Public Safety

Public Safety

Message from Chief of Police

Chief Debra A. Williams has over 39 years of law enforcement experience. She began her career with the City of Atlanta Police Department in 1983, until retiring in 2011, as a major in rank. After retiring with the City of Atlanta Police Department, she served as a Senior Police Advisor and Deputy Team Leader responsible for providing law enforcement instructions, mentoring, and the delivery of training programs with the Narcotics Affairs Section in Mexico. In 2014, she joined the Clayton County Public Schools Police Department as the major over day-to-day operations.

In August 2018, “she was called” as the Chief of Police for Clark Atlanta University Department of Public Safety. She place emphasis on “called” because she feels that it is a calling for her to serve in this capacity. During her tenure at Clark Atlanta University, she has helped bridged the gap with the students, faculty, staff, alums and the community by implementing several programs initiatives and events. During her short tenure, she has received the Leadership Award from the School of Education in 2018 and an Honorary Service Award by the Student Life Awards in 2019. The National Society of Leadership and Success recognized her for Excellence in Service to Students Award and the Atlanta University Center Consortium for her Leadership of the Public Safety and Campus Security Council. She was also recognized as one of the nominees for Georgia’s Chief of the Year at the 2020 Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Conference.

She has a Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and an Associate Degree in Accounting. She is a graduate of Georgia Association Chief of Police Executive Training and the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute of Policing (SMIP) in Boston, Massachusetts. She participated in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where she visited Israel and received training on Intervention Strategies for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence in San Salvador. Furthermore, she has received several commendations throughout her career, such as 2009 Manager of the Year for APD, Female Officer of the Year for the State of Georgia and finalist for Female Officer of the Year with the International Association of Women Police. Additionally, she is a Georgia State POST Certified Senior Instructor, enjoys leading exercise classes and playing golf.

In closing, she is married to retired City of Atlanta Police Major Khirus E. Williams. More importantly, she is a servant member of The Enon Church in College Park. Proudly, Chief Williams is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Lastly, she is a member of National Organizations of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE), the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Historically Black Colleges & Universities Law Enforcement Executives & Administrators and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Executives.


Debra A. Williams
Chief of Police / Director of Emergency Management
Clark Atlanta University Police Department

CAU Police Department (CAUPD)

Emergency: (404) 880-8911
Non-Emergency: (404) 880-8623
CAU Department of Public Safety Lawshe Street at Student Movement Boulevard
223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W. Atlanta, GA 30314
CAU Police Department (CAUPD) News

The CAU Police Department (CAUPD) is a collaborative interactive police agency dedicated to the concepts of campus community involvement and community service. We provide public safety services that are designed to fairly, efficiently, and effectively prevent crime and safeguard lives and property. We provide an environment of safety and security which ensures a peaceful quality of life in the university community by establishing collaborative partnerships with students, faculty, staff and visitors. We strive for positive interactions with outside agencies and maintain a strong, cooperative relationship with the community by respecting differences and fostering a better understanding through communication.

CAUPD employs a community-oriented policing philosophy to improve the quality of safety through our community partnerships and problem-solving approaches. To accomplish this goal, the organizational structure is designed into a 3-watch, 8-hour patrol shift schedule deploying resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, encompassing investigative services. Officers conduct directed patrols, respond to crimes in progress, mitigate disputes and disruptions, conduct residential facility town hall meetings and safety training classes, maintain and direct emergency management functions, provide security for athletic events and on-campus social activities, and provide valuable safety tips to the community. Our personnel will maintain high ethical standards, training, and professional development ongoing.

CAUPD is committed to transparency and notification. The Department carries out this function by apprising the students, faculty and staff of the University’s on-campus crime statistics through the distribution of the annual “Your Right To Know” Campus Safety Report. Statistical data is also available on the Clery Act Internal Policy website. CAUPD believes knowledge is power and with that power comes awareness, thereby fostering a campus-wide posture of crime prevention and increased public safety. 

CAUPD Headquarters is located at the corner of Lawshe Street and Atlanta Student Movement Blvd. (formerly Fair Street) in the Tanner Turner Building. Stop by and visit. 

