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Dear Members of the Penn Community,

As we near final exams and winter break, the Division of Public Safety would like to take a minute to update you on several safety and security initiatives we have implemented in recent weeks; tell you about the safety-enhancing services available to you, and provide you with holiday and low-occupancy safety tips. 

New Safety and Security Initiatives

•     The University of Pennsylvania Police Department has teamed up with the Philadelphia Police Department to create a Tactical Task Force deploying covert and overt patrols to targeted locations within our jurisdiction.

•     DPS has deployed additional allied security officers for a total of 347 officers on patrol on and off campus and at fixed locations throughout campus.

•     We’ve also enhanced our virtual patrol by adding two new pan tilt zoom cameras (40th and Pine and 42nd and Pine) to our virtual patrol of 76 cameras within our jurisdiction and addedadditional personnel at our CCTV monitoring and dispatch call center, PennComm, to perform additional virtual CCTV patrols.

•     We’re working with Facilities and Real Estate Services to install additional lighting on campus. And we are working with PECO to install additional pedestrian lighting west of 40th Street. We began installing the first phase of pedestrian lighting on Pine Street between 40th and 43rd Streets the week of December 5, 2005.

•     We recently trained transportation personnel to be our eyes and ears out on the road and report unsafe conditions or suspicious behavior and continue to reach out to local business owners, construction workers, and other community members as part of our PennWATCH program.

•     Penn’s Jerry Lee Center for Criminology recently began working with the Philadelphia Adult Probation-Parole Department and the Division of Public Safety on a study to help identify high risk offenders in order to prevent future crimes.

Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season should be full of joy and happiness. Unfortunately it is also a time of the year when crimes against property traditionally increase and the highways become increasingly dangerous due to careless and/or impaired motor vehicle operators. In order to make your holidays joyous and safe, the Division of Public Safety offers the following suggestions related to crime prevention and safety.Safety is a shared responsibility.  Be our partners in safety!

Campus & Community Safety

•     Use common sense. Try not to walk alone or appear distracted by wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone. 

•     Trust your instincts. If something makes you uncomfortable or if you see a person displaying suspicious behavior, contact the Division of Public Safety from one of more than 200 blue light emergency phones on campus and in the surrounding community. Just pick up the receiver or press the button.

•     Be aware of your surroundings and proactively contact the Division of Public Safety if you notice a safety hazard. You can go to our website www.publicsafety.upenn.edu and fill out the customer feedback form.

•     Reduce the opportunity for crime to occur by using the Riding Escort Service (898-RIDE) and Walking Escort Service (898-WALK).

•     Try the new Transit Campus Loop running from 7 p.m.-3 a.m., seven days-a-week, from 34th to 44th streets on Walnut and Spruce Streets. You must show your Penn Card to ride it. This pilot program will run throughout the month of December and will be evaluated in January.

•     UCWalkPLUS:  If you are planning an event, party or meeting, you can email the Division of Public Safety 24 hours in advance (at least one business day) to schedule a walking escort to walk people home at the end of your event.  Send your name, phone number, event location and the time your event will end to: UCWALK@publicsafety.upenn.edu.

Workplace Safety

•     Keep personal items such as handbags, wallets etc. in a locked, secure area.

•     Electronic items such as Palm Pilots, laptop computers should be secured when left unattended.

•     Offices should be secured when unattended. If you don't have a lock on your office door, request that one is installed.

•     Report suspicious behavior to the University Police by dialing 511 from any University telephone or (215) 573-3333 from a non-University phone. We suggest that you incorporate this number into your cell phone speed dialer.

Vehicle Safety

•     Never leave items in your vehicle that are visible to the public. Mall parking garages and lots are favorite targets of the opportunistic thief. Stow away items such as gifts in the trunk of your vehicle. If you have an SUV, cover these items with an old blanket or sheet.

•     Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and be cognizant of your surroundings. Carry a cell phone with you and be prepared to call the Police in case of an emergency.

Shopping Safety

•     Be aware of your surroundings. Carry only the credit cards that you intend to use and avoid carrying large sums of money.

•     Use ATM machines that are in well-lit safe environments. Avoid using ATM's that are located in malls. Pickpockets normally work these areas looking for people withdrawing large sums of cash. Locations such as Wawa are usually well-lit safe locations for ATM withdrawals. There is also a PNC ATM in the lobby of the Division of Public Safety at 4040 Chestnut Street.

•     Thieves often target food courts. Don't leave handbags, gifts, etc. unattended. Shopping in pairs will minimize your risk of being a crime victim.

•     Secure your credit card receipts. Someone gaining access to your credit card numbers could be the first step in having your identity stolen.

Highway Safety

      The University of Pennsylvania Police Department is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Silver Buckle Award presented through the Governor’s Office as the result of our promotion, education, training and enforcement of proper seat belt usage. Buckle up for safety, it is not just good common sense, it’s the law.

Don’t Drink and Drive

•    Alcohol is often served at holiday parties.

•    When driving on the highway it is recommended to have a cellular telephone available in case of emergencies.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 15, December 13, 2005


December 13, 2005
Volume 52 Number 15


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