Community Safety

Division of Student Life

Community Safety Equity and Anti-Racism Initiative

Racism in all its forms is antithetical to our mission to protect the Reed community. In support of Reed's equity and anti-racism goals, we have begun a critical examination of our training, practices, uniforms, directives, and reputation in our community. As we fill in the details of this process, we will post our commitments to change with details and due dates. Look here for more information and to tell us what you think.

Institutional silence is institutional violence.

Black Lives Matter.

Enough is enough.

The Community Safety department has begun a broad and critical review of our work and our relationship with the Reed community. This page and the efforts it represents are works in progress and we would like your input. Please use our feedback form to submit information anonymously, or provide contact information and we will follow up with you.

Components of the Community Safety Equity and Anti-Racism Initiative:

  • Equity lens review of all departmental documentation: we will engage people from outside our department to read and critically evaluate all of the documents that guide our work with the charge of looking for signs of institutional racism, non-inclusive language and practices we can rectify, as well as successful practices upon which we must build.
    • Departmental directives
    • Training materials
    • Phase I complete. We employed five readers, including a recent alum and four students of varying identities to read our core documents with an equity lens and provide feedback. As of July 31, 2020, the reading portion is complete. We will next combine and review the comments in order to identify what should be amplified and what must be changed.
    • November 23, 2020 update: Phase II complete. As of November 20th, 2020, the readers comments have been compiled, reviewed, summarized, and categorized. Summarized comments and suggestions will be distributed back to the five readers for final input.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism focused training: we will list past trainings and our progress on our current department wide training course
    • Complete as of July 31, 2020
  • Accountability and transparency: we will publish data on our activity and community feedback
    • Activity reports
    • Community survey feedback results
    • Demographic data on key enforcement actions
    • Develop a community accountability process
      • November 23, 2020 update: In conjunction with the Vice President for Student Life, Community Safety is forming a coalition consisting of student, staff, and faculty membership which will be used to help Community Safety collaborate with others regarding our practices and to better facilitate direct input from the community. 
  • Uniforms, equipment, and naming. We will review and seek community feedback on the following:
    • Uniform components and design changes that could reduce barriers to trusting our team
      • Review complete as of July 31, 2020. CSO uniforms will be modified to more accurately reflect our role in the community, de-emphasizing aspects typically associated with law enforcement. A full description of the changes will be published by August 24, 2020
      • November 23, 2020 update: New uniforms have been ordered and are expected to arrive within the month. Community Safety expects the transition to new uniforms to be complete by January 1, 2021. The new uniforms will consist of maroon colored shirts in various styles paired with khaki colored pants or otherwise approved option. 
      • March 4, 2021 update: New uniforms have been delivered and the transition to maroon shirts and khaki pants has been completed. The process to update jackets and other uniform accessories is ongoing. 
    • Our historic practice of carrying handcuffs and pepper spray
      • Review complete as of July 31, 2020
        • Handcuffs: CSOs will no longer carry handcuffs. Since CSOs are not allowed to make arrests or physically engage with people except to defend themselves or protect someone from imminent harm, our reviewed showed that the nature of our work does not justify the perceptions and risks associated with having and potentially using handcuffs.
        • Pepper spray: CSOs are unarmed, non-sworn, college staff who are, nonetheless, required to patrol campus at all hours and expected to investigate alarm activations, propped open doors, and to engage with people with off-leash dogs, and with people reported to be disruptive. For these reasons CSOs will continue to carry pepper spray to be used only as a defensive tactic should there be an imminent risk of harm to them that they cannot escape.
    • Use of the term “officer” in our description of ourselves
      • Review complete as of July 31, 2020. We have elected to keep our moniker as Community Safety Officers (CSOs) for the foreseeable future. Although the term "officer" may conjure images of authority, it does accurately describe our role as commonly understood in our profession.


Although not yet customized to this initiative, you may use our existing survey to share your thoughts, questions, complaints, compliments, and other information. If you do not provide contact information, you will remain anonymous. Please remember that any actionable disclosures about child abuse or sexual misconduct, or other violations of Title IX may require follow up if identifiable information is provided.