Staying safe on campus

The Portland State campus addresses safety of the PSU community through its own law enforcement entity, the Campus Public Safety Office.

CPSO employs Public Safety Officers with the law enforcement authority to stop and frisk, as well as to carry out probable-cause arrests. PSOs are not considered full peace officers and do not carry firearms, but they do have the authority to arrest individuals who commit illegal acts on campus. Students who commit minor offenses that violate the university’s rules and regulations can also be referred to Student Affairs.

In addition to PSOs, CPSO recently transitioned to a bifurcated police force. Essentially what this means is that some members of CPSO function as sworn police officers, who have the full authority of a regular police officer. Currently, CPSO has four sworn officers, but that number is projected to grow over the next several years. Unlike PSOs, sworn officers have the authority to carry firearms on campus.

CPSO also has close working relationships with local, state and federal police agencies, including the Portland Police Bureau. Major offenses like robbery, auto theft and aggravated assault are reported to the PPB for joint investigations. Prosecution for all criminal offenses are done so through the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office or the Portland U.S. Attorney’s Office.

For more information about CPSO, the transition to a bifurcated police force or staying safe in general, visit CPSO’s website or

Coffee with the Chief

Every other Tuesday, CPSO Chief Phillip Zerzan hosts an informal coffee session in Parkway North, located in the first floor of the Smith Memorial Student Union. These sessions are opportunities for students, faculty and staff members to have informal and friendly conversations, to ask questions, provide feedback and share information and tips. The meetings run from 10–11 a.m.

Blue Light Phones

These phones, which are located throughout the campus, immediately contact CPSO. They open direct lines with the dispatch center and engage a blue strobe light. An officer is also sent to your location. You can find them across campus and in parking structures.

Alerts and timely warnings

Campus Safety also releases timely warnings in the event a crime or potential crime poses a serious or continuous threat to the university and its community. Warnings and alerts can be released through:

Website posting
PSU campus announcement system
Campus-wide email
Printed notice

CPSO contact information
Phone: 503-725-4407
Emergency: 503-725-4404
Fax: 503-725-5593
Email: [email protected]
Mail: P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207
In Person: 1914 SW Park, Suite 148, Portland, OR 97201

Disability Resource Center: 503-725-4150
Queer Resource Center: 503-725-9742
Women’s Resource Center: 503-725-5672
Veterans Resource Center:
Office of the Dean of Student Life: 503-725-4422
C.A.R.E. Team:
Center for Student Health & Counseling: 503-725-2800
Student Legal Services: 503-725-4556