Under the direction of the Director of Public Safety, Departmental Investigators are responsible for conducting investigations and follow-up activities into incidents occurring on University property. The Investigative Unit is comprised of two investigators who have undergone specialized training in conducting investigations in a college or university setting. Public Safety investigators do not file criminal charges and are not sworn police officers, however, they often do work cooperatively with detectives from local police agencies as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies. Investigative findings are also forwarded to the Villanova University Dean of Students Office for adjudication of allegations of the University Code of Conduct, found in the Student Handbook. Results of investigations are also forwarded to the Office of Human Resources for adjudication of alleged employee misconduct.
In addition to conducting investigations, the Investigators work in conjunction with the patrol officers and other University departments towards crime prevention on campus. Presentations are conducted several times during the course of the year in the residence halls and throughout campus for students, staff and faculty. These presentations include but are not limited to such topics as personal safety, alcohol abuse, sexual assaults, and R.A.D (Rape Aggression Defense) program. Investigators also participate in new employee orientation, providing an outline of services provided by the Department to new employees of the University.
The investigative unit maintains departmental records for all criminal and non-criminal incidents, and is responsible for compiling crime data that is submitted annually in compliance with state and federal crime reporting laws. On-campus crime statistics can be found in the University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The unit also prepares and distributes safety alerts when a crime occurring on campus represents an on-going threat to the University community. Investigators also respond to requests for pre-employment background investigations of former students.
The investigative unit collaborates with the Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator (SARC) on reported incidents alleging sexual assault or other sexual misconduct as prescribed by University policy. The SARC is responsible for working directly with victims of sexual assault to ensure that he or she is aware of services available through the University and in the community. The Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator also acts as liaison between the victim and service providers and criminal justice agencies. The Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator can facilitate counseling and medical treatment and can also facilitate changes in academic and living arrangements for victims if requested.