The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

UMW Department of Police and Public Safety to relocate headquarters to Eagle Village

3 min read
UMW police cruiser sitting outside the new location at South Hall.

UMW police cruiser sitting outside the new location at South Hall. | Russell Carver, The Weekly Ringer


Staff Writer

Over the next year, UMW’s Department of Police and Public Safety will be relocating to Eagle Village next to Patriot Subs in the building that houses the parking deck. The building will undergo construction before the move, and the university is currently considering whether to purchase or lease the building.

Unless the move is fast-tracked, UMW Police Chief Michael Hall said, the move will happen in about six months. “Contractors and permits need to be considered and the actual construction needed for the expansion is what will take the six months,” he said. “When the students come back, unless something drastic has changed in plans and with it being April now, it’s very likely that the move will occur during the latter of the fall semester or beginning of spring.”

UMW has been actively pursuing a permanent space to relocate the police headquarters, as the department moved from Brent Hall to South Hall on Nov. 17, 2022. In an email from Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair and former Vice President of Administration and Finance Paul Messplay last November, they cited water damage in the basement as well as further issues with Brent Hall’s structural integrity as reasons for the move. It called the temporary relocation a “first step as the University considers options for a long-term solution.” 

According to University President Troy Paino, renovating Brent Hall is not an option.

“We don’t have an adequate facility on campus right now for our police as Brent Hall is unavailable due to its current condition,” he said. “It was never really adequate enough for the police and it wouldn’t make sense to go in and try to renovate it for them as it was inadequate before.”

Paino also said that the department’s current location, South Hall, is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It’s an external-facing building and students, faculty and staff need to have access to that building regardless of their physical ability,” he said. The new location will be optimal, Paino said, because it will be adjacent to Eagle Landing, where 600 on-campus students live, and it will be right across from the main campus.

While Eagle Village is owned by the university, the parking garage complex and stores on the bottom floor are leased out on the market by the UMW Foundation, the private-asset manager for the university. The university is currently assessing the space, Hall said, and evaluating whether or not it would be more beneficial to buy the building instead of leasing the space in the long term. If the university were to purchase the location, the chances of it becoming the permanent police headquarters would become more concrete.

Carson Giocondo, a junior environmental science major, expressed his thoughts on the move.

“I know that some people might not like the police presence increasing on this side of Eagle Village but it’s much more comforting for me personally,” he said. “Longer nights at the HCC have become more common for me as papers and exams are coming near the end of the year. Knowing that there is going to be a higher sense of security around Eagle Landing is much more reassuring especially after the threatening messages on the bridge earlier last month.”