Vern campus police relocate to Ames Hall

Ames Hall will be the University Police Department’s home on the Mount Vernon Campus once the building receives its housing permits in January.

The department’s headquarters will move from the Gatehouse on W Street – on the northern side of the Vern – to the basement in Ames, Darrell Johnson, University police captain for the Vern, said.

Ames, slated to reopen in January after renovations add about 26,866 square feet to the area, will also house classrooms and various academic and administrative offices.

The change will give the police department greater visibility on the Vern, Johnson said.

“Location will make GWPD more visible and create more interaction with students, staff and faculty,” he said.

Johnson said that the more centralized location will also provide “better response time.”

University Police Chief Kevin Hay said the move will also serve as a “facility upgrade,” offering a better environment for the officers. Hay said the new space will offer the same square footage as the old headquarters, but will centralize UPD on one floor, as opposed to its current multiple floors.

“Not all of our MVC office space is together,” he said. “After Ames Hall opens, it will be.”

Captain of Investigations and Special Operations Mark Balazik said the desire for greater visibility is not a reflection of changing crime trends on the suburban campus.

“There has been no significant increase in crimes against persons or property on the Mount Vernon campus since West Hall was added,” he said.

The Vern saw a total of 19 larceny, theft and burglary incidents in both 2008 and 2009, a decline from the 25 total larceny and burglary incidents the campus faced in 2007.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.