Event Security FAQs

I represent a group that is sponsoring an event on campus. The security staffing plan indicates that we need 2 deputies and 6 Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP) at this event. Our budget is very limited and the deputies are very expensive. Can we substitute SEPs for the deputy positions in order to save money?
No. Deputies and Special Events Patrol officers are not interchangeable. They perform distinctly different services. Deputies are sworn law enforcement officers, with full police powers while on duty here at Stanford. SEPs are non-sworn uniformed security personnel available as needed, providing supplemental security services on campus. It is true that the hourly charge out rates for deputies and SEPs differ significantly; however, the charge out rates are cost-recovery rates that are based on the actual cost of the personnel to the Department of Public Safety. The security staffing plan was determined based on information provided on the Security Services Request Form as well as other information that was available concerning your event. The need for deputies at your event was based on foreseeable incidents and/or known security concerns that may be associated with your event.
I am sponsoring an event on campus and would like to hire Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP) for security, but I want to have a low-key security presence. Can we hire plain-clothes SEPs for our event?
No. We do not staff event security positions with SEPs in plain clothes. The primary role of an SEP is that of a visible security presence and a contact for help in the event of an emergency. SEPs need to be visible and easy to locate by event organizers as well as guests at the event who may need assistance in the event of a health or public safety emergency.
I am the event organizer for a Stanford Student party. Why do I have to provide sober monitors/student staff to check IDs at the door if we are hiring Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP) for our event?
Whether SEPs are providing security at a student event or not, the student leaders sponsoring a particular event are expected to manage their own event. This includes providing sober student staff to check IDs and handle other entrance requirements that may be in effect. In general, minor issues during an event can best be handled and kept at a low-key level by restricting the visible response to the situation. For this reason, our expectation is that the sponsoring group will provide sober student staff at the main entrance--as well as inside the event venue--who can take initial action in dealing with minor issues. When SEPs are part of the event security plan, they will be assigned to the main entrance to assist as necessary and to provide backup to the student staff in the event that a situation is not responding to the actions of the student staff.
I have been at student parties before where a fight has broken out. Why didn't the Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP) assigned to this event step in and break up the fight?
Special Events Patrol officers are responsible for security tasks that will not require physical enforcement actions. SEPs are not expected to become physically involved in an incident like a fight or other similar situation. SEPs are expected to attempt to verbally intercede in a disruption or other situation, but if the situation is in the process of escalating to the point of physical violence, the SEP should use his or her radio to call for assistance from the on duty deputies. Once the SEP has radioed for assistance, s/he should attempt to keep the surrounding crowd away from the incident. Once the deputies arrive on the scene, the SEP?s role is to assist with crowd management as needed or requested by the deputy.
I am the organizer for an event that requires a completed Facilities Usage Form (PE-100). How can I arrange to have this form signed by someone from Public Safety?
You can call the Office of Special Events: (650)736-7308 or send an email to event_security@lists.stanford.edu to make arrangements to have the PE-100 form signed. You can also send the form to: Department of Public Safety, Office of Special Events 711 Serra St Stanford, CA 94305-7240 We will sign the form and contact you when it is ready to be picked up or returned.
My event starts at 5pm, but the security estimate that I received from your office indicates that I am being charged for security personnel starting at 4:15pm. Why?
In general, Public Safety SEPs and other personnel are scheduled to begin their assignments 30-45 minutes prior to the time they are requested to be on-site at an event. During this time, SEPs are reporting for duty at Public Safety, checking out their equipment, meeting with the on duty watch commander for briefing, and arranging for transportation to the event. Similarly, after the event ends and Public Safety personnel leave the event, they must return to Public Safety, check their equipment in and check out with the watch commander. This usually takes between 20-30 minutes. Costs for pre-event checkin as well as post-event check out are included in overall security fees that are charged to event sponsors.
My organization is considering hosting an event, how can we find out if we should hire security?
If you are in the early stages of event planning and wish to discuss possible security needs, send an email to event_security@lists.stanford.edu with some basic descriptive information about your event. You can also call our office at (650) 736-7308.
As an event sponsor what are my responsibilities and expectations ?
  • On site event staff/contacts are expected to manage their own event; this includes being responsible for the event facility, lobby, and areas in the immediate vicinity around the event facility, including nearby parking areas in some cases.
  • For security requests during non-event hours (i.e., overnight equipment security, etc.), the event sponsor will provide contact information for use in the event of an emergency at the security site.
  • For student parties, party planners will provide adequate numbers of sober monitors and adhere to other requirements per the OSA party planning guidelines.
  • Event sponsors will provide cell phone contact information for at least three designated individuals who must be present at the beginning of the event to meet SEP staff upon arrival.
  • Where applicable, on-site event staff will be assigned to the entrance of the event and will be responsible for all entrance requirements of the particular event including but not limited to: checking for appropriate ID (SUID or college ID as applicable), bag inspections, applying wristbands when used.
  • If alcohol is being served, sober monitors will be provided or to serve alcohol according to University party planning guidelines.
