Our Mission

To create a secure and enriching environment for all members of the campus community. Through a collaborative policing approach and guided by our student-focused, live-work-learn philosophy, we empower every individual to excel academically, professionally, and personally.


Our Vision

To create a ‘SAFER‘ community.


Our Values

Service Accountability Fairness Excellence Responsibility

SAFER

  • Service- Ensuring the safety and security of the entire campus community through a collaborative policing approach.
  • Accountability- Being accountable for actions and decisions while being flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances and emerging safety concerns.
  • Fairness- Applying the law and policies with discretion and appropriateness, relating to all individuals impartially and equitably, regardless of their background, race, gender, ethnicity, or social status.
  • Excellence- Upholding professionalism through a sense of commitment, perspective, and purposeful direction.
  • Responsibility- Ensuring the effective use of resources to earn the trust and support of our community.

The values embodied by the University of Southern Maine Public Safety Department come from our commitment to community policing.


Our Goals

  1. Increase the visibility of the public safety team across all campuses.
  2. Enhance partnerships and collaboration in safety efforts.
  3. Cultivate a safety-aware campus community culture.

Community Policing

The men and women of USM Public Safety promote the philosophy of community policing which incorporates the principles of partnership, problem-solving, and proactive crime prevention. The members of our community play an important role in our success as a safe university within which to live, work, and learn.

The Department of Public Safety at the University of Southern Maine is a full-service law enforcement agency, staffed by Maine Criminal Justice Academy certified police officers and communications personnel; the training and authority of our officers are the same given to County, State, and Municipal officers. Our officers are responsible for providing police services on the Gorham and Portland campuses.

Our Police Officers and Communications personnel are augmented by Campus Safety Officers.

Members of the department are specialists, practicing the community policing and service philosophy with a deep commitment to being Student Focused Every Day

To learn more about the Public Safety Department click HERE.

We are available to serve you at all times and are dispatched from our headquarters on the Gorham campus.

For non-emergencies, questions, or other assistance please call 207-780-5211.

For Emergencies, dialing 911 from a campus phone will connect you with USM Communication, dialing 911 from a cell phone will connect you with Cumberland County Communications on the Gorham Campus or Portland Communications on the Portland Campus.

Emergency call boxes are located throughout both the Gorham and Portland campuses, including in the parking garage.

For more information about the services Public Safety offers click HERE.

Safety Escort Service

To use this service please contact Public Safety Communications at 207-780-5211. A uniformed police officer or campus safety officer will pick you up at your present location and bring you to a different on-campus location such as your residence hall or to your vehicle. This service is available whenever public safety personnel are not on another call. If someone is unavailable, the dispatcher will advise you where to wait in a secure location and how long the delay may be.

Training

Public Safety offers trainings that cover Active Attackers, De-Escalation, and Stop the Bleed to the campus community. These trainings are designed to both inform and engage our community to help ensure the safety and security of all those that live, work, and visit campus.

To learn more about all of the services that Public Safety offers, click HERE.


USM Alerts

“USM Alert” is the University’s text and email notification system for emergency alerts, weather closings, and other critical information for the University community.

Click Here To Learn More About USM Alerts

In the spirit of embracing our new Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals there are a number of initiatives the department will be adopting.


The Maine Legislature recently enacted a new law (Sec. A-1. Title 5 MRSA §4684-C) that is An Act to Prohibit Profiling and to Strengthen Civil Rights in Maine.

USM Public Safety has four department members who are designated as Civil Rights Officers by the Attorney General’s office.

Those officers are: 

  • Deputy Chief Farwell
  • Lt. Cox
  • Specialist Bunick
  • Officer Belanger

30×30 is a pledge to strive to increase the representation of women in law enforcement to 30% by 2030. Currently, women only make up 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership in the U.S.


Health & Wellness

USM Public Safety is committed to the health and wellness of its officers. As part of the department’s health and wellness journey, Sgt Abbott has been tasked with creating a wellness plan and policy to help encourage department members to adopt habits that promote mind and body wellbeing.

The Department of Public Safety at USM is committed to serving and protecting the University of Southern Maine community. We understand that transparency and accountability build trust, and that trust is the cornerstone of the community policing philosophy that guides us.

