1-4 Agency Jurisdiction
Policy Type: Local
Responsible Office: Chief John Venuti, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department
Initial Policy Approved: 8/26/2013
Current Revision Approved: 3/12/2019
The purpose of this directive is to define the law enforcement authority of the VCU Police Department (VCUPD) in order to ensure conformity with the authority granted under the Code of Virginia, to define the cooperative functions between VCUPD and other law enforcement agencies, with or without concurrent jurisdiction, and to establish guidelines by which mutual aid will be provided to and requested by VCUPD.
All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any policy violations investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.
Campus Jurisdiction and Boundaries
VCUPD consists of sworn police officers and civilian security personnel, with jurisdiction on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. VCU campus police officers are vested with the same police powers as other state and municipal law enforcement. Campus police jurisdiction includes all university owned, leased and controlled property, as well as the adjacent streets and sidewalks (see Va. Code § 23.1-815).
VCUPD has concurrent jurisdiction with the City of Richmond’s Police Department, with full authority to exercise the powers and duties conferred upon them by law in the following areas within the City of Richmond that area bounded, generally, by: (1) the westernmost side of North Lombardy Street (from Virginia State Route 195 to Interstate 95/64) to the West; (2) the southernmost side of Virginia State Route 195 (from North Lombardy Street to South Foushee Street) to the South; (3) the easternmost side of South Foushee Street (from Virginia State Route 195 to East Main Street) to the East; (4) the southernmost side of East Main Street (from South Foushee Street to South Eighteenth Street) to the South; (5) the easternmost side of North Eighteenth Street (from East Main Street to Coalter Street) to the East; (6) the northernmost side of Coalter Street (from North Eighteenth Street to Oliver Hill Way) to the North; (7) the easternmost side of Oliver Hill Way (from Coalter Street to Hospital Street) to the East; (8) the northernmost side of Hospital Street (from Oliver Hill Way to North Fifth Street) to the North; (9) the westernmost side of a line running from the intersection of North Fifth Street and Hospital Street to the intersection of North Third Street and East Leigh Street to the West; (10) the northernmost side of East Leigh Street (from Third Street to Saint James Street) to the North; (11) the northernmost side of West Leigh Street (from Saint James Street to North Belvidere Street) to the North; (12) the easternmost side of North Belvidere Street (from West Leigh Street to Interstate 95) to the East; and (13) the northernmost side of lnterstate 95 (from North Belvidere Street to North Lombardy Street) to the North.
Jurisdiction and Core Campus
VCU has designated what has been deemed as VCU’s “core campus geography.” Clery crimes, or criminal activity that resembles Clery-designated offenses, that occur within the designated core campus boundaries or contiguous thereto (i.e., sidewalk, street, sidewalk), shall be treated with heightened awareness for Clery reporting purposes. Once details are obtained for any incidents that occur within the core campus that may require Clery Act reporting, the on-duty supervisor shall immediately notify the on-call captain.
- VCUPD employees shall cooperate with other law enforcement and/or public service agencies in matters of mutual interest. Interagency cooperation enhances the following:
- Exchange of information concerning criminal and traffic activity and other matters of police interest
- Development of joint plans to deal with activities of police interest, including jurisdictional cooperation efforts
- Arrest and return of fugitives
- Accomplishment of department goals and objectives
- Professional image of the department and/or other agencies involved
- To facilitate cooperation, the department will:
- Maintain membership in professional organizations, such as the Virginia Police Chiefs Association, the Virginia Campus Police Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, etc.
- The Chief of Police or their designee will attend regular meetings with local public safety officials for the coordination of plans in which VCUPD has a mutual interest and for the resolution of other issues, which may arise
- Participate in joint operations with agencies in adjoining jurisdictions, and with any other agency whose investigation is of such a nature VCUPD has a mutual interest.
- Utilize the NCIC/VCIN Teletype and telephone communications to maintain liaison with other online agencies
- Continue to maintain a liaison with other entities, such as Richmond Circuit and Juvenile and Domestic Courts, Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Richmond Sheriff’s Office, Department of Corrections, Department of Parole and Probation, etc.
- Participate in statewide fingerprint records and crime reporting systems
Offense Reporting and Investigations
- VCUPD is lawfully authorized to investigate all offenses that occur within its jurisdiction.
