Public Safety & U — August
As quickly as summer arrived, it is almost over, and Drexel’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is looking forward to your arrival on campus! Whether you are a student, faculty or professional staff member preparing to return after being away, or you’re a new Dragon gearing up to start, DPS has you covered with a checklist of safety-related actions you can take now – as you enjoy these last weeks of summer – to prepare for your arrival at Drexel. In addition to the tips below, please visit the DPS website for additional campus safety resources, and visit the Welcome Week website for information about move-in.
Also in this edition of Public Safety & U: Meet DPS’ co-op, Aden, and learn how to donate back-to-school supplies for neighborhood kids.
Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Co-op, Aden Betman
Aden Betman, ’21, has been attending Drexel for four years, majoring in criminology and justice studies, with a minor in photography. He has been on co-op with the DPS team since April 2021, working as a crime analyst. One of Aden’s major projects was using ARCGIS software to make maps that the department uses to view Drexel’s campus, identify crimes throughout the area and locate installed call boxes and cameras. In addition, he has attended several training demonstrations and participated in research projects with the team.
Aden’s favorite part of working with the Drexel Police Department is “learning all the different ways Drexel keeps its students safe” and, of course, “when Deputy Chief Joe Spera suggests tripe sandwiches for lunch!” Outside of Aden’s schoolwork and co-op experience, he is passionate about jiujitsu, Batman, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He also has a pitbull named Rhonin who never barks.
Aden would like the Drexel community to know: “Always become close with Public Safety.” Thank you, Aden, for all your help this year!
Seven Ways to Get Ready for Fall Term
- Get to know Public Safety!
DPS is comprised of administrative and operational units working around the clock to protect you on campus. DPS promotes safety education to the Drexel community and surrounding neighborhoods, and interacts with those groups through various volunteer opportunities. If you see them on campus, stop and say hello!
DPS is made of up the following groups:
- Drexel Police Department: Drexel police officers patrol campus by foot, vehicle and bicycle. They are sworn Pennsylvania-certified police officers trained in many specialized safety services who retain relationships with local law enforcement agencies and neighboring communities. Drexel Police also provides victim support services to those who are victims of violent crime.
- Drexel Public Safety Communications Center: A full-service safety and emergency dispatch center, staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The Communications Center is the crucial link between safety services and the Drexel community. Dialing 215.895.2222 connects you to the Communications Center, where dispatchers will identify your request or concern and send help your way.
- Allied Security Officers: Contracted security personnel who patrol the University City, Center City and Queen Lane campuses via foot, bicycle, and vehicle. They also provide fixed-post security in campus buildings and at events and are available as walking escorts. Allied security officers do not have the authority to make arrests.
- Fire and Emergency Services: This team encourages comprehensive fire and emergency preparedness practices on all Drexel University campuses, as well as advises and mentors the Drexel EMS student organization.
- Save this emergency number in your phone.
DPS encourages you to add Drexel’s Public Safety phone number, 215.895.2222, to your mobile phone contacts list. This number connects you to the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center, where a dispatcher will answer and send help your way (you may also call 911 during any emergency). Calls placed on campus blue-light emergency telephones also immediately connect to the Communications Center.
- Sign up for DrexelALERTs.
DrexelALERT is an emergency notification system that provides fast dissemination of crime and safety alerts to Drexel students, faculty and professional staff via text messaging and email. DrexelALERT's effectiveness depends upon individuals providing accurate personal contact information. Learn how to add or update your contact information on the Public Safety website.
- Use Drexel Guardian to turn your phone into a safety device.
If you download the Drexel Guardian app onto your phone (search for “Rave Guardian” in the app store), you can use a one-touch dialing feature to activate a GPS locator during an emergency. The Drexel Communications Center can then immediately locate and assist you, improving the speed at which we can help those who may be at risk. Drexel Guardian will not track you or share your information unless you initiate an emergency.
Other useful features of this app include:
- Set a Safety Timer — To notify Drexel Police or people you trust to check in on you if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place.
- Manage & Message Your Guardians — Invite family, friends or others to be your Guardian, and communicate with them within the app as needed.
- Easy Emergency Communication — Use one-touch dialing to call safety officials directly for help if you are in trouble. Send text tips — including photos — if you see something suspicious.
Review these frequently asked questions on the DPS website to learn more.
- Locate your DragonCard and keep it in a safe place.
You should carry your DragonCard with you at all times while on campus. It acts as your official University ID and is required to enter and exit on-campus buildings. Drexel’s Building Access Guidelines outlines accessibility parameters for buildings on campus. If you lose your DragonCard and need a replacement, visit the Business Services website for instructions.
- Bookmark the Construction and Traffic Advisories page.
Nestled within a large urban city, Drexel is subject to traffic delays, sidewalk closures and other disruptions to transit on and around campus. While these improvement projects do have an end in sight, we understand that they can sometimes be inconvenient. Drexel maintains a Construction and Traffic Advisories webpage to keep you informed of major, long-term projects impacting traffic patterns. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and you should check local news and government services for the latest traffic delays and construction notices.
- Learn to be prepared, not scared, with a situational preparedness presentation.
Public Safety offers virtual, interactive, monthly presentations (“Your Safety Is Our Goal”) on situational preparedness. Hosted by a team of Public Safety employees including Drexel Community Relations Police Officers, these Zoom presentations touch on the following:
- Those of us living, working, and attending classes in an urban setting may encounter unpredictable situations. Being aware of your surroundings and recognizing potential dangers are key to keeping yourself safe.
- Although there are some public safety factors that cannot be controlled, there are measures all Dragons can take to prevent themselves from being victims of a crime. DPS provides tips to encourage you to think and act accordingly — not to be scared, but to be prepared.
- If you are the victim of a crime, it is vital that you report it promptly to Drexel Police so that the crime can be investigated, and Public Safety can connect you with proper resources.
Please complete this short survey to select the presentation you would like to attend: drexel.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cwpSKO9o368og0m.
If you have a community or group you would like us to present to, or would like to propose an alternate presentation time, please contact Officer Tom Cirone at firstname.lastname@example.org or Officer Kim McClay at email@example.com to schedule based on your availability.
Community Commitments: Back-to-School Giving Back
In partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department’s 16th District, DPS is helping local elementary school children start the academic year off right by collecting donations of the following items through Sept. 8: pencils, mechanical pencils, erasers, pens (black and blue), highlighters, pencil cases, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue (stick and regular), folders, spiral single subject notebooks, composition books, two-inch binders, binder dividers, lined paper reams, copy paper reams, Clorox wipes, tissues. dry erase markers, textbook covers, rulers and backpacks (plain colors).
Items can either be dropped at the DPS offices at 3201 Arch St., Suite 350, or at Drexel Police Headquarters at 3219 Arch St. For further information, please contact Linda Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit drexel.edu/publicsafety.