Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Police Services/Public Safety Department are listed below. If you have additional questions, please contact us at 901-333-4242 or 901-333-5555.


What is the difference between Southwest police officers and security officers?

Southwest police officers are certified peace officers in the State of Tennessee. They have full police authority and arrest powers. Their primary jurisdiction includes all the Southwest property and adjacent roadways. Security officers do not have arrest or police powers. They assist the police by providing visible patrols in the buildings and parking lots, open and secure rooms, secure buildings and provide escorts.

Is the Police Services/Public Safety Department part of the Memphis Police Department?

No. Southwest police officers are agents of Southwest and receive their police powers through the State of Tennessee. Southwest police officers work closely with the Memphis Police Department and many other local state and federal agencies.

When should I contact the Police Services/Public Safety Department and why?

Police officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at the Macon Cove and Union Avenue Campus and should be contacted to report any suspicious or criminal activity. They must also be notified of any emergencies occurring on Southwest property. Questions regarding motor vehicle or criminal law can be directed to the department.

What happens if I am arrested or get in trouble?

All persons on Southwest property, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, are subject to the same laws and regulations. When Southwest police officers issue citations or make on-view arrests, all the procedures appropriate to the Tennessee Code Annotated will be followed. Incidents on campus regarding students may also be handled through internal judicial procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.

Why did the police officer stop me?

There are numerous reasons an officer may stop someone. It could be because the officer observed you commit a crime, traffic offense, or a violation of the Student Conduct Policy. Officers may also stop you to check on your welfare or if they are investigating a complaint.

When I called the Police Services/Public Safety Department, why did more than one officer respond?

Depending on the type of call and the location, it is not uncommon for a second officer to respond. The main reason for this is officer safety. When we receive a call we never know the extent of possible danger until after the officer has arrived on scene.

I have a carry concealed weapon permit. Can I carry my firearm on college property?

Southwest does not permit any firearms on college property. It is against Tennessee Code to carry any weapon onto any property belonging to the college. Do not bring weapons on college property. The only exception is commissioned law enforcement officers.

My vehicle was towed. What do I do to get it back?

If your vehicle was towed from Southwest property, it will be located at Carr's Towing, 206 East Pebbles, telephone number 901-345-9824. To retrieved your vehicle you will need to take proof of ownership to Carr's.

If you were parked on the street the tow was probably the result of a parking violation from the Memphis Police Department. To retrieved your vehicle you will need to contact Memphis Police Department towing service located at 465 Klinke Avenue, telephone number 901-353-8200. They require that all outstanding fines are paid for and provide proof of ownership, insurance, and identification.

How can I file a compliment or complaint on a Southwest Police or Security Officers?

You can contact the on duty supervisor at 901-333-4242 or 901-333-5555.

How do I get a copy of a Police report?

Copies can be obtained from the Police Services/Public Safety Department located on the Macon Cove or Union Avenue Campus. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Most requests for reports will be processed within three working days.

Note: Not all reports can be released. Reports that have on-going investigation may be delayed until investigations are complete. All student conduct reports are not made available to the public due to the Jeanne Clery Act (PDF) [Size: 572 KB], requires Adobe Reader, regulations unless the report involves a criminal charge.

Why does the dispatcher ask for my name whenever I call?

It is the department's policy to request the name of a caller for several reasons. The most important reason is that we may have to reach you to get more information, particularly if you are reporting a crime or other incidents. We cannot provide services for lockouts, vehicle services, etc. without obtaining the caller's name.

Where do I go to file a report?

Reports can be filled at any of the following locations:

How safe is it on campus?

No community is entirely free of crime, and the Southwest is no exception. The Police Services/Public Safety Department takes into consideration a wide range of possibilities to ensure that a safe, caring, and violence free environment exists for the benefit of the entire college community. For the most recent crime statistics view the Jeanne Clery Act (PDF) [Size: 572 KB], requires Adobe Reader, or stop by the Police Services/Public Safety Department on the Macon Cove or Union Avenue Campus.

Does Southwest have cameras in the buildings?

Surveillance cameras are located in strategic areas throughout all Southwest locations to including parking lots.

If there was an active shooter or hostile intruder, should I pull the fire alarm?

No, this would create a significant problem. The Police Services/Public Safety Department wants the college to go into lockdown. We will broadcast a voice message on the Southwest Tennessee Emergency Broadcast system advising everyone of the lockdown. In other words, remain calm and stay inside until you are instructed otherwise.

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