- Death investigations, sexual assaults and serious crimes that occur upon VCU property shall be reported and investigated in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between VCUPD and the Richmond Police Department (RPD), as outlined below:
- Death investigations occurring on VCU property that are not suspicious in nature will be handled and investigated by VCUPD, and upon the occurrence of such incidents, VCUPD will contact and advise RPD of the investigation.
- All suspicious deaths, suspected suicides, homicides, and manslaughter cases occurring on VCU property will be investigated jointly between VCUPD and RPD.
- Homicides, death investigations and other serious violent crimes that occur within the VCU Health System will be investigated jointly between the VCUPD and RPD.
- Sexual assaults that occur on VCU property, or within VCUPD’s jurisdiction, that involve students, faculty or staff, will be investigated by VCUPD. RPD will assist with forensic services and crime scene evidence collection, as necessary, and VCUPD will notify RPD of these offenses at the time of occurrence.
- VCUPD will contact and request formal assistance from RPD for any investigation/situation that exceeds VCUPD’s resources.
- VCUPD will assist RPD, if necessary, with any investigations that have any connection or affiliation to VCU.
- VCUPD and RPD will provide law enforcement assistance to one another on a case-by-case basis.
- If VCUPD is contacted regarding the above offenses, VCUPD will create an administrative report for informational purposes and offer Victim/Witness support and resources to a student, faculty or staff member, as needed.
Offenses Occurring Outside of VCUPD’s Jurisdiction
- VCUPD officers shall take appropriate police action for violations that an officer personally observes while acting within VCUPD’s jurisdiction, as outlined above.
- For offenses occurring outside of VCUPD’s jurisdiction, VCUPD officers may make arrests for a breach of the peace committed in their presence or for a felony (i.e., citizen’s arrest). The applicable jurisdiction shall be responsible for all necessary reports in these situations.
- Officers responding to requests from other law enforcement agencies or correctional institutions outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia must perform all of the following actions:
- The officers shall determine what type of action(s) may be necessary
- The officer shall notify their immediate supervisor of the situation
- The immediate supervisor shall notify the affected chain-of-command, and if deemed appropriate, the on-call Captain or their designee will make the necessary arrangements
Request for Federal Law Enforcement Assistance
- Upon an incidence of crime occurring within the Monroe Park Campus or MCV Campus, the Chief of Police may authorize contact with the federal government for assistance, as necessary.
- In a situation arising from an incident within the Patrol Division, the on-call captain may enlist aid from federal agencies in an advisory capacity only.
- In a situation arising from an incident within the Investigation Division, the Assistant Chief of Support Services may enlist aid from federal agencies in an advisory capacity only.
- Cooperative investigations shall be coordinated through the Assistant Chief of Support Services
- Pursuant to § 23.1-815 and § 15.2-1726 through § 15.2-1728 of the Code of Virginia, VCUPD may, in its discretion, enter into mutual aid agreements or reciprocal agreements with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for such periods as it deems advisable. A copy of all applicable agreements are maintained by the Office of the Chief of Police. At minimum, all mutual aid agreements must include the following details:
- The legal status of the agency and agency personnel responding to mutual aid requests
- Procedures for vesting the provider agency personnel with the legal authority to act within the receiving agency’s jurisdiction
- Procedures for requesting mutual aid
- The identity of those persons authorized to request mutual aid
- The identity of persons to whom outside personnel are to report
- Procedures for maintaining radio communication with outside personnel
- Expenditures, should any be borne by the receiving agency, to compensate for the use of the provider agency’s resources
- Procedures for review and revision, if prescribed in the agreement
- Waive any and all claims against all the other parties thereto which may arise out of their activities outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement
- Indemnify and save harmless the other parties to such agreement from all claims by third parties for property damage or personal injury which may arise out of the activities of the other parties to such agreement outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement
National Guard Assistance
In the event of a declared state emergency requiring the assistance of the Virginia National Guard and/or the Virginia State Police, the Chief of Police shall request the Vice President for Administration to request the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to activate such assistance, as defined by § 18.2-410 and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000. This authority is vested solely with the Chief of Police, or in their absence, the Acting Chief of Police
This policy supersedes the following archived policies:
8/26/2013 - 1-4 Agency Jurisdiction
6/13/2018 - 1-4 Agency Jurisdiction