Frequently Asked Questions

Students, parents, faculty, and staff members often have a variety of questions about their personal safety and the services provided by the George Washington University Police Department. Below you will find a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you would like more information about any of these subjects, please feel free to contact us at

Is the GW campus safe?

The University is located in one of the safest areas in the city. However, no college campus is free from crime. We recommend that all members of the community take reasonable precautions to protect themselves. The GW Police Department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers a variety of services to make the campus safer. These services include blue-light emergency phones, emergency phones in residence halls, bike registration, and GWPD self defense classes.

In addition to services offered to students, the GW Police Department works closely with a variety of partners at the local, state, and Federal level to provide a safe atmosphere at the university.

What is the most prevalent crime on campus?

Property crimes are the most prevalent crimes on the GW campus. There are an average of 500-600 thefts reported to GWPD annually.

The George Washington University Police Department cannot stress enough that members of the community take responsibility for the security of their personal property. In addition to securing your own belongings, you should immediately report behavior that looks suspicious to GWPD by calling 202-994-6111.

Help us be proactive against theft. If you see something suspicious, say something.

How do I report a crime, suspicious person, or suspicious activity?

Community members, students, faculty, staff, and guests should report all criminal and public safety related incidents directly to GWPD at 202-994-6111(Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses) or 911 (everywhere else).

Where is the University's lost and found?

Lost and found items recovered by community members or GWPD officers are stored in the Academic Center, Room 101. When recovered, lost items are logged in and stored by GWPD for thirty days. Items are available for pick up from 8:30am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4:30pm Monday through Friday (eye glasses and non-GW keys are available 24/7).

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What should I do about a lost GWorld Card?

Lost GWorld cards should be turned in to GWPD. Once received by GWPD, the lost card is recorded and then sent to the GWorld Card office at the beginning of the next business day. All lost GWorld cards must be claimed through the GWorld Card office at Colonial Central, Marvin Center Ground Floor.

To deactivate your GWorld card please visit the GWorld card website

Can GWPD officers make arrests?

Yes. GWPD Police Officers receive their commission from the government of the District of Columbia and have the authority to make arrests on GW-owned, leased, or controlled property

What should I do when I encounter homeless people?

In D.C., panhandling is not prohibited unless the panhandler impedes your ability to continue walking or is "aggressively" panhandling.

If you become fearful for your safety in any location, you should immediately leave the area and call GWPD (if on campus) or 911 (if off campus).

How can I get involved with GWPD?

GWPD has a variety of employment opportunities available to the public and students.

What steps has the University taken to protect students in the event of a citywide or nationwide emergency?

Health & Emergency Management Services (HEMS) is responsible for alerting students in the event of a citywide or nationwide emergency. GWPD and HEMS are directed by the Division of Safety and Security which will coordinate a response with the University's administrators, and GW's city, state, and Federal partners. Rest assured that the University is prepared to provide students with the information necessary to respond to large scale emergencies.

Every member of the GW community should maintain a level of preparedness that allows them to be ready for any type of unpredicted emergency event.