Campus Access

Clark Atlanta University is a private institution with an open campus. All buildings are equipped with emergency lighting, exterior security lighting, ground floor security screens, fire and smoke alarms, and panic-bar type doors. All residence halls have self-closing mechanism doors that should prevent unauthorized persons from entering the buildings. The security measures are evaluated and maintained annually.

Residential Directors (RDs) are responsible for maintaining the standard of residential life within their respective halls. Dorm rules are regulated by the RD who also resides in the residence halls, which provides an opportunity for them to plan, coordinate, and implement safety measures working in conjunction with the Clark Atlanta Police Department in the following manner:
  1. Reporting strangers in their area
  2. Controlling and monitoring access to the buildings
  3. Advising safe off-campus practices
  4. Coordinating walk-through inspections
Each on-campus student residing in residential halls are expected to share in the responsibility for the security of their building.

Residence hall visitation is a privilege, not a right, and therefore may by suspended by the Office of Student Affairs. Residential hall visitation hours vary throughout the week. The normal periods for visitation in the residence halls are:
Monday through Sunday: 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Residence hall visitation hours are determined by the Office of Student Affairs. These hours are subject to change. Please refer to the Student Handbook.

Meeting Day and Time: 2nd Thursday of the month 12:15 – 1:30 PM

All administrative and academic buildings are open during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) to those who require access. All non-resident buildings are locked down and/or opened by Public Safety personnel based upon the schedule of activity, with the exception of Harkness Hall, Science Research Center and Park Street Church. Harkness Hall, Science Research Center and Park Street Church access is controlled by an access card system.

Most residence hall access is controlled by an access control card system (Panther Paw card). The Panther Paw office is responsible for data entry and card issuance procedures for this system. Residence hall rooms are accessed using a key system, which is controlled by the Office of Student Affairs and Residential Life. Residents are advised to keep their rooms locked at all times. For reasons of security, it is necessary for residents to carry their Panther Paw card and room key at all times. In the event residents are locked out of their rooms, it may be necessary for them to wait for a roommate, contact their Resident Director or contact Facilities to gain entry into their room.

Missing, lost, or stolen access cards and/or keys should be reported to the Department of Public Safety immediately. Door locks may be changed and new keys issued for a fee determined by Facilities. Keys are not to be loaned or duplicated.

Vehicles entering and exiting the main campus are monitored. Currently, vehicular access routes along public streets are not under strict control procedures. However, proactive patrolling is used to monitor vehicular access. All vehicles parked on University property must have either an:
  1. Authorized parking permit, or
  2. Vendor pass

Vehicles not displaying one of the above documents should be parked in the University parking deck. Campus parking regulations are strictly enforced. Enforcement includes warnings, traffic citations, booting and towing. 
Crime Reporting

One of the most important actions that any student, faculty or staff member can take to prevent crime is to report all criminal incidents and or criminal activity to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) using the following contact information:

  • On Campus Emergency – 404-880-8911 (or x8911)
  • Non-Emergency – 404-880-8623 (or x8623)
Timely Notification

All crimes should be reported to DPS immediately to ensure timely reporting and investigation of crimes. In order to alert the CAU community and to prevent similar crimes, DPS will report incidents of the following crimes in a timely manner: aggravated assault, burglary, murder, sexual offenses (forcible and non-forcible), robbery, and motor vehicle thefts. A summary of the crimes reported will be published annually and distributed, free of charge, to students and employees and shall also be available on the DPS Website. The DPS will respond to all criminal reports according to priority based on the immediate threat or danger to life, property, and safety. All reports will be responded to with either an immediate on-site response or an investigative procedure, as deemed appropriate.

Medical Emergencies

On-campus medical emergencies should be handled:

  1. By the onsite infirmary; or
  2. By using an ambulance service.

Fire Emergencies 

Shall be responded to by the Atlanta Fire Department and Clark Atlanta University Police Department.

