With an authorized strength of 306 full-time members, the USC Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for providing law enforcement services to the USC campus community, an area encompassing more than 2.2 square miles.  DPS operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment conducive to learning.

There are three types of officers within DPS, charged with providing a uniform security presence and response:  Public Safety Officers, Public Safety Communication Operators, and Community Service Officers.

Public Safety Officers (PSO) are police academy trained armed officers empowered with peace officer powers of arrest through a written agreement with the Los Angeles Police Department. They take a proactive approach to crime suppression on both the University Park and Health Science campuses, as well as the surrounding community. PSOs suppress crime with highly visible patrols via motor vehicles, bicycles, T-3 Motion vehicles, as well as on foot.

Community Service Officers (CSO) are unarmed security officers and assist with suppressing crime via motor vehicles, bicycles, T-3 motion vehicles as well as on foot. They coordinate and conduct specialized security services to university owned property, buildings, residential facilities, hospitals, University Bookstore, and retail shops.

Public Safety Communication Operators (PSCO) perform multiple functions in the Communications Center to support various department personnel at the University Park Campus, Health Sciences Campus, University Village and University Parking Center.  Communication Operators will receive calls for service from students, faculty, staff, and guests, and dispatch the appropriate department personnel via radio communications equipment. PSCOs serve as vital links between the service community, Public Safety personnel, and all other emergency and non-emergency services available at the University and in the surrounding community.