Letter to freshmen: Help us keep you safe

Don’t hesitate to call for help in case of drug, alcohol problems, use common sense

GARY JENKINS, Pullman Police Chief

On behalf of the Pullman Police Department, I wish to welcome new and returning WSU students to Pullman! My staff and I are committed to the safety of everyone in our community and we will do whatever we can to provide a safe environment for those living and learning in Pullman. We ask all WSU students to contribute to these efforts by promoting the safety of themselves and their peers.

Fortunately, crime rates in Pullman are low, but that does not mean you should not be careful. Of those criminal activities that do occur, most can be linked to alcohol as a contributing factor. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it is illegal to do in your hometown, it is most likely illegal to do in Pullman.

Pullman officers will not enforce alcohol or drug violations when responding to overdose calls. If someone needs medical care, call 911 immediately. Overdose and alcohol poisoning is real, make the call without worry about being arrested.

Here are some general guidelines to be aware of and some local ordinances:


  • Be familiar with your lease agreement to know which violations result in monetary fines and/or eviction.


  • Noise complaints: Electronic noise (music) can be complained about 24/7. Between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., any resident can complain about almost any other type of noise. Enforcement can be a warning, a ticket costing $150 to $500 and/or a mandatory court appearance.
  • Urinating/defecating in public (outdoors) is illegal almost anywhere; in Pullman it can result in an embarrassing $100 ticket.
  • Open container or consuming alcohol in public (beyond apartment/balcony/patio; includes adults and minors). So NO, Pullman is not like Vegas! You cannot walk down the street carrying a beer. If you do, it will result in a $500 ticket.
  • Offenses Against Peace and Order. It should come as no surprise that fighting is not allowed in Pullman. If you don’t get arrested for the crime of assault, you could still get a $350 ticket.
  • Public Nuisance (involving any of the above or other violations): $250 ticket.
  • Display or use of marijuana in public (if possessed legally): $103 ticket.
  • Possession of alcohol in a vehicle where the driver has access or is being consumed: $136 ticket.

Criminal Offenses

Misdemeanors (M) are punishable by 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Gross Misdemeanors (GM) are punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Felonies (F) incur harsher penalties.

  • Minor (under 21) in possession of liquor: GM
  • Furnishing liquor to minors (beverages or place to drink): GM
  • Minor in public exhibiting effects of consuming alcohol: GM
  • Indecent exposure: M
  • Malicious Mischief (property damage): GM
  • Reckless Endangerment (risk of injury): GM
  • Trespass (enter or remain unlawfully on property or in building): M or GM
  • Theft: GM or F
  • Minor (under 21) in possession of 1 oz. or less of marijuana: M
  • DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug: GM (Minimum of 1 day in jail and a $941 fine)
  • Assault: GM or F levels depending on injury and intent.
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (illegal drugs, prescription medication that is not yours, more than 40 grams of Marijuana): F
  • It is not legal to possess any Marijuana on WSU property.

Pullman has a very low crime rate and we work hard to keep it that way. Since we can’t be everywhere at all times, we need your help to keep our community safe. Call 911 for any emergency threatening life or property, or for a crime in progress. For less urgent calls, use the non-emergency police dispatch line at (509) 332-2521.

Officer Shane Emerson is the College Hill Officer for the 2017-18 academic year. Officer Emerson’s primary responsibility is to work with students and student groups in education and prevention efforts. Shane is a resource for you. Do not hesitate to contact him with questions, concerns, advice, etc. His cell phone number is (509) 432-4949.

You’ll find the police department web page at http://www.pullman-wa.gov/departments/police. We are also active on social media:

  • Instagram: pullmanpolice
  • Twitter: @PullmanPolice
  • Facebook: PullmanPD
  • MyPD Mobile App (Android and Apple)
  • YouTube (Pullman Police)

I would like to wish you a rewarding, successful, and safe year. I look forward to our partnership in keeping Pullman a great place to live, work and learn.