News and Information about the University of Maryland Police Department

A Safety Update from Chief Mitchell

Dear Campus Community,

As we continue to go about our day-to-day activities while navigating the unknown that is this pandemic, I want to share with you what we have been working on these last couple of months. My hope is that this information not only provides insight into our department but also provides opportunities for a more community-centered approach to safety and security. And most importantly, I hope this update helps you keep yourselves and our community safe. 

While our campus was operating in a de-densified capacity for all 2020 and the first half of 2021 due to COVID, we, as expected, saw a decrease in crime on campus. As we finalized the Uniform Crime Report, Part-I crime statistics for 2021, I share with you that overall crime fell to 4.47%, with a 4% decrease in property crimes.

New and Ongoing Initiatives 

We are excited to announce our partnership with Lights On! This is a community-driven program that offers repair vouchers instead of traffic tickets for participating law enforcement agencies and communities they serve. Officers can provide drivers with vouchers redeemable for free repairs of broken lights at University Gas 2 Go, located at 8153 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD. 

Safety and security are a community effort. One way we can achieve this goal is through Be Smart. Be Safe. This coordinated effort is a situational awareness safety campaign that emphasizes how Terps can be safe. When coupled with See Something, Say Something, we are reminded that we all play an active role in safety at Maryland. 

A new program for the department is our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Currently, we have 12 officers who are trained specifically in the field of Crisis Intervention and are able to interact with crisis situations using de-escalation techniques that improve the safety for our community and the officers involved. This program offers many benefits to public safety, the University’s Mental and Behavioral health services, the UMD community, and the families of the UMD community.

All UMPD officers receive training pertaining to individuals in crisis. However, our Crisis Intervention Officers received additional training in the areas of:

• Understanding signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders

• Recognizing when those signs and symptoms represent a crisis situation

• Safely de-escalating individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis

• Utilizing community resources and diversion strategies that are available to provide emergency assistance

This past fall, we successfully continued our accreditation efforts from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) and were reaccredited. A voluntary process, CALEA is an independent organization that reviews our policies and procedures and ensures we are in compliance with their standards. Since November 23, 1996, we have been accredited, and we are proud to have maintained The Gold Standard in Public Safety for 25 years!

I encourage our community to take advantage of other services and resources available, including the UMD Guardian App.

University’s Comfort Dog 

Teddy the Terp is ecstatic that our community is back for the spring semester. While Teddy is still going through his training to become a certified comfort dog, members of our community can make a request for Teddy to attend any upcoming meetings, events, or even a one on one session. Just email Teddy at and his handler, Officer Melissa Fischer will respond for scheduling. You can follow Teddy on Instagram at @teddytheterp.

Our Service K-9s 

After nearly 10 years of service to the University of Maryland and surrounding communities, our Explosives Detection K-9s, Jimbo, Bracken, and Pink have retired. The fourth dog, K-9 Chief, would have been retiring with them, but sadly passed away after his battle with cancer in 2019.  Some of their biggest accomplishments include protecting Terp fans during nine seasons of Maryland Football and Basketball games. Additionally, the dogs would patrol the University of Maryland campus daily, working to keep our facilities and our students, faculty, staff and guests safe. We wish them happiness in their next stages in life as civilian pets with their handlers and their family.

The retirement of three dogs can only mean one thing. Please welcome our three newest members, K-9s Hera, Hercules, and Buzz, to the University of Maryland community. You can expect to see them around campus, conducting trainings and assisting at special events and more. Unlike Teddy, these are working dogs, so we ask that you save your belly rubs for Teddy. But, please engage with the dogs’ handlers; they love talking with members of our community about their partner and how they help keep us safe from evolving threats.

Student Job Opportunities 

Come be part of the tradition of Terps Protecting Terps! Students can work as Student Police Aides in our Student Police Auxiliary or Monitors in our Security Operations Center. All majors are welcomed for both positions.

In Conclusion 

Since 1975, we have been here serving our community. Answering the call time and time again. We are here for you 24/7/365, and always will be. Protecting Maryland’s Future.


Chief David B. Mitchell

Chief of Police/ Director of Public Safety