We want you to know that we hold ourselves personally and professionally to the University’s service values of Respect & Care, Integrity, Equity, and Responsiveness. We are actively engaged in promoting agency and officer integrity through transparency and accountability, fair and equitable policing policies, continuous training and education of our staff, and active participation in our community’s programs and initiatives. We are committed to employing the best practices in our field, and to using the pillars set forth in the Final Report on the President’s Task Force on 21st-Century Policing to chart the way for progress and improvement in policing. 

Our staff will treat every person with dignity, respect, and the utmost professionalism. We remain committed to listening, learning, and growing alongside our community as we know that true public safety comes from the commitment and actions of all.

Learn more HERE.

Clery Act

The University of Southern Maine complies with the Jeanne Clery Act which was signed into law in 1990. Per the Clery Act, the university publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report and a 60-Day Campus Crime and Fire Log.

For the most frequently asked questions about Public Safety and Policing at the University, please see below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us directly.

The simple answer is, call 207-780-5211 to get USM Public Safety dispatch. USM Public Safety dispatch will be able to send an officer and if needed contact Portland/Gorham fire and rescue if needed.

From a university landline, if you dial 911 or 5211, you will get USM Public Safety dispatch. To reach Portland Regional Communications (for Portland Fire or Rescue) or Cumberland County Regional Communications (for Gorham Fire or Rescue) you need to dial 9-911 from a university landline.

From a cell phone, if you dial 911 you will reach either Portland or Cumberland Regional Communications for fire and rescue. If you have a police matter they will transfer you to USM Public Safety.

USM Public Safety has both sworn and unsworn officers. Most often, the officers you see around campus are full-time sworn officers who are certified by the State of Maine. The training and authority of our officers are the same given to County, State, and Municipal officers.

However, we also have Campus Safety Officers; our CSOs can be seen around campus as well and are identified as such. CSOs are able to assist in many of the same things around campus as our Police Officers. If you happen to stop a CSO with a need for assistance that is not within the scope of their abilities they will gladly contact dispatch for a sworn officer to assist.

If you call Public Safety, you are not required to provide your information when reporting an incident; however, please note that the phone number may be available to dispatch through standard caller ID.

A more anonymous way to contact Public Safety to report an incident is through Campus Eye, our anonymous reporting system. Some questions are required to have answers, but it does not require the reporting party’s information.

Whether you call dispatch to report an incident or contact Public Safety through Campus Eye, the more information that can be provided, the more assistance/resources we can provide.

By properly disposing of used sharps on campus, we can limit the risk to the campus community. If you find a sharp (needle, syringe, or lancet) on campus you should:

  • Do not touch the sharp. Only individuals who are properly trained and tasked to safely pick up sharps should attempt removal.
  • Keep a safe distance and prevent others from accidentally coming in contact with the sharps.
  • Contact Public Safety to alert them of the issue and follow their instructions.

If you accidentally experience a needle stick you must:

  • Provide immediate care to the needle stick exposure site.
    • For punctures or small wounds, wash the affected area with soap and water for 15 minutes.
    • For lacerations, apply direct pressure and seek medical attention.
  • Obtain medical care as quickly as possible to determine the risk associated with the exposure and potentially enable testing from the source of exposure. Your healthcare provider can counsel you on your risk and provide post-exposure prophylaxis, if necessary, to help prevent infection. They will also be able to help schedule follow-up testing/counseling for your injury.
  • Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as safely possible so an incident report can be completed with Risk Management.

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Public Safety also posts flyers on the bulletin boards around campus so keep an eye out for our logo to see what is new from Public Safety.

Maine legislature will be considering a new bill that aims to increase the fines for distracted driving. Currently, a first offense carries a $50 fine and a second offense carries a $250 fine. If the new bill is passed, fines will increase to $500 and $1000 respectively. Along with the fine, a driver ticketed for distracted driving also gets points on their license for the violation.

According to Maine’s Department of Transportation website, in 2022 there were 3157 caused by distracted driving of which 12 were fatal.

Maine’s driving laws are covered under Title 29-A, to read the law as it is written please visit the Maine Legislature website.

Information from Attorneys

Maine Texting and Driving Law & Maine Distracted Driving Law from Mann Law

Maine’s Cellphone-Use & Texting-While-Driving Laws by John McCurly, Attorney

News Articles

The dangers of distracted driving

New bill aims to sharply increase fines for distracted driving in Maine

Easy to Reference Guides

Maine’s Hands-Free Driving Law

Fines for Cell Phone Use by State