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Policing at Penn

Community Based Policing

Approximately 125,000 people study, work, live, and visitors simply passthrough the Penn Patrol Zone on a given day. Safety and Security in an open, urban, multicultural and densely-populated university environment such as Penn requires at the core, a strong commitment to community-based policing practices. The primary responsibilities of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department are law enforcement, order maintenance and service. First and foremost in our organization’s success, is the support of the community we serve for effective crime prevention. Community feedback and input about our crime-prevention programs are critical to building a successful program. This philosophy is reinforced at every level within the UPPD, from the patrol officer to the Superintendent of Police.

Other components of the community policing strategy include:

  • Emphasizing the enforcement of public order and quality of life issues, such as panhandling, disorder, graffiti, public disturbances, traffic violations, obstruction of highway, defiant trespass, skateboarding and retail and bicycle thefts.
  • Identifying, analyzing, and responding to conditions underlying various types of crime through problem-oriented and evidence-based policing.
  • Increasing the level of accountability and transparency of police practices through community surveys; rigorous data collection regarding all interactions between the UPPD and its citizenry; accessibility of citizen complaints against police; feedback to the Division of Public Safety, in person, via phone, and email; and continuous education for the Penn student, staff and faculty bodies.
  • Providing outreach services to those experiencing homelessness or substance dependency.
  • Attending community meetings in University City per month in which University residents can share their concerns, fears and questions about safety and crime.

Dedicated Detectives Unit

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department’s Detective Unit is a full-service squad comprised of the Deputy Chief of Investigations, 2 Detective Supervisors and 12 Detectives. Services include Criminal Investigations, Offender Processing and crime scene examinations.

The UPPD Detective Bureau is proud to have clearance rates for burglaries and robberies consistently higher than the average national clearance rates for the same crimes. The Detective Unit also provides Dignitary Protection for the many important University of Pennsylvania VIP’s both local and from around the globe who visit our campus.

Public Safety Liaison Program

For the Penn community in particular, UPPD Commanders, Supervisors and Detectives have institutionalized a liaison relationship with various resource centers and divisions, including the following, in which assigned members of the UPPD meet regularly with academic and administrative leaders to provide support, answer questions, and function as a first responder to problems and concerns associated with each respective entity:

  • All college house residences under CHAS
  • Campus Resource Centers:
    • African American Resource Center
    • Greenfield Intercultural Center
    • La Casa Latina
    • LGBT Center
    • MAKUU
    • PAACH
    • Penn Women’s Center
  • Office of Affirmative Action
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • CAPS
  • Athletics
  • Alumni Relations

The Division of Public Safety embraces the motto, “Safety and security is a shared responsibility” and the members of the UPPD work diligently through open dialogue, transparency, and collaboration, to deliver the highest quality of service and protection for every valued community member in the Penn and University City area.

  • Emergencies


  • General Information


  • Campus Phones


4040 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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