Drexel takes a holistic, community-oriented approach to maintaining a safe environment for all Dragons, providing preventative and protective services along with targeted programs and technologies to ensure the well-being of our entire University community.
Partnering With Our Community, Serving as Leaders
At Drexel, we consider our urban location in the great city of Philadelphia to be a benefit that truly enhances the Drexel student experience, as it offers many unique opportunities that can only be found within such a vibrant and thriving hub of education, industry, and culture. That being said, Philadelphia is not immune to the complicating factors that accompany life within such a large and populated area. The bustling nature of living and studying in the city offers unique challenges.
Rest assured that both the Drexel University Police Department and Drexel Public Safety (DPS) Communications Center coordinate closely with the Philadelphia Police Department, Penn Police, and other local law enforcement agencies to keep our community safe, and are fully accredited by the international Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). In addition to our police and DPS dispatchers, Drexel contracts with Allied Universal Security Services, the largest private security provider in the United States, to provide security officers who patrol our campuses via foot, bicycle, and vehicle, and provide walking escorts. These bodies also operate in collaboration with our Fire and Emergency Services Unit, which works to ensure compliance with the Philadelphia Fire Code and national fire safety standards; conducts fire safety education programs, fire drills, and building inspections; and focuses on maintaining emergency preparedness and updating evacuation procedures.
Recently, Drexel University has taken multiple steps to expand and enhance the protection services in place that work to help keep our campus community safe by:
- Increasing the number of dispatchers and adding more officers to Drexel Police
- Expanding patrols and increased training of Drexel Police and security officers
- Increasing SEPTA Police patrols in areas affected by increased crime
Safety Around Campus
Drexel Public Safety (DPS) provides 24/7 police, security, and fire safety services for the entire Dragon community. Drexel's public spaces are intentionally designed to be well lit and animated at the street level at all times of day and feature "Blue Light" emergency direct-line telephones throughout our campuses for immediate help. You are encouraged to call DPS using one of these emergency telephones, via the Drexel Guardian app, or by calling 215.895.2222 whenever assistance is needed on any of our campuses, 24/7. It is of the upmost importance that you take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of you and those around you as you take advantage of all that Philly has to offer.
DPS wants to make it as easy as possible for you to know all the best practices for protecting yourself, your community, and your belongings; consider the following safety tips:
- Stay aware of your surroundings: Although this may sound simple, it's important for you to always remain aware of your surroundings when walking around campus, this including not wearing headphones and keeping your eyes off your phone. This tip also applies to crosswalks — obey posted traffic signals and make eye contact with approaching drivers before stepping out.
- Save Drexel's emergency number in your phone, 215.895.2222: When adding to your phone, consider labeling this number “Drexel Public Safety” and adding it to your favorites. It will connect you to the 24/7 Drexel Public Safety Communications Center, where a dispatcher will answer and send help your way. You can also call this number to request a walking escort.
- Make sure you're getting DrexelALERTs: DrexelALERT is an emergency notification system that sends timely crime and safety alerts to Drexel students, faculty and professional staff via text messaging and email. Its effectiveness depends on Drexel having your correct contact information. At the start of each term, you will be asked to confirm and update your contact information when you log in to DrexelOne.
- Always carry your DragonCard: Carry your DragonCard with you at all times while on campus, as it is the only way to use the Drexel shuttles and access most campus buildings.
- Protect your belongings: The most common crimes on campus are unattended thefts. Safeguard your valuables and use Drexel's free service to register your property (bikes, laptops, skateboards, cell phones, larger headphones) by bringing them to Drexel Police Headquarters at 3219 Arch Street to be logged. And don't forget to always lock your doors and bike securely.
- Use a walking escort: When you're walking around our University City Campus, consider taking advantage of Public Safety's walking escorts, available upon request, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To request an escort, you can use the Drexel Guardian app (see below for details), call 215.895.2222, use a blue-light emergency phone, or ask any security or police officer on patrol.
- Download the Drexel Guardian app: Drexel Guardian is another way to connect directly to Public Safety. You can call for help through one-touch dialing, send tips about suspicious activities via text, set safety timers, activate a GPS locator during an emergency, and more. Search “Rave Guardian” in the Apple App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android phones and register using your Drexel email address.
Frequently Asked Questions
Call 911 or 215.895.2222, which connects you to Drexel's 24/7 dispatch center. All members of the Drexel community are advised to program 215.895.2222 into their mobile phone's contacts list as Drexel Public Safety so you are prepared in an emergency. You can also connect instantly to the dispatch center via one-touch dialing through the Drexel Guardian app.
You can request a walking escort 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 215.895.2222, using a campus blue-light emergency phone, or by asking any Public Safety officer on patrol. A Public Safety security officer will walk with you to your destination. The Drexel Guardian app also has a "Safety Timer" feature you can use that will allow Public Safety to check up on you if you don't deactivate it when you reach your destination safely (this service is not meant to replace a walking escort). If you need a safe, public space in which to meet someone to complete an online transaction, you can use the front lobby of the Drexel University Police Station (3219 Arch Street), which is under 24-hour video surveillance and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Drexel Public Safety (DPS) offers several prevention and education programs on an ongoing basis. "Your Safety Is Our Goal" is a monthly, interactive situational-preparedness workshop designed to teach members of our community to be prepared, not scared. In addition to monthly scheduled workshops, anyone can request a presentation at any time. "Self-Awareness for Everyone" (SAFE) is DPS' self-protection program that aims to give Drexel students, faculty, and professional staff the practical skills, resources, and knowledge to increase their personal safety and protect themselves in an unsafe situation. Classes are available by request. Information on how to schedule any of these programs is available on the DPS website.
Drexel Public Safety (DPS) sends alerts and advisories via text message and/or email to keep the community informed about threats to public safety. In addition, DPS maintains a website with a wealth of information about the services it provides, how to report a crime, what to do in an emergency, and more. It also publishes a monthly newsletter called Public Safety & U that runs in both the student and faculty/professional staff versions of DrexelNow, and maintains a Twitter account @DrexelDPS. Once a month, the Drexel Police Department holds a meet-and-greet event with free snacks and beverages ("Cookies With Cops" and "Cocoa With Cops"), where all are welcome.
Drexel University Police Officers patrol by foot, vehicle, and bicycle; communicate and coordinate with other local law enforcement agencies; and consult regularly with students, faculty, professional staff, and community members to discuss crime prevention and safety issues. Security officers from Allied Universal, a contracted security partner, also patrol the University City, Center City, and Queen Lane campuses via foot, bicycle, and vehicle. Read more about Policing and Security services at Drexel.
Safety is a shared responsibility, and all members of the Drexel community are encouraged to take an active role. If you witness a crime or suspicious activity, report it immediately by calling 215.895.2222 (preferred) or using the web-based crime tipline. Reports can be made anonymously. To enhance your own self-protection, follow the top safety tips outlined on the Drexel Public Safety (DPS) website, and consider taking one of DPS' situational preparedness and/or self-protection classes. Finally, your feedback is always welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.