Mission and Values


The mission of the Harvard University Police Department is to maintain a safe and secure campus by providing quality policing in partnership with the community.

The HUPD pursues this mission within the University context of free expression, rigorous inquiry, vast diversity, and pursuit of distinction. The HUPD honors these traditions and seeks success by means that are moral, constitutional, and respectful of individual rights and community interests.


HUPD officers personally and professionally commit themselves to the values of the Department. They seek the same distinction in policing that Harvard University pursues in research and teaching, and in so doing, contribute to the excellence of Harvard University.

We are professionals in our work.
We develop and maintain our knowledge and skill through education, training, mentoring, and experience. We are disciplined: we know the right thing to do and do it without having to be told. We perform to the best of our ability.

We are loyal to each other and Harvard University Police Department.
We are proud of our profession, our colleagues, and the HUPD. We learn from, share with, and influence our colleagues to maintain the highest professional standards. We strive to strengthen our health and our families, and the HUPD commits itself to assisting us. We provide leadership to each other, the Department, and to Harvard University, especially in times of crisis.

We maintain integrity in our lives and our work.
We are straightforward and direct in our dealings with colleagues and the community. We speak and act with confidence that we are doing the right thing; however, we are always aware of the possibility that we could be mistaken. We seek to be worthy of our colleagues’ and the public’s trust.

We are compassionate to the community and people we serve.
We try to understand the suffering and pain that people experience, even offenders. We treat people with respect and dignity at all times. We strive in our language and behavior to be judicious and calming. We understand, as well, that even force can be used professionally, empathetically, respectfully, and tactfully.

We work in partnership with the community.
We attempt to be open and transparent in our dealings with the community, while maintaining confidentiality when it is required. We work to establish mutual trust between the Department and the community. We work in partnership with individuals, agencies, and the community in solving problems. We reaffirm that in a democracy the police and the community are one.