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Reimagining safety at the UW

Creating learning, working and living environments that enable every UW community member to be successful requires a holistic approach to safety and well-being that brings together a range of resources in a coordinated, accountable manner.

A vision of holistic safety

A community of the UW’s size and complexity — three campuses and numerous medical facilities, all with public and private spaces including classrooms, research labs and residences, and all in an earthquake- and flood-prone region — requires a range of safety services. These range from overall emergency readiness and response, to violence prevention, mental health support, and both situation-appropriate intervention and post-incident support carried out as needed by unarmed safety responders or armed law enforcement officers.

A holistic approach to safety and well-being must be responsive to the different needs, as well as to the different experiences — some negative — that various community members have had with safety resources and personnel, both on and off of our campuses.

Aligning with the needs and values of the community

After two years of work by UW students, faculty and staff to reimagine how safety and well-being resources are organized and delivered at the UW, the University in September 2022 launched the Division of Campus Community Safety, which includes SafeCampus, Emergency Management and the UW Police Department (UWPD).

The Division is working to better coordinate community safety priorities and implementation across the three UW campuses and UW Medicine locations in order to prioritize the safety of all members of our community. Led by Vice President Sally Clark, the Division enables the University to improve planning for and provide responses specific to the needs of the situation and become more responsive to individual and community needs and experiences.

At the same time, the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma chancellors continue efforts to evaluate the specific safety needs of their campuses and how to meet them while also aligning with the UW’s overall goal of a holistic approach to safety and well-being across the University.