COVID-19: Essential Information

The Department of Public Safety

Middlebury College Department of Public Safety, Middlebury, Vermont


The Department of Public Safety provides uniformed security officers on campus, along with telecommunications staff in its office, at all times. Department members regularly patrol campus on foot and in cruisers, and they respond to emergencies. Public Safety reports to the Dean of the College. Public Safety officers don’t have the power to make arrests but work closely with local law-enforcement agencies. Public Safety officers have the authority to stop individuals on campus and to request identification. They also can issue parking tickets and notices of trespass.

The department’s staff includes the director of public safety, the associate director of public safety, a part-time associate director, a part-time administrator assisting with patrol supervision and special projects, a telecommunications manager and technical support specialist, three full-time sergeants, an administrative assistant, eleven full-time patrol officers, a telecommunications staff (with six full-time, three part-time, and four on-call employees), a staff of art-museum monitors (with one lead monitor, three part-time monitors, and three spare), seasonal Midd Rides drivers, and an on-call special-events staff.

Public Safety maintains three fully equipped vehicles, which the officers use (in addition to patrolling on foot and bike) to patrol the College’s main campus’ buildings and grounds. Officers carry radios and are certified in CPR, first aid, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED). They attend workshops and training seminars relevant to campus security and safety. Additionally, many in Public Safety have extensive prior experiences in law enforcement, safety, security work, and emergency medical and fire response.

Often, Public Safety officers are the first responders to assist with fire, medical emergencies, and criminal activity. The department works with the Middlebury Police, the Vermont State Police, the state’s attorney of Addison County, Addison County Sheriff’s Office, the State of Vermont Department of Liquor Control, the Middlebury Fire Department, the Middlebury Regional Emergency Medical Services, and Porter Hospital.

The telecommunications center uses a computerized alarm-processing system to receive fire and intrusion alarms. (A few small residential houses have fire-alarm systems that only sound locally. Please check the Fire Systems List in Annex C.)  If there’s fire, smoke, or the smell of gas on campus, Public Safety will notify the Middlebury Fire Department and provide access to facilities, occupancy information, and crowd control.

The College has an enhanced 911 system, which allows for emergency calls from the campus to be sent directly to the statewide-911 dispatching service. Public Safety learns of the phone call’s location but doesn’t hear the conversation. An officer is then dispatched to the location and receives updated information from the responding agency.

If someone calls from a cell phone, or from somewhere out of the area, the responding agency will notify DPS for assistance. Details regarding how to use the 911 system appear in the Reporting Emergencies, Crime, and Suspicious Activity section.

The Public Safety telecommunications staff manages the emergency line—443-5911—along with calls from emergency call boxes in parking lots and at the entrances to large residence halls. They also manage the business line: 443-5133.


The mission of the Department of Public Safety is to support the educational goals of the college by delivering services that enhance and protect the college community.  An environment conducive to learning requires a commitment from each student, faculty member, staff member, and visitor to uphold the ideals of community living.  It is the role of the members of the Department of Public Safety to ensure that those ideals are held in high regard by enforcing College policies, laws and ordinances, protecting property and persons, and offering services that contribute to an effective living and learning environment.

Agreement with Law Enforcement

Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

Public Safety has a cooperative agreement with the Middlebury Police Department in the areas of patrol operations, criminal investigation, service of warrants, parking enforcement, and events security. Public safety immediately reports serious crimes and missing persons to the Middlebury Police, and provides the department with reports of crimes on campus in accordance with College policies. Public Safety informs and encourages victims and witnesses to report criminal acts and suspicious behaviors to the Middlebury Police. When the police must arrest people on campus, Public Safety offers its assistance and cooperation.

The Middlebury Police Department also works closely with Public Safety when notifications must be made to inform and protect the campus community. MPD may provide Public Safety officers with training in local-ordinance education and enforcement, traffic safety and enforcement, special equipment use, and other areas of mutual interest or responsibility.

Bread Loaf campus, Ripton, Vermont


The Bread Loaf campus has a care taker living on the property and Bread Loaf administrators living on the Ripton campus during the Bread Loaf School of English. The Bread Loaf Emergency Line is x 2911 from a Bread Loaf phone,  or (802) 443-2911 from an outside line. The Bread Loaf Front Desk or the Bread Loaf maintenance offices will answer the line during the day or evening, and after hours the line will roll over to the  Middlebury College Public Safety Office in Middlebury, which is staffed at all times during the summer.

The Vermont State Police provide law enforcement for Ripton and Bread Loaf. They will respond to the Bread Loaf campus for any police emergency and can be reached by calling 911 from any phone. Public Safety has a good working relationship with the Vermont State Police, but the two do not have a memorandum of understanding.

The Ripton Volunteer Fire Department will respond to any report of fire at Bread Loaf, and the Bread Loaf campus buildings are equipped with fire alarm systems that send a signal to the Public Safety office on the main campus. The Bread Loaf Inn is equipped with a very loud air-raid siren.