Police Emergencies 

Shall be responded to by Clark Atlanta University Police Department and augmented by the Atlanta Police Department if the need arises.

Emergency and Crisis

CAU Update

Our top priority at CAU is the safety and security of our students. In case of an emergency or crisis on or near campus, students should notify CAU Public Safety immediately if there is a concern, hazard, threat, or suspicious activity on campus.

  • CALL On Campus Emergency – 404-880-8911 (or x8911)

In the event of an emergency, CAU Public Safety will notify the CAU campus community via email and phone call. CAU will issue a public statement to address oncoming concerns and provide updates, working in tandem with the Office of Student Affairs and the Board of Trustees.

Public Statements on Reported Incidents

Panther Safe

The safety and security of our students is paramount to us here at Clark Atlanta University. To that end, CAU Public Safety has launched the Panther Safe App, a custom mobile safety app developed by AppArmor to enhance campus safety on and around our campus.

This interactive mobile app has several features that can help provide you a peace of mind, including

  • Built-in Campus Maps for easy navigation
  • Push Notifications and Alert Status to share information quickly & effectively
  • Report a Tip via call, SMS, real-time dispatch or within the app
  • Mobile BlueLight – call dispatch and send your real-time location
  • Virtual Walkhome – walk with an officer monitoring your trek through campus

Download the App Now

CAU Emergency Response Protocols

Public Safety Information

Lost and Found 

Public Safety is open 24 hours a day for returning found items and claiming lost items. Please print and fill out the Found Property Form when returning items to Public Safety.  

The Department of Public Safety will hold items turned in to Lost & Found for 24 hours, after which, the items will be delivered to Student Affairs for safe keeping. You must be able to show proof of ownership in order to claim the item(s).

Emergency Notification Protocol
In an effort to ensure the safety of the Clark Atlanta University Community, the Public Safety Department uses the CAU Notification System to share information during emergency situations.
Students, faculty and staff should use the instructions below to update their contact information for receiving information in the event of an emergency:
  • Students
  • Faculty/Staff
Clear Bag Policy
  • Bags that measure no larger than 12″ x 12″ x 6″ are permitted and will be subject to visual screening depending on the size of the bag. 
  • Clear bags no larger than a fanny pack are allowed. 
  • Medical bags and baby bags will be permitted and must be screened before entry. 
  • All other bags will not be allowed into the stadium.
Campus Crime Statistics Report

The Department of Public Safety publishes an annual report on crime statistics for Clark Atlanta University’s campus. Click to view the latest CAU Crime Statistics Report

Anonymous Crime Tips

If you would like to report suspicious or possible criminal activity observed on campus, please contact CAU Public Safety via email at to send anonymous information or call the AnonymousTip Line at (404) 880-8900. Please note that this for is for non-emergency incidents only.

Sex Offenders

All convicted sex offenders are required by law to register their names and addresses with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and the Georgia Department of Corrections upon relocating to this area in accordance with 42-1-12 of the Georgia Criminal and Traffic Law Manual 2011-2012 Edition.

Additional information pertaining to individuals registered as sex offenders may be obtained by visiting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Sex Offender Registry Web site at:

Zero-Tolerance Weapons Policy

1.0 Policy Statement

While on Clark Atlanta University (CAU) property and at CAU controlled sites and activities, employees, students, and visitors are prohibited from possessing, using, buying, or selling unauthorized weapons, firearms, ammunition, explosives or other items deemed by campus police to be dangerous. This policy applies twenty four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, without exception.

2.0 Procedure Narrative

A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling the mission of Clark Atlanta University. CAU is committed to maintaining a workplace that is free of violence. This obligation includes eliminating recognized hazards from campus that contribute to violence or serious harm.

2.1 Violation of this Policy

Violation of this policy is considered to be a serious offense that endangers the safety of the CAU community. Therefore, violations by employees or students may result in immediate termination of employment or expulsion from Clark Atlanta University. Visitors to CAU that violate this policy will be required to leave the premises immediately or will be subject to arrest. Any employee who becomes aware of a violation of this policy is required to immediately notify the Public Safety Department or his or her supervisor. Any student who becomes aware of a violation of this policy should contact the Public Safety Department, Residence Hall Director, or the office of the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs.

