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Sharing Responsibility for Safety and Security:
Increasing Policing and Awareness

September 24, 2003

A Message to the Penn Community:

We are aware that University City, like many neighborhoods across the City of Philadelphia, has experienced an increase in robberies in recent weeks. We are proactively and immediately taking steps to counter this recent trend.

Penn Public Safety has increased the number of both uniformed and plainclothes police officers and Allied Security officers on patrol during the evening and early morning hours, both on campus and in the community where recent robberies have occurred. In addition, the University City District will deploy additional Safety Ambassadors between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. The Philadelphia Police, SEPTA Transit Police and other local law enforcement agencies are adding additional patrols in our area. More security cameras are being installed around campus to allow for expanded closed-circuit television patrols. New cameras will be activated west of 40th Street.

Safety and security are a shared responsibility.  To that end, we encourage all Penn students, faculty, and staff to use caution walking during the late night hours and to utilize the many safety resources available to them.

Walking Escorts: The U.C. Walk program (215-898-WALK) provides walking escort service 24 hours a day throughout University City.  

Penn Transit Services:  Penn buses run east and west from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Penn Shuttle Services (215-898-RIDE) provides riders with off-campus “to door” service after 6 p.m. in University City. Penn Shuttle Service to Center City will also be provided on weekends from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and on weekdays from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m.  These services are available free of charge with a valid Penn ID.

After 3 a.m.:  If you have a transportation need after 3 a.m. please contact Public Safety at (215) 898-WALK or (215) 573-3333. 

I feel certain that with this increased level of policing and a heightened awareness by every member of the Penn community, we are doing everything we can to confront this recent challenge. We will continue to work with the community to keep our campus and our neighborhood safe.  

--Maureen Rush, Vice President, Division of Public Safety


Safety Tips from Penn Public Safety

• If you witness a crime call the Penn Police at 511 from a campus telephone or 215-573-3333 from a cell phone or an off-campus telephone.

• Familiarize yourself with the locations of the blue light telephones on and around campus. There are more than 215 blue light phones on campus and throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

• If you feel threatened or unsafe, follow your intuition and contact the Penn Police by using a blue light phone or by dialing 511 or (215) 573-3333. Enter the (215) 573-3333 emergency number into your cell phone speed dial system.

• Avoid walking home alone late at night. Avoid short-cuts through parks, vacant lots and other deserted places.

• Walk and park in well-lit areas.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Know that alcohol and drugs compromise your awareness.

• Do not stop to give directions or other infomation to strangers.

• Whenever possible travel in groups and use Penn escort services at 898-RIDE or 898-WALK, which are available to employees as well as students.

• Use indoor ATM machines--there are 27 located on campus. Check DPS website for locations,



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 6, September 30, 2003