The University places great emphasis on security and safety. The security presence on campus is three-fold, with University Police, Metropolitan Police, and the Secret Service constantly monitoring the area. There is a UPD force that patrols the campus 24-hours-a-day by foot and van. GW also has a 4-RIDE escort van service, which operates from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily. Students can call 4-RIDE when they want a ride from one point on campus to another, and a van will also take students up to about three blocks off-campus. The only complaint about the service-and it's a big one-is that 4-RIDE is very slow. Students may wait for a van for up to an hour or so on a Saturday night. GW makes a good effort in trying to keep its students safe, but even with all the precautions, crime occurs. The larger freshman dorms have the best security on campus-each has a "three-swipe system." Residents must first swipe their GWorld ID cards outside the dorm before entering, then in front of a UPD officer at the desk, and finally at the stairwells and elevators. Visitors must be signed into the building. This may seem like unnecessary measures, but it makes students feel secure.
After all, the campus is located in the middle of Washington, which has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Within the past few years, some students have even been held at gunpoint. However, most students will never encounter even a petty crime firsthand while on GW's campus. Foggy Bottom is a safe neighborhood compared to the rest of the city; nevertheless, being in the nation's capital, problems do arise. Overall, GW makes an effort, and the majority of students feel secure on campus.