Duke University Police Department records, 1955-2001
Navigate the Collection
- Duke University. Police Department
- The Duke University Police Department provides comprehensive law enforcement and security services to all components of Duke University including the academic campus, a large medical center complex, an 8,000 acre research forest, and a variety of satellite facilities throughout North Carolina. The collection documents the activities and policies of the Police Department. Materials include correspondence, reports, minutes, incident reports, depositions, photographs, the publication Duke Community Safety Report, maps, and other records concerning the operation and activities of the Department. Much of the material relates to parking and traffic problems, complaints, and solutions of the Traffic Committee. Other topics include safety procedures for various campus events and locations including Duke Hospital, internal announcements and administrative matters, and general correspondence. Much of the correspondence is with Paul J. Dumas, director of Duke police from 1971 to 1995. The collection also includes materials pertaining to Duke Police safety measures during basketball championship events, including VHS footage of campus bonfires. The records document the department's commitment to providing a secure and orderly environment for students to learn at Duke University.
- 11.75 Linear Feet
- Materials in English
- Collection ID:
- University Archives Record Group:
- 10 -- Executive VP and Treasurer & Administration (Business and Finance)
10 -- Executive VP and Treasurer & Administration (Business and Finance) > 03 -- Administration
- Scope and content:
The collection documents the activities and policies of the Police Department. Materials include correspondence, reports, minutes, incident reports, depositions, photographs, the publication Duke Community Safety Report, maps, and other records concerning the operation and activities of the Department. Much of the material relates to parking and traffic problems, complaints, and solutions of the Traffic Committee. Other topics include safety procedures for various campus events and locations including Duke Hospital, internal announcements and administrative matters, and general correspondence. Much of the correspondence is with Paul J. Dumas, director of Duke police from 1971 to 1995. The collection also includes materials pertaining to Duke Police safety measures during basketball championship events, including VHS footage of campus bonfires. The records document the department's commitment to providing a secure and orderly environment for students to learn at Duke University.
- Biographical / historical:
The role of ensuring law enforcement and safety on Duke's campus was originally carried out as an extension of facilities management and was a small operation. In 1939 there were only four officers on staff, and by 1961 the force numbered only ten. In the 1960s campus safety was handled by the Traffic and Security office under Physical Plant operations, and gradually increased in size and professionalism. In order to keep up with the needs of an expanding campus and student body, a special committee was appointed by the president to review campus security problems. The committee recommended that security matters should be elevated to the responsibility of the university's central administration, rather than remain a minor role of maintenance services.
Warren C. A. Bear was hired to the newly created position of Chief of Security Division in 1961, and succeeded by Christopher J. Visas in 1969. In this decade the department hired its first African-American staff members: Timothy Dash, Jr. was hired in 1968 for a brief time, and A. B. Washington was hired in 1969, becoming chief of Public Safety's campus police division in 1994. Requirements for newly hired patrolmen were formalized, including a minimum of a high school diploma and previous police experience, and additional on-the-job training implemented. The expansion and professionalization of security begun in the 1960s was accelerated in 1971 with the hiring of Paul J. Dumas as Director. Under his leadership the Traffic and Security Office was renamed the Public Safety Department, including police, traffic, and safety divisions and reporting to Business Administration. A detective unit was started and a new zoned campus parking system implemented in 1972 and a year later, in 1973, the first female officer Rosemary Jones joined the staff.
In the 1990s the department continued its efforts to meet the needs of an evolving campus, holding diversity forums and launching community safety initiatives to build rapport with the student body. Paul Dumas was awarded the university's top service award, the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service, being the first university staff member to receive the award as previous recipients were faculty, alumni, or trustees. He retired in 1995, succeeded by Alana Ennis. In 1996, the name of the unit was changed to Duke University Police Department to reflect the fact that many officers had police commissions and equal authority to municipal or county officers, and to avoid confusion with the Occupational and Environmental Safety Office. Clarence Birkhead took control of the Duke University Police Department in 1999, having served with the campus police since 1988. He was followed by Robert Dean from 2005 to 2008, who came out of retirement to serve as director after a four-decade career at Duke. John Dailey took over the role of chief of police in 2009. As of 2014, there were approximately 70 officers on the staff of the Duke University Police Department.
The Traffic Commission was started in 1951 to work in concert with campus security to cope with traffic and parking matters. Membership was composed of staff representatives from various campus units. The Commission had the authority to assess fines and set up judicial boards for appeals.
- Acquisition information:
- The Duke University Police records were received by the University Archives as a transfer in May 1975, July 1980, May 1984, October 1983, March 1995, and July 2014.
- Processing information:
Processed by: Jamie Patrick-Burns, October, 2014.
Accessions described in this finding aid: 75-59, 80-120, 84-26, A93-120, A95-40, and 2014-0050.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Health facilities -- United States -- Safety Measures
Campus parking -- North Carolina -- Durham
Traffic safety -- United States
Duke University. Police Department
College students -- North Carolina -- Durham -- Conduct of life
Duke University -- Basketball
Universities and colleges -- Security measures - United States
College students -- Political activity -- United States
- Dumas, Paul J.
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the office of origin and the University Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the University Archivist.
In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.
Records, such as search committee files or others pertaining to employment where individuals are identified, are closed for 70 years.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- Terms of access:
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Before you visit:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Duke University Police Department records, 1955-[ongoing], University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.