Public Safety & U — April 2023
Welcome to Spring Term! It’s one of the busiest times on campus, and a great time to brush up on the services Drexel Public Safety provides to keep you safe – from the dedicated folks who staff our communications center, to our newly designed self-protection classes, the versatile Drexel Guardian app, Drexel Police’s property registration program, and much more. Plus: A fond farewell to Public Safety’s fall/winter co-op.
6 Top Tips for a Safe Spring Term
As Dragons, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our classmates and coworkers, and the West Philadelphia community at large to help create and maintain a safe environment for all. Here’s a refresher on the services Drexel Public Safety (DPS) provides as well as the most important steps you can take this spring to keep yourself and your community safe. You can always find more information on the DPS website.
- See Something, Say Something: One of the most important things you can do is add 215.895.2222 (Drexel Public Safety) to your mobile