Amherst College Police

Key Policy

The College Locksmith is Douglas Fuller. Email the Lockshop here. The lockshop is located on the first floor of Services Building or call the Service Desk at (413) 542-2254 (7 AM to 3:30 PM). For after hours emergencies, call the Dispatch Center at (413) 542-2291.


In an educational institution there is a need to balance the accessibility and use of facilities with the need to provide a safe and secure environment. Facilities Management, Information Technology and the Amherst College Police work in a cooperative relationship to provide access through mechanical and electronic means to facilitate optimum use of the facilities. This policy seeks to address access concerns while maintaining the most appropriate level of security.

Proprietary Statement

All locks, keys, electronic access cards and access codes are the sole property of Amherst College. Amherst College reserves the right to change locks, keys and access codes as needed. No one may place a lock on an Amherst College facility, interior or exterior, that is not on an approved Amherst College system without the permission of the Director of Facilities Operations or his/her designee. All keys, access codes and access cards must be returned to Amherst College upon termination of employment or enrollment.

Issuance of Keys

Faculty and staff members may be issued keys to Amherst College facilities based upon need of access. Faculty and staff members must be authorized by the appropriate Dean or Chair of the department.
Keys for academic facilities issued to students for reasons of research, off hours studies, or other legitimate purposes may be authorized by department chairs. The department chairperson accepts all responsibility for the issuance, use and return of these keys. Master level keys will not be issued to students for any reason.
Master keys shall only be issued with authorization of the Chief of Police. In the absence of the Chief, the Director of Facilities Operations will act as the authorizing agent.
Non-College personnel, vendors and contractors shall not be issued keys on a permanent basis. Contractors, vendors and other personnel may be authorized to sign keys out from the Campus Police Dispatch on a daily basis. Only Facilities Directors, Supervisors and Managers may authorize the issuance of keys.
Employees who are issued master keys as part of their job requirements should store those keys in a secure area in a locked box. Master keys to College facilities shall not be removed from the campus on a regular basis and should be returned to the secure lock box at the end of the work day. Exemptions to this rule may be made on an individual basis based upon compelling need and will be evaluated upon appeal to the Chief of  Police and/or Director of Facilities Operations.

Lost or Stolen Keys

All lost or stolen keys must be reported to the  Police Department. Requests to replace lost or stolen keys must be made to the Chief of  Police or his/her designee. Requests should be in writing and describe the facts surrounding the loss; in particular, the location of the loss, whether or not there were Amherst College identifiers attached to the key, and the area that the key accessed. Based on the factors involved the Chief or his/her designee will make a decision to replace the key or require the lock changed. All costs incurred such as labor and parts for re-keying shall be assumed by the individual (student) or department of an employee who has lost keys. Contractors who lose assigned keys will be financially accountable for the costs of lock changes that are required.

Return of Keys

Upon termination of a relationship with the College, employees must return their keys to the Human Resources at the Exit Interview. Human Resources will return the keys to the Lock Shop. Keys should not be simply handed from an exiting employee to a new employee by department administrators. The Lock Shop shall re-issue keys to new employees upon completion of the appropriate documentation.
Keys that are issued to students by a department chairperson remain the responsibility of that chair until returned to the Lock Shop. It is suggested that departments seek a means of key accountability from students. Amherst College Police shall be available for consultation on methods of accountability. Should a number of keys be unaccounted for, the Chief of  Police may require a lock change for security reasons. If this occurs from a lack of accountability of a department's issued keys, the financial responsibility will be the departments. 

Electronic Access

All students, faculty and staff may be issued an electronic access card. Administrative control of the electronic access system shall be the responsibility of the Information Technology Department. Decisions of access to residential buildings shall be decided in cooperation by the Amherst College Police and the Dean of Student's Office. Electronic Access to other facilities, such as the Athletic Facility or the Science Library, shall be decided in cooperation by the Amherst College Police and the Administration.
Amherst College retains the right to change access levels and deny access to facilities based upon security issues.
Amherst College guest cards that may be used as electronic access keys for the Fitness Center are administered by the Athletic Department. Amherst College policy shall determine the encoding of access privileges. Policy on access privileges shall be determined in advance by Athletics in consultation with the Administration. The Guest Card itself remains the property of Amherst College and must be surrendered upon demand or upon termination from the College.