  • Designated sponsor event staff will monitor the event guests and, when appropriate, will approach guests who are violating University or event policies. If the event staff person feels that assistance or backup from the uniformed SEP is necessary or desired, they will contact the nearest SEP for such assistance.
  • Event staff will monitor crowd size in relationship to facility capacity & advise the SEPs when crowd size is nearing capacity. If the venue has reached capacity, event staff are to assist the SEPs in preventing additional people from entering. Due to fire code issues, the venue should not be allowed to exceed capacity.
  • On-site event staff will cooperate with SUDPS personnel requests for assistance in the event that problems arise.Event staff will take the initiative to clear the event when it is over, if applicable. SEPs will be available to assist with this effort.
What are the Department of Public Safety's responsibilities and expectations ?
  • Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP) will meet with the SUDPS patrol Watch Commander or Shift Coordinator for assignment briefing.
  • SEPs will check-in with the Event Organizer/Contact & meet on site staff upon arrival at the event.
  • SEPs and event staff should work together as a team. In general, event hosts/staff should be the first line of response. SEPs should be available to assist and back up the event staff who are dealing with guests at the entrance to the event as well as assist with situations inside the event as applicable.
  • SEPs will provide assistance in the following areas:
    • If magnetometers are being used, SEPs will monitor the students using the magnetometers to ensure proper use of the equipment. If the students are not familiar with the proper use of the magnetometers, the SEPs assigned to monitor the entrance will demonstrate proper use & correct/assist the students if needed.
    • SEPs will monitor event staff and volunteers who are checking Ids or inspecting bags and provide backup or assistance in the event that an unwanted prospective guest becomes difficult to handle.
  • SEPs are NOT expected to go hands on in a situation that requires physical intervention. In the event that a situation has become physically violent or where violence is imminent, the SEP is expected to contact sworn personnel on duty (either as part of the event or on duty assigned to patrol) for response to the situation.
  • SEPs will monitor crowd size in relationship to facility capacity & advise the event organizers when crowd size is near capacity. If the venue has reached capacity, SEPs are to provide uniformed backup and assistance to the event organizers & monitors in order to prevent additional people from entering. Due to fire code issues, the venue should not be allowed to exceed capacity.
  • SEPs will monitor guests for prohibited & illegal items and unacceptable or illegal behavior.
    • In the event that illegal items or unacceptable behavior are observed, SEPs should notify the on site event contact of the violations as soon as possible.
    • If the violation is minor, the event staff should make initial contact with the guest and ask them to cease their behavior. SEPs should accompany the event staff, if asked.
    • While the general expectation is that the event sponsors will manage their event, SEPs should be available to assist as a uniformed presence as needed. SEPs may also need to step in and take preemptive action as well. Rather than allow a minor situation to escalate out of hand, an SEP should not hesitate to contact a guest directly and ask them to cease unacceptable behavior.
    • If the violation is moderate or extreme, the SEP is expected to notify the patrol Watch Commander immediately. If there is significant or imminent risk of danger to people or property, the SEP should notify the WC immediately. The WC should also be notified if multiple minor violations of law are taking place.
  • SEPs should assist/notify the on site event staff regarding potential or anticipated problems and individuals. The SEPs should also notify the WC of the same information. After the event is over, the SEP will brief the Watch Commander regarding problems or suggestions for improvements.
What are the personnel available to provide event security services?
  • Special Event Patrol Officers (SEP)
    • Uniformed security personnel available on an on-call basis to provide supplemental security services for events and other situations requiring short-term security on the Stanford Campus.
    • Role:
      • Event security at fixed or roving posts for large or small events
      • Site security or equipment security during overnight or non-business hours
      • Pedestrian traffic control
  • Community Service Officers (CSO)
    • Uniformed non-sworn Public Safety personnel.
    • Role:
      • Traffic control services
      • Parking arrangements (must first be authorized by the Parking and Transportation Services department)
      • Barricade delivery and setup
  • Deputized Patrol Officers
    • Uniformed, law enforcement police personnel.
    • Role:
      • Uniformed law enforcement services at large events or events with security concerns
      • Plainclothes protection details
  • Stanford Emergency Medical Service (StEMS)
    • Uniformed, emergency medical technicians.
    • Role: StEMS is a student group of certified EMT-Basics that provide standby medical services free of charge to the students, faculty, and community at Stanford campus events. StEMS works with the Department of Public Safety and Vaden Health Center to provide high quality emergency care on campus. To request medical services for your event, please visit the StEMS website
How do you determine the number of security personnel required for my event?
  • Expected event attendance
  • Guest policies: Stanford students only, invitation only, open to the public, ticketed event, etc.
  • Location/venue where event will take place
  • Duration of event
  • Event advertising practices: no advertising, limited advertising on campus, targeted advertising off campus, etc.
  • Alcohol policy
  • History of the event and/or events which may be similar in nature to the event
  • Other campus or community events that may be scheduled for the same time period as the event in question