As far as legal strictness at Washington & Lee, students quickly learn that, while the University security forces are willing to hear them out and take a measured, often gracious course of action for their disciplinary problem, the Lexington Police force is not as forgiving. From parking to noise violations to students walking through town at night, the local police force is notorious for handing out violations for what are seen by students as minor infractions. Infamous is the minute minder for the local police force, who can be seen patrolling the streets with their chalk to mark cars for checking a short time after their two-hour limit is up. Towed cars are a common occurrence for students. Those looking to throw parties that will continue any time past 11 p.m. will need to get a kind of noise allowance before hand, and the police can still shut the party down if they receive a noise complaint. Finally, a dominant criticism of the police has been their tendency to stop students walking back to the dorms if they stumble or trip. Police have not hesitated in the past to hand out "minor in possession" charges to those over the legal intoxication limit in public.
For all the less-than-stellar practices of the local police, the campus security forces are known for being reasonable and helpful for students. While remaining alert for discipline issues, security guards are more likely to either give a student a warning for a minor mistake such as a noise violation or provide their honest estimation for more serious infractions. Students often get to know individual security workers and do their part in making their job easier. All in all, the not-so-great practices of the Lexington Police are compensated by the outstanding performance of the school security.