More information will be posted here when it becomes available.

Winter Safety Resources

The Division of Public Safety is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the Penn and West Philadelphia communities which we serve. Know that DPS maintains the same staffing level of Police and Security officers throughout the Winter Break and spring semester. If you should have any concerns or see someone exhibiting suspicious behavior, call the PennComm Emergency Communications Center at 215-573-3333.

We are here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, call anytime.

Special Property Checks: We offer our Special Property Checks for residents in our patrol zone during the Winter Break. Under the special checks program, DPS officers check the exterior of registered properties for signs of safety or security breaches. The free program is available to all residents in the Penn patrol zone, the area from 30th Street to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue to Market Street.

Walking Escort Program: An excellent resource for Penn and the local community. Uniformed Allied Universal Public Safety Officers provide free walking escorts, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Escort services also extend west to 50th Street and north/south from Spring Garden to Woodland Avenue between 10 am and 3 am via the University’s partnership with the University District Ambassador Program. Again, anyone in the community regardless of whether they have a PennCard, can use these services.

Request a Walking Escort:

  • Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building
  • Call 215-898-WALK (9255),
  • Use building and blue-light ephones located on and off Penn’s campus.

Package Theft: Avoid Package Theft – Have a Plan! Arrange to be home for delivery or have your packages delivered to a secure location.

Theft of Occupied Vehicle: Also known as carjacking, these thefts are often crimes of opportunity. Be mindful in situations including when entering and exiting your vehicle, parking (look for well-lit areas), double-parked vehicles or faked car accidents (“fender-benders”).

Phone and Email Fraud: Fraud attempts may spike during the holiday season. As you filter your email and phone calls, remember that legitimate businesses and government agencies would never solicit/initiate account administration activities or ask you to provide confidential information or money via phone or e-mail. As a reminder, malicious and misleading emails, also called “phishing” emails, are the number one way that cyber-criminals begin their attacks. Even if unsure, please call us immediately at 215-573-3333 if you think you may have experienced such an encounter.

While it is never the fault of the victim/survivor of a crime, there are specific patterns of criminal activity that we are mindful of during the winter holiday season. Consider these steps you can take to empower and protect yourself as you travel near and far:

  • Awareness
    • Stay alert and be aware of individuals who may be shadowing you as you travel.
    • Stay off your cell phone when shopping and keep it out of view.
    • Familiarize yourself with your surroundings (location, garages, parking lots, etc.)
    • If you encounter someone aggressively asking for money, do not engage with them; walk away – go into a business or other safe place.
    • If you feel that you are being followed walk towards a well-lit, populated area.
  • Shopping
    • Limit the amount of cash you carry during your shopping.
    • Carry purses close to your body and place wallets in an inside pocket.
    • Take a family member or friend with you as you conduct your holiday shopping.
  • Vehicles
    • Have keys ready as you approach your vehicle.
    • Place all packages out of view and secure them in the trunk.
    • Lock the doors as soon as you get into your vehicle.

Stay safe and be well!