The safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and visitors are a priority at McNeese State University. Through the assistance of several other university departments, every effort is made to better serve the university community and provide a safe environment in which the mission of the university may be attained. However, a truly safe campus can only be achieved through the cooperation of all students, faculty, and staff. Although MSU does not experience serious crimes often, it is a large, university campus on which serious crimes may occur. In any given semester, MSU has some 8,000 students and 1,000 full and part-time employees on campus - more than the size of most small cities. In addition, MSU is located in the city of Lake Charles - a leading petrochemical city with a population of more than 80,000.
Reporting Crimes or Emergencies
The MSU Police Department is a team of professionals working to provide a safe environment in which the educational mission of the university can be fully realized. If you are involved in an emergency situation, are the victim of a crime, witness any criminal activity, and/or in need of assistance, you are urged to notify the MSU Police Department as soon as possible by dialing 911 or 475-5711. Off-campus crimes may be reported to the Lake Charles Police Department or the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. Both of these law enforcement agencies can be reached by dialing 911. The MSU Police Department is located in the University Police and Information Center at 4327 Ryan St. The department operates 24-hours a day and is staffed by commissioned police officers. Students have 24-hour access to emergency phone lines to University Police as well as 911. University police officers are vested with all of the powers, authority, and responsibilities of any police officer of the state on property owned or operated by the university, including adjacent public streets. Police authority is derived from Section 17:1805 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. In addition, this law grants officers the authorization to carry concealed weapons, power of arrest on and off campus, jurisdictional boundaries, and authorization for the investigation of crimes occurring within one's jurisdiction to include the entire state. The MSU Police Department cooperates fully with all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in cases which involve both on-campus and off-campus jurisdiction or when the resources of another agency can be used to facilitate the resolution of an investigation. MSU police officers must successfully complete 280 hours of basic training at an approved police academy. The training curriculum is mandated by the Louisiana Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission and includes such topics as criminal law and procedures, patrol and investigation practices, techniques, firearms, first aid, and physical training.
To help protect students who need to reach a particular destination on campus after dark, the department provides an escort service. The service operates seven days a week, 24-hours a day. Call 475-5711.
Police Bike Patrol
The department utilizes a bike patrol to supplement vehicle and foot patrol as part of its overall effort to make the campus safe. The bike patrol enables officers to cover more areas and allows for quick response should the need arise. Officers are also better able to talk with students, faculty, and staff on bike patrol.
MSU works in conjunction with the Calcasieu Parish Crime Stoppers program. Crime Stoppers serves the community as an informant interaction system whereby the public is invited and encouraged to provide valuable information that might lead to the arrest and possible conviction of criminals. Participants who call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 439-2222 remain anonymous. The value of rewards range from $25 to $1,000 depending on the crime.
The university makes every effort to ensure that the campus facilities, buildings, and grounds are designed and maintained in such a way as to promote safety and reduce criminal opportunity. Particular attention is paid to the design of landscaping and exterior lighting.
Use of University Facilities
With the exception of events that are open to the general public and advertised as such, the university's facilities and programs are generally reserved for accomplishing the objectives and programs of the university. Visitors and non-university affiliated groups seeking to utilize university facilities are expected to make prior arrangements with the appropriate university office. Authorization to use MSU facilities is determined by university regulations then in effect. Visitors and guests to MSU residence halls must be registered by their hosts while in the residence halls.
Procedures to ensure safety within residence halls include 24-hour-a-day staffed desks in each building or complex. All residence halls have limited access through main doors only. Procedures for guest visitation have been established in accordance with MSU residence hall guidelines. Residence halls are equipped with fire safety equipment that includes smoke detectors and/or heat sensors that activate the central fire alarm system. In residence halls, emergency exits are equipped with alarms that sound whenever opened. Residence hall staffs are trained to maintain security and to summon police, fire, medical, and maintenance assistance when needed. Criminal activity observed within or in the vicinity of buildings is reported to the MSU Police Department. Firearms, explosives, fireworks, or other hazardous materials are not permitted in or around residence halls or university apartments.
Academic and Administrative Buildings
Academic and administrative buildings are secured by university personnel. Hours of security may vary from building to building, depending on use. Like the residence halls, these buildings are equipped with fire safety equipment that includes smoke detectors and/or heat sensors that activate the central fire alarm system.