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Safety in the Workplace

James Madison University strives to provide all employees with a working environment that is free from recognized health or safety hazards. JMU’ s Office of Public Safety strives to improve the quality of life of those we serve by developing partnerships with the university community so that together we can effectively address issues and concerns. Our primary goal is to maintain a secure environment with equal protection under the law and to provide dedicated service for all persons living, working, and visiting with the university.

The Safety Coordinator, through the Office of Public Safety Risk Management office, conducts safety surveys and inspections, investigates fires and hazardous materials spills, and provides awareness training in all aspects of environmental and workplace safety and health. The office works closely with the Harrisonburg Fire Department, the Virginia State Fire Marshal's office, the state's Offices of Risk Management, Waste Management, and Occupational Safety and Health, and safety equipment service contractors.

The James Madison University Police Department has received accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission after an in-depth review of every aspect of the agency’s organization, management, operations, and administration to assure the highest standards are practiced. The JMU police have the authority to enforce all regulations and laws, both of the University and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, within their jurisdiction which includes a core campus of 721 acres and 148 buildings which includes all university-owned, -leased or -controlled property, the adjacent streets and sidewalks and expanded off-campus jurisdiction within designated neighboring areas of the City of Harrisonburg through a concurrent jurisdiction agreement. Police officers are members of a patrol division, an investigative division or an operations division. Patrol officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week while enforcing state statutes along with regulations of the university, protecting property, and responding to reported criminal incidents and traffic concerns. Four patrol officers and a sergeant are also Joint Task Force officers which augment the Harrisonburg Police Department in the surrounding extended patrol jurisdiction of JMU Police Department in the off-campus student housing areas adjacent to campus. The forensic unit consists of evidence gathering response personnel that work in concert with investigators which handle reported cases that require in-depth follow-up investigations. The operations division provides for the coordination of communications, crime prevention/analysis, and special events coordination to ensure appropriate levels of supervision, personnel, security, and traffic control are provided to ensure safety at these venues and provide for emergency situations that may arise. University police officers are graduates of state-affiliated regional criminal justice training academies and are required to complete 40 hours of in-service training biennially. All are certified by the State Department of Criminal Justice Services as police officers and are trained in all phases of law enforcement, including the use of firearms. Officers carry standard issue or approved firearms at all times and must maintain firearms proficiency through semiannual classroom training, qualification and certification at the firing range.

The JMU Police Department utilizes automatic external defibulators (AEDs) in the field. All sworn personnel within the department have been trained on the proper use of AEDs and basic life support techniques (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation - CPR).

The James Madison University Police Department has the responsibility of responding to, and summoning the necessary resources to mitigate, investigate, and document any situation that may cause a significant emergency or dangerous situation to the JMU community. All crimes or emergencies that occur on the campus of JMU should be reported to the JMU Police through the communications unit for response and documentation. This can be done in person at Anthony-Seeger Hall or by telephone. The on-campus emergency number, (540) 568-6911, directly connects to the JMU Police Department and should be used when fire, police or medical response is required. It should be noted that when using a mobile telephone to call university police, callers should dial (540) 568-6911 as dialing 9-1-1 directly may route them to another agency. If you should be routed to another agency, you need to advise them of your specific location at James Madison University so that they may relay this information to the JMU Police Department communications center. The police department also utilizes another emergency number (540) 442-6911 that can be accessed if the JMU telephone network becomes disabled. For information, escort services and other non-emergencies, students and employees should dial (540) 568-6913. Emergency telephones are located across campus to include parking lots and other remote areas. These telephones are housed in highly visible yellow call boxes and feature one-button speed dialing for instant communication with the JMU Police with the location of the activated telephone automatically identified to the police communications staff. If you feel that a crime has been committed against you, you have witnessed a crime in progress, or that you have information about a crime that has occurred, please contact the JMU Police Department.

All members of the JMU community are instructed to notify the JMU police of any situation or incident on or near campus that involves a significant emergency or dangerous situation that may pose an immediate or on-going threat to the health and safety of students, staff and visitors to the campus.

The Office of Public Safety website located at http://www.jmu.edu/pubsafety/ provides information on crime prevention, emergency notification procedures, and emergencies such as hostile intruders and suspicious packages and provides links to other resources. The Comprehensive Safety Plan which can be accessed at http://www.jmu.edu/pubsafety/safetyplan.shtml provides additional information.

The Annual Security Report and Fire Safety Report can be located at "Your Right to Know". It contains safety and security-related policy statements, safety information, and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period.

A copy of the JMU Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report for the Harrisonburg campus and the three overseas branch campuses; Florence, Antwerp, and London, are available upon request.

The Annual Security Report includes statistics for the most recent three-year period of reported crimes, including “hate” motivated crimes, that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by JMU or its affiliates, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. This report also includes information regarding the law enforcement authority of the university police; means of immediate notification of students and staff upon confirmation of a significant emergency on campus; protocols for students missing more than 24 hours including voluntary student contact information in cases where the student is missing along with missing person investigation procedures; policies concerning campus security, information on crime prevention, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault, the state sex offender registry and the reporting of any crimes that may occur on the campus.

The Annual Fire Safety Report includes campus housing fire statistics for the most recent three-year period; a description of each on-campus student housing facility fire safety system; the number of fire drills held during the previous calendar year; policies or rules on portable electrical appliances, smoking, and open flames in student housing; procedures for student housing evacuation in the event of fire; policies regarding fire safety education and training programs provided to the students, faculty, and staff; procedures that students and employees should follow in the case of a fire; a list of the titles of each person or organization to which students and employees should report that a fire occurred; and plans deemed necessary for future improvements in fire safety.

You can obtain a copy of any of these reports by contacting the Office of Public Safety, MSC 6810, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 or request that a copy be mailed to you by calling (540) 568-6769 or (540) 568-6913. This information is also available electronically by clicking on the “Your Right to Know” link http://www.jmu.edu/pubsafety/righttoknow.shtml.

Although JMU works hard to ensure the safety of all individuals within its community, the individual must also take responsibility for their own personal safety and that of their personal belongings. Our goal is a campus community that is informed, aware, and alert; all sharing the responsibility of making the JMU campus a safe place to study, work and live

Thank you and stay safe!


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Handbook questions, comments, or updates?

Contact Cathy Thomas, Human Resources, at thomasce@jmu.edu or (540) 568-3967.