of the Corvallis campus community on outreach, policy development and other strategic goals.

Chief Rodriguez’s Transition Plan for Success (PDF) includes an initiative to create a Community Oriented Results and Expectation Committee (CORE). The purpose of this committee is to collaborate with OSU community members to address their issues and concerns through cooperative efforts.

Community input also can be provided through a feedback form on the public safety website.

The Department of Public Safety projected annual budget for FY2021 as of August 31, 2020 is provided below by major subcategories.  

Public Safety Administration $   950,000
Security and Dispatch Services  $2,100,000
Police services    $2,450,000
Clery Compliance  $   340,000
Emergency Management  $   260,000
FY21 Projected Budget $6,100,000