The Western Washington University Police Department employs 14 police officers, all of whom are commissioned by the state of Washington. They receive the same training and are invested with the same powers and authority as other police officers in the state, including the authority to make arrests. The WWU Police Department has primary responsibility for law enforcement on campus and works closely with the Bellingham Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in areas of mutual jurisdiction. University Police officers investigate all crimes reported on campus and enforce all applicable criminal and traffic laws. Persons arrested by officers have their cases adjudicated in local courts.
In addition to their law enforcement responsibilities, officers respond to all emergencies on campus and provide a variety of public services, such as crime prevention through environmental design (i.e., reviewing building and renovation plans to ensure campus security). They also supervise the student Security Patrol.
During the academic year, the student Security Patrol employs an average of 24 Public Safety Assistants ("Greencoats"). Although not police officers, these students provide services such as dispatching, vehicle patrol, and foot patrols in the residence hall areas. Security patrols are on duty every day of the year from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. and serve to deter crime by their presence in the area. They check academic buildings and residence halls for unsecured doors and windows, report hazardous conditions, and provide a variety of public services including personal safety escorts.