DPS “Top 10 List”

The Division of Public Safety encourages you to learn about all of the safety services available to you. Please take a moment to review the ten things you need to know, including free safety services that the Division of Public Safety offers the community.

1. Contact Information 

Emergencies: Call (215) 573-3333 or dial 511 from any campus phone.

Please program this number into your cell phone speed dial as “Penn Pub Safety.” Use this number for all medical and emergency-related calls, including the reporting of suspicious behavior, or to reach Penn Police & Public Safety personnel.

General information: Call (215) 898-7297

2. Safety and Security Services:

Walking Escort Service: (215) 898-WALK (9255).

Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, between 43rd & 30th Streets and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue. Escorts are also available from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. between 50th & 30th Streets and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University’s partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.

How to Request a Walking Escort:

  • Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building
  • Call 215-898-WALK (9255) or 511 (from campus phone)
  • Use one of the many building and blue-light ephones located on and off Penn’s Campus

3. Penn Transit Ride Service

Penn Transit Services: (215) 898-RIDE (7433)

Business Services’ Penn Ride Service:  Monday-Sunday, 6 p.m.-3 a.m.; Limited on-call service, 3 a.m.-7 a.m. Visit www.upenn.edu/transportation.

4. UPennAlert Emergency Notification System

The UPennAlert Emergency Notification System enables fast and efficient dissemination of critical information to members of the University community during a major emergency via text messaging, e-mail, digital displays and the Penn Siren Outdoor System (Penn SOS). If you have not done so already, please take a few minutes now to register or update your contact information. All information is secure and confidential.

5. Blue Light Phones:

If you observe a potential safety hazard, need a walking escort, or require Penn Police assistance, contact the Division of Public Safety from one of more than over 300 blue-light phones on campus and in the surrounding community. Just pick up the receiver or press the button.

6. PennGuardian:

This service allows PennComm, the DPS emergency communications center, to identify your GPS coordinates when you call from a cell phone that you have registered with Penn Guardian. Penn Guardian is available to you as a member of the Penn community. To activate this service, you must sign up and register your cell phone number. Once your cell phone number has been registered, a dispatcher will be able to view the profile information that you have entered when you call the DPS emergency number – 215-573-3333.

7. Property Registration:

Penn Students and Faculty/Staff can register their bicycles, electronic equipment and other valuable property, online with the University of Pennsylvania Police Department. Students can also purchase a U-Lock through their SFS account.

8. Safety Presentations and Materials:

Members of the Division of Public Safety will provide safety information including brochures, videos, and presentations upon request. To request materials or arrange for a presentation, please contact our Special Services Department at (215) 898-4481 or email sdever[at]publicsafety.upenn.edu.

9. Preventing Theft on Campus:

Unattended theft is the number one crime here at Penn. The majority of all theft reported to the Penn Police occurs because items are left unattended or are improperly secured.

  • All items should be taken with you at all times.
  • U-Locks, NOT cable locks, should be used on bikes.
  • You should always lock your doors, even if leaving for a few minutes.
  • Always report suspicious activity by contacting the Division of Public Safety at 215-573-3333 or 511 from a campus phone.

10. Safety Practices:

The Division of Public Safety asks that all members engage the idea that “Safety and Security is a Shared Responsibility.” Please remember to take your personal property with you at all times, don’t leave doors unlocked and report suspicious behavior.

  • Do not display your smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc.) when walking about. Keep it in your bag or pocket.
  • Avoid using earphones when walking to ensure that you stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay in well-lit areas. Walk mid-point between curbs and buildings, away from alleys, entries, and bushes. Stay near people.
  • Avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots, and other low-occupancy places.
  • Carry only necessary credit cards and money. Avoid using outdoor ATMs (automated teller machines). Instead, look for banks that require entry into a lobby to use their ATM.
  • If you must carry a purse or handbag, keep it close to your body. This will minimize the chances of theft. If your purse is taken, don’t fight. Turn it over and immediately call 911.
  • Walk with someone whenever possible. Participate in buddy systems.
  • Do not stop to give directions or other information to strangers. Never hitchhike.
  • If you believe are being followed, call 911. Be alert & confident – making good eye contact may discourage the follower. Cross the street, change directions, or vary your pace. If someone follows you in a car, record the license number and call 911 immediately.
  • Have your key out and ready before you reach your car or door.
  • Trust your instincts and use common sense.

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