Print This Issue

Safety and Security Initiatives at Penn
December 9, 2008, Volume 55, No. 15

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 and programs available to all members of the
Penn Community and to provide you with holiday and low-occupancy safety tips. 

Safety and Security Initiatives at Penn

The Division of Public Safety is responsible for providing comprehensive safety and security services for all areas comprising the Penn Patrol Zone, which includes 30th Street to 43rd Street, on the east-west border, and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue, on the north-south border. In addition to the University of Pennsylvania Police (116 police officers, the largest private police force within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), the Division of Public Safety also provides a vast network of security and guard services, contracting with Allied Barton Security throughout the University (for a total of 450 officers), including residence halls, and 73 foot and bike patrol officers who provide our Walking Escort Services (215) 898-WALK), available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Complementing our active patrols by police and security is a system of 82 closed circuit television cameras, and over 200 fixed cameras throughout the Penn Patrol zone, with PennComm emergency operators and dispatchers, providing virtual camera patrol coverage 24 hours a day.

Walking Escorts for Reading Days and Final Exams

As in past years, the Division of Public Safety, working with the Undergraduate Assembly, has reinstituted the Public Safety Walk-back Program. During reading days & finals, from Saturday, December 6 through Wednesday, December 17, an AlliedBarton Security Officer will be posted at the “Button” on Locust Walk from 10 p.m. - 3:30 a.m. Approximately every 1/2 hour the officer will enter VanPelt Library to determine if any student would like an escort. The Penn Walker will then perform the escort and return to repeat the process.
The Division of Public Safety is providing this service in addition to its normal Walking Escort Programs. Uniformed AlliedBarton Security Officers provide escorts to campus locations. Escorts are dispatched by radio and will accompany you from one campus location to another, to a Penn Transit Stop or to an on-campus SEPTA regional transit stop. Escorts are available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To request a Walking Escort, call (215) 898-9255 (898-WALK).


Winter Break Safety: Special Checks of Residences

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Winter Break (Wednesday, December 17, 2008 through Wednesday, January 14, 2009) is approaching quickly. Traditionally, this is a time of lower occupancy and greater opportunity for crime. Therefore, we need to be more safety and security conscious.

In order to reduce the opportunity for crime (criminal mischief, burglaries, etc.), the Division of Public Safety is again offering to conduct Special Checks of Residential Properties during the following time frame: 5 p.m. Wednesday, December, 17, 2008, through 7 a.m. Tuesday, January 13, 2009.

Please notify Public Safety of your departure date no later than December 15. Students, faculty and staff who live within the following geographical boundaries—30th to 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue to Market Street—may list their residence with the Penn Police Department for Special Checks during the period in which it will be vacant.

Penn Police and security officers will periodically physically check the exterior of registered properties for signs of criminal activity or security breaches. If any are discovered, the officers will take appropriate action ranging from arresting the perpetrator to conducting an interior check of the property with subsequent notification to the listed occupant.

If you would like to list your residence for Special Checks during winter break, complete the application form on the Public Safety website at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu. Go to “Forms” and follow the instructions to submit. Or, you can pick up an application at the Division of Public Safety Headquarters, 4040 Chestnut Street. You need to complete and return the application prior to vacating the premises. **

Wishing you delicious food and quiet moments with family and friends,

–Division of Public Safety

** Registering your residence for Special Checks does not guarantee that your property will remain entirely event-free throughout your absence; however, the 63 residents who registered with the Penn Police over the Thanksgiving Break did not experience any break-ins during that holiday break.


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.

• Utilize both the Walking Escort Services (215-898-WALK), available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the following boundaries: (29th-50th Streets, Spring Garden to Baltimore) AND Penn Transit Services (215-898-RIDE), operated by the Division of Business Services, for mobile escort services for all members of the Penn community, from 6 p.m.-3 a.m. daily (*On-call for emergencies, 3 a.m.-7 a.m.), operating within the following boundaries: 50th Street–20th Street and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue–www.upenn.edu/transportation

Program the PennComm Emergency Number, (215) 573-3333, into your cell phone’s speed dial. Use this number for all medical and emergency-related calls, including the reporting of suspicious behavior, to reach Penn Police and emergency response personnel. You can also request a walking escort with this number.

Workplace Safety

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

• Electronic items such as Palm Pilots and 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’s 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, (215) 573-3333.

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 ATMs 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 cell phone available in case of emergencies.

—Division of Public Safety, www.publicsafety.upenn.edu



Almanac - December 9, 2008, Volume 55, No. 15