Jim Hutchins, Chief of Police
Connie Ross, Coordinator, Police Division
The Wittenberg University Police Division is housed in 3 West Campus Drive, Recitation Hall Annex, on the university campus. It provides security and patrol services to the University District, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Patrols are continually reviewed and adjusted to meet the changing needs of the university.
The department has three basic purposes. They are: to protect members of the community and their visitors while in the University District; to protect university property and the property of community members; and to maintain order in the University District.
The department strives to establish a climate where its officers can perform their duties with acceptance, understanding, and the approval of the members of the Wittenberg community. Of basic importance to the department is that it is an integral part of a church-related educational institution which respects and recognizes the individual dignity of all persons. All officers are expected to treat all persons with respect and compassion.
The Structure of the Department
The Wittenberg Police Force was established in 1992 to enhance the safety and security of persons living and working in the University District. Sworn officers, employed by the University as Wittenberg Police, have the power of arrest and bear issued arms on duty. The Wittenberg Police receive field training and ongoing classroom training. Some of the members of the Wittenberg Police Force are full-time members of the Springfield Police Division employed on a part-time special duty basis by the University.
Security Officers who are trained professional employees of Wittenberg University work with and assist the Police Force. These officers are not authorized to carry firearms while on duty at Wittenberg and do not have the legal authority to physically detain, search or arrest any individual.
The Police Division is supervised by the Chief of Police/Director of Security, who is a full-time Wittenberg employee and a member of the Wittenberg Police Force. One of the chief responsibilities of the Chief of Police is to prepare and implement an annual Crime Prevention Plan for the University District. This document describes the department's safety plan for the coming year, and includes how it intends to disseminate safety information, what matters it intends to emphasize in the coming year, and what programs it intends to implement or continue.
Bicycles specially equipped for the Police mission are used by selected officers in the performance of their duties. These bikes are used throughout the year but most frequently in the spring and fall. While many benefits have been observed, the most notable is community interaction, response speed and stealth. Bike patrols provide "authority figures" which blend more comfortably into the community and have been extremely well received by the student population.
The Jurisdiction of the Department
Working together with the Springfield Police and Fire Divisions, the Police Division provides services to the "University District." Wittenberg University recognizes that the Springfield Police Division has primary responsibility for law enforcement within the University District. Although the Springfield Police Division shall maintain primary authority and responsibility for investigation of crimes wherever they occur in the City of Springfield, the Chief of Police may delegate authority to Wittenberg Police for initial response and preliminary investigation of specified types of crime occurring in the University District. The purpose of the Wittenberg Police is to enhance the response to lesser offenses and to meet needs particular to the University District. There is no intent to replace services of the Springfield Police Division or Clark County Sheriff's Department. The Wittenberg Police exercise secondary jurisdiction and operate only within the geographic bounds described in this document.
Wittenberg's Police Chief maintains close working relationships with the Springfield Police Division investigative officers, which insures discovery of any current working cases involving university affiliates. The University District includes the Wittenberg campus and surrounding university-related structures and is defined as the geographic area included within the following boundaries:
EAST: The Eastern boundary is the East curb of North Limestone, running parallel to North Fountain Avenue.
SOUTH: The South boundary is the South Bank of Buck Creek, which runs parallel with Cliff Park Avenue and Ferncliff Place. This includes the Wittenberg University property occupied by Wittenberg University Physical Plant. The address for this facility is 225 N. Fountain Ave.
NORTH: The North curb on the North side of West McCreight Avenue. This also includes Bill Edwards Field 1291 North Yellow Springs Street. The Field is bounded by North Yellow Springs, McCrieght Avenue , St. Paris Pike, and Third Street.
WEST: The West curb on the West side of North Plum Street.