3.0 Entities Affected By This Policy

All University Employees, Students, and Visitors

4.0 Definitions

CAU Controlled Activities include any event on campus or any University sanctioned functions off-campus that are intended solely for CAU employees, students or invited guests. These activities include, but are not limited to, graduation events, coronations, receptions, meetings, and conferences.

CAU Controlled Sites include any facility that is leased or rented permanently or temporarily by the University to conduct an activity intended primarily for faculty, staff, students , or invited guests of the University.

CAU Property includes grounds, parking lots, parking areas, sidewalks, walkways, vehicles, and buildings on campus or at satellite locations that are owned or occupied by the University.

Public Safety Units


The Mission of the Communications Unit is to provide expedient and courteous service in a professional and proficient manner to students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Communications Unit is responsible for receiving and relaying all relevant and related data of calls for service for Emergency and Non-Emergency incidents which occur within the jurisdiction of the Clark Atlanta University Police Department and other agencies having joint jurisdiction.

The Communications Unit maintains communication over emergency, non-emergency, administrative telephone lines and call boxes. The Communication Unit also monitors the University’s surveillance cameras system of which encompasses numerous cameras located throughout the campus. With a staff of six communications officers and one Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC), our communication’s unit provides services twenty-four (24) hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to the telephone system, the communications unit utilizes the Motorola transmitting system, a total recall digital voice recording unit and the Criminal Justice Information System Network to access GCIC/NCIC files. The TAC also serves as the communications supervisor for the department, and provides to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) with a monthly report of the statistical data of crimes and criminal activity on the Clark Atlanta University campus.

Investigations Unit

The Investigations Unit is commanded by the Deputy Chief and includes two (2) investigators. The Investigations Unit is responsible for investigating crimes, following up on reports initiated by the Patrol Unit for every criminal case reported to the Clark Atlanta University Police Department. Every complainant is contacted, regardless of how minor the offense may appear, to determine if any other pertinent information is available on the case and to ensure the complainant still wishes to file charges. Each reported criminal incident is assigned to an investigator. These assignments consist of working crime scenes, conducting interviews and processing charges. Also, to access areas on campus that may be experiencing an unusually high number of reported criminal activities, to target those areas for “special attention.”

The Investigations Unit is also responsible for conducting background investigations on all potential applicants for the Clark Atlanta University Police Department.

Patrol Unit

The patrol function is the most visible asset of the Department of Public Safety. The principal duties of an officer while on patrol is to attempt to prevent violations of the law, enforce the policies, rules and regulations of the University, check for suspicious persons and render aid and assistance.

Police Officers perform services through foot patrol, vehicle and bike patrols twenty-four (24) hours per day. While on foot patrol, attention is primarily focused on common areas, the buildings and the activities around and in them. On vehicle patrol, this attention is redirected to the parking areas and campus properties on the perimeter of the campus and any activities around or in them. The bike patrol focuses its attention on the campus interior, parking areas, and the promenade. Officers of the Department of Public Safety enforce Georgia criminal and traffic laws while on patrol. Violations of those laws are cited with Uniform Traffic Citations which are processed by City Of Atlanta Municipal Court and the Fulton County Justice Center.

The Department of Public Safety shares the responsibility for the patrol of the city streets around Clark Atlanta University with the City of Atlanta Police Department.

Records Unit
The Clark Atlanta University Police Records Unit is responsible for the maintenance of all incident reports which occur within the Clark Atlanta University jurisdiction. Administrative personnel distribute and release Incident/Accident reports upon request and maintain a record of released reports. One may obtain a copy of an Incident/Accident report by visiting in person the Clark Atlanta University Police Department, in the Tanner Turner Building between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Please allow five business days for processing of reports.

Training Unit

The Training Unit is a unit of the Patrol Bureau and focuses its attention on the following three categories:

  • Basic/Orientation Training
  • In-Service Training
  • Advanced Training