Loaning Keys, Access Codes or Access Cards

Faculty, staff and students may not loan or transfer assigned keys, codes or access cards. Anyone found in the possession of another's keys, cards or codes shall have the keys or cards confiscated by the Amherst College Police. Loaned access codes shall be removed from the Electronic Access system.

Lock Changes and Upgrades

Locks may be changed or upgraded as the needs of the College dictate. As part of a preventative maintenance program, Facilities routinely replaces worn or obsolete hardware. The Chief of  Police and the Director of Facilities Operations may decide to upgrade or change lock hardware as security reasons dictate.
Any re-keying or lock changes initiated by a department head or chairperson for any other reason will be the financial responsibility of the that department.

Department Responsibilities

Amherst College Police

  • Develops, distributes, reviews, implements and enforces the Key Control Policy. It is the responsibility of the Chief of  Police or his/her designee to ensure compliance with this policy.
  • Assists Facilities with the development of keying systems.
  • Assists Information Technology with the Electronic Access System of the residential halls and specific other facilities.
  • Coordinates with the Lock Shop hardware replacement and upgrades.
  • Maintains key control of master keys for non college personnel.
  • Investigates all reports of lost or stolen keys, misuse of access codes and all attempts to circumvent security systems.
  • Monitors Electronic Access System for emergencies, failures, etc.
  • Conducts continuous surveys of locking mechanisms in all College owned facilities.


  • Establishes and maintains keying systems in coordination with campus departments for the purpose of security and reasonable access.
  • Maintains the central key control records and privileges issued to faculty and staff.
  • Procures and issues all keys and locks.
  • Securely stores all unassigned keys.
  • Performs all lock work except that being done on a contractual basis.
  • Maintains records of those who have terminated their relationship with the college and forwards names of those still in possession of keys to the Chief of Police or his/her designee.

Information Technology 

  • Manages the OneCard System that controls Electronic Access to facilities
  • Works with Campus Police and Physical Plant in assessing and determining the needs of a facility for Electronic Access.

Personnel/Students Who Are Issued Keys

  • Must sign a key issuance record.
  • Must maintain the security of issued keys.
  • Must report lost or stolen keys to the Amherst College Police.
  • Must pick up keys personally at Lock Shop OR Administrators may designate in writing an authorized person to pick up keys.
  • May not lend or have duplicated any key issued to them.
  • Must return all keys to the Lock Shop upon termination from the College.

Administrators and Faculty

  • May request keys to be issued for areas under their direct control
  • Are responsible for all keys issued by them to students, lab assistants, etc.
  • Are responsible for the collection and return of student keys issued by them.
  • Are financially responsible for lock changes that occur due to a lack of accountability for issued keys.
  • May hold and re-issue student keys for areas under their direct control. It remains incumbent upon the Faculty or Administrator to maintain an audit of key issuance.
  • May request Electronic Access for those areas under their control that has that technology.
  • May not re-issue staff keys. Terminated staff's keys must be returned to the Lock Shop. Key management and record keeping is the responsibility of the Locksmith.
  • May request lock changes or upgrades in their area of direct control. The Chief of Police and the Director of Facilities Operations shall examine the current locking system and make recommendations. Lock changes initiated by an Administrator or Faculty member shall be the financial responsibility of the individual department.


  • Are responsible for the safekeeping of Amherst College keys while in possession of them.
  • May not loan keys to other contractors.
  • May not use keys to enter areas that are not part of a job.
  • Must return keys to the Amherst College Police Department at the end of each workday.
  • Should a contractor leave campus with a set of Amherst College keys, it will be incumbent upon the contractor to return to the campus and return the keys.