New Homepage, New Leader, Same Commitment to Safety
Part of Drexel University’s commitment to public safety is being nimble and responsive to changing conditions on campus, in the community and in the city of Philadelphia. That’s why, when faced with an increase in violent crime throughout the city, Drexel has increased its investments in personnel and equipment, modified patrols to meet the greatest areas of need, and made other enhancements throughout campus and surrounding neighborhoods, as detailed in an Oct. 18 message from Drexel President John Fry.
To ensure Drexel Public Safety (DPS) communication channels are keeping pace with the evolving needs, DPS also recently unveiled a new homepage designed to serve as a more comprehensive hub of at-a-glance information related to the safety and security of the Drexel community. If you have any feedback about the redesign, please share it with email@example.com.
And for the biggest change of all, Melvin “Mel” Singleton Jr. has joined Drexel as vice president of Public Safety and chief of police, effective Nov. 14. Mel is a 28-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department who most recently served as second in command to the commissioner. To learn more about Mel, read the announcement of his appointment on the DPS website and look for him to be featured in a future edition of Public Safety & U.
Your Safety Questions, Answered: Can I Carry Mace?
Patrolling Public Safety officers have lately been asked the question, “Can I carry mace or pepper spray on campus?” The answer is: Yes!
You can carry mace or pepper spray for self-defense. Please note that as with any permitted item that could potentially be used as a weapon, inappropriate use of the item is not allowed and may be considered a violation of the Weapons Policy in the Student Code of Conduct.
Rideshare Safely Using These Tips
Public Safety reminds you to exercise best judgement and caution when using ridesharing services.
- Request Your Ride Inside: Minimize the time you stand alone outside. Wait inside until your driver arrives.
- Check Your Ride: Make sure you are getting into the right car with the right driver. Match the license plate, car make and model, and driver’s photo with what is on your app.
- What's My Name: Ask the driver to confirm your name before you get into the car.
- Be a Back-Seat Rider: Whenever possible, sit in the back seat. This helps ensure that you can safely exit the car on either side and gives you some personal space.
- Share Your Trip Details With Loved Ones: When en route, tap "Share Trip Status" to share trip information with a friend or family member. They will receive a text or push notification that tracks your trip and estimated time of arrival.
Additionally, the Drexel Guardian app includes a Safety Timer as well as a one-touch emergency dialing feature.
- Protect Your Personal Information: Most ridesharing apps will also anonymize your phone number when you call or message your driver through the app and mask your pickup and drop-off addresses in a driver's trip history. Do not share additional personal information with your driver.
- Follow Your Intuition: Trust your instincts and use your best judgement when using a ridesharing service. If you sense an urgent situation, call 911 immediately. Most services allow the user to call 911 directly through the app, so real-time location and trip details can be shared with the dispatcher.
- Wear Your Seat Belt: Seat belts help save lives and reduce injuries related to car crashes.
See Something Suspicious? Call Us!
Drexel Public Safety reminds everyone that if you witness a crime or see something suspicious, call and report it to DPS at 215.895.2222. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources. DPS’ Victim Services Coordinator provides services to students and employees who are victims of crimes. Please note that DPS’ online Crime Tipline form is not intended for witnesses or victims of crimes to make a report or for any emergency, and it is not monitored 24 hours a day. For all urgent matters pertaining to public safety, please call.
‘Tis the Season to Send Gifts Responsibly
The holiday season is just around the corner. It’s fun and convenient to shop online, but when you do, be sure to track your packages regularly, and do not leave them outside or in public spaces for long periods. If you know you won’t be around to collect a package, you can arrange for alternative delivery options or make sure a trusted confidante is present to receive the delivery. Detailed tips below:
- If you won’t be home, have your packages delivered elsewhere, such as an Amazon pick-up/return site, P.O. box or a FedEx or UPS location. It is well worth the commute there to ensure your packages are safe.
- Request that deliveries require a signature. With carriers like FedEx or UPS, you can often set this preference through your customer account, even if the package is already on its way. In other cases, such as U.S. Postal Service deliveries, you will need to arrange for a signature ahead of time.
- Subscribe to delivery alerts. All major delivery services offer notification services for package updates. A text message will inform you that your package has arrived.
- Ask a family member, roommate, or trusted neighbor to retrieve your package for you.
As a reminder, if you’re buying, selling or exchanging items with someone you met online, you can use Drexel Police Headquarters at 3219 Arch St. as a safe transaction space.
10 Safety Tips from the Triangle, Featuring DPS’ Community Relations Officers
The Triangle recently published an article, “Ten public safety tips and resources for Drexel students,” featuring essential safety information and quotes from Community Relations Officers Kim McClay and Tom Cirone. Read the feature on the Triangle’s website.
Thank you, Alpha Sigma Alpha, for your commitment to building bridges in the community. Through a partnership with Fraternity and Sorority Life, DPS successfully co-hosted a trick-or-treat event for Powelton Village and surrounding communities.
Donate to the Military Care Package Drive
In the spirit of giving, each year DPS works with the Veterans Task Force for their annual holiday care package drive. This year’s donation drive runs through Dec. 2. Visit the event page for a list of donation drop-off locations and details on how to help assemble the care packages.
Cookies with Cops: Nov. 17 & Dec. 8
At this special edition of Cookies With Cops, come meet Vice President and Chief of Police Mel Singleton! The meet-and-greet event will be held Nov. 17, from 3:30–5:30 p.m. on the corner of 33rd and Arch Streets. If you miss it, DPS will be back out on Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon for a holiday-themed event.
DPS Educational Programs: Learn How to Protect Yourself
You can request any of the following presentations and trainings by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Your Safety Is Our Goal, Nov. 22 and Dec. 19, at 9 a.m. or 4 p.m.: Whether you’re new to Philadelphia or want to brush up on your situational preparedness skills, this monthly virtual workshop is a great way to learn how to stay aware of your surroundings and always be prepared, not scared, when moving through the city. You may register for any of these presentations on Qualtrics, or if neither of these times work for your schedule, you can request a session by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Self-Awareness for Everyone (SAFE): Public Safety’s self-protection program, SAFE, aims to give Drexel students, faculty and staff the practical skills, resources and knowledge to increase their personal safety and protect themselves in unsafe situations. The program focuses on mindset, self-awareness, techniques that could assist in the event of a physical assault, and information on how and to whom you should report incidents and safety concerns. This hands-on class lasts approximately 4.5 hours. Upcoming scheduled sessions are on Dec. 3 and Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Feb.16 and March 14 from 5–9:30 p.m. You can sign up on Qualtrics for one of these sessions, but they’re also available by request.
- Fire & Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness: The Office of Fire and Emergency Services offers tailored awareness and training programs, by request, to help the Drexel community reduce the risks of fire. The team offers data-driven information that will give the participant the tools to react to an emergent event. Other topics covered are medical emergencies, elevator entrapments, power outages, gas leaks, and other common challenges.
- Workplace Safety Program: The Public Safety & U workplace safety program highlights the importance of workplace safety through workshops and discussions designed to empower and educate members of the Drexel community. This program can be customized to the specific needs of an administrative or academic unit to address unique security challenges and identify solutions.
We Are Here for You When You Need Us
Please call 215.895.2222 immediately if you experience or witness a crime. Drexel’s Public Safety Communications Center is staffed 24/7 to serve you, whether or not you choose to remain anonymous when making a report. It is vital that crimes are reported promptly to Drexel Police so that they can be investigated, and so that Public Safety can connect the victim(s) with proper resources. You can also contact DPS through the Drexel Guardian app. Drexel Guardian will not track you nor share your information unless you initiate an emergency. To download the app, search for “Rave Guardian” in the app store or Google Play store.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety, visit drexel.edu/publicsafety.