Public Safety & U — October
It’s October now, which means everyone’s been back on Drexel University’s campus for a few weeks since the start of the new 2022–23 academic year last month. In this issue, learn more about the walking escort service from Drexel Public Safety (DPS) and other ways to use and learn about the myriad of services Drexel Public Safety offers to keep the Drexel community safe.
Walking Escorts: Security Officers Share What to Expect
Ever wonder what happens when you call for a walking escort? Drexel Public Safety (DPS) security officers provide walking escorts for students, faculty and professional staff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To request one, you can call 215.895.2222, use the Drexel Guardian app, use any building or blue-light emergency phone or ask any Public Safety officer out on patrol.
But how does this service really work in practice? Hear more from Jamar Blackwell and Greg Fountain, two of the DPS security officers who provide walking escorts, to dive into the details and get to know the people behind this valuable safety service.
How do I request a walking escort?
There are four ways to make a request:
- Call 215.895.2222
- Use the Drexel Guardian app
- Use any building or blue-light emergency phone
- Ask any Public Safety officer out on patrol
To/from what location(s) can I request a walking escort?
From 30th to 36th streets and Chestnut to Spring Garden streets, you can request an escort 24/7. Between 10 a.m. and 3 a.m., you can also call 215.387.3942 to request an escort from the University City District (UCD) for the areas between 30th to 42nd streets from Wallace to Woodland Avenue, and 42nd to 50th streets from Market to Woodland Avenue.
What is an appropriate time or scenario to call for a walking escort?
The short answer is: anytime you feel unsafe or unsure about traveling on foot. Reasons for calling range from discomfort with walking farther from central campus or at night to unfamiliarity with campus buildings as a new student/employee to a physical impairment that may heighten your concerns about traveling alone.
“Don’t ever feel that you’re inconveniencing us,” said Fountain. “We enjoy doing it. That’s what we’re here to do — our job is to keep you all safe. If you ever need an escort, feel free to contact Public Safety and you’ll have someone there waiting to pick you up at your location any time of day or night.”
What happens when I call to request a walking escort?
The dispatcher will ask for your name, location and a callback number, and an officer will be dispatched as soon as possible. “We’ll let the dispatcher know we’re on location, and then the dispatcher will give you a call to tell you that your walking escort is on location,” explained Blackwell. “Then, you come out and we’ll meet and greet and walk wherever it is you’ve got to go.” When you come out to meet your escort, look for the yellow security officer uniform.
Fountain explained that he first introduces himself respectfully — “‘How’re you doing? My name’s Officer Greg. Where are you headed to?’” — and continues to reassure Dragons who are nervous.
Blackwell also knows the importance of putting the community member at ease. “I like to break the ice and talk about Marvel movies or whatever is trending just to make the person feel comfortable with who they’re walking with. Because even though we’re security officers, we’re still, from a personal standpoint, strangers at first,” said Blackwell.
Where is the recommended location to wait for a walking escort?
For most cases, you should wait inside of the location where you’re calling from and wait for your escort to arrive. If you’re calling from a blue-light emergency phone, and no building is nearby, stay by the callbox, since they are monitored by cameras.
Meet the Officers
Feel free to say hello if you spot Greg or Jamar on campus!
Security Officer Greg Fountain has been with Drexel Public Safety for almost six years. He currently patrols the Main Building. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his family and has two daughters aged 11 and three. He also likes playing video games. Greg’s message to the community is: “We’re here for your safety – to protect everyone at the University, and your property. That’s our No. 1 priority. That’s what we’re about. If you see us, we’re here for you.”
Security Officer Jamar Blackwell has worked with Drexel Public Safety for seven years. A fun fact about Jamar: He is an old-fashioned movie-goer and loves to check out films on the big screen as opposed to streaming. He is also a fan of video games. Jamar wants the community to know, “If you have any sense of discomfort going to any location at any time, feel free to use the walking escort service.”
October Is Fire Prevention Month
This year’s Fire Prevention Month campaign is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.” There is no better time than today to educate yourself with some fire safety tips than can be used on campus and in your home. The most important thing is knowing how to get out if a fire occurs. DPS conducts evacuation drills on campus in all buildings so occupants can learn the way out of the building. Never ignore a fire alarm that is going off in the building and evacuate immediately.
Please visit drexel.edu/publicsafety/fire-emergency/overview/ for important information and presentations that DPS can provide to you! Please also review the National Fire Protection Association’s PDF resource on college campus fire safety.
Domestic Violence Awareness
Regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or socio-economic status, domestic violence is more prevalent than you may realize. One in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. Transgender women are three times more likely to be stalked, experience financial abuse, and/or endure sexual harassment than individuals who do not identify as transgender. 43.8 percent of lesbian women and 61.1 percent of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical abuse, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women. Men are not immune to abusive relationships: 26 percent of gay men and more than 37 percent of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical abuse, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men.(Source: Women Against Abuse.)
Support services and resources provided by Public Safety can be found at drexel.edu/publicsafety/policing-security/victim-services/.
Meet Drexel Police officers while enjoying some refreshments and conversation to break up your day. The next event will be held Oct. 26 from 3:30–5:30 p.m. on the corner of 33rd and Arch Streets.
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 on Oct. 24 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 either of the Oct. 24 presentations, 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. The scheduled fall sessions are on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Nov. 3 from 5–9:30 p.m. You can sign up via 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 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.