With a population of over 35,000, including 11,000 resident students, UMass Amherst is both a center for higher education and a city in itself. As in any municipality of similar size, our police force works to prevent and respond to criminal activity and emergencies. However, the UMass Amherst Police Department has the additional responsibility of maintaining a safe campus where education and research can thrive; where students, staff and faculty can achieve their goals free from the concerns of personal and campus safety. This mission guides all of our work.
In order to ensure a safe campus, the UMass Amherst Police Department takes a community policing approach to public safety. This is a comprehensive way of thinking that enables officers to be proactive, determining why problems happen and working on solutions rather than simply responding to each emergency. We develop community policing through the careful training of officers, flexibility, outreach programs, and problem-solving partnerships with faculty, staff, and students, our Amherst neighbors, and state and local government.
UMPD officers attend the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) training academy, and possess powers, authority, and responsibilities identical to municipal police officers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We strive to maintain the highest ethical and performance standards in our policies, procedures, and actions.
Our department operates 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, providing patrol, investigation, specialized and emergency response, as well as crime prevention and educational services. Officers are also a familiar presence in the residence halls, working closely with staff and security to maintain a safe environment. They utilize a variety of policing options that provide ultimate maneuverability and increased presence. and that allow officers to get to know students, faculty, and staff. These include foot, motorcycle, bicycle, and mounted (horse) units, and the dogs of the K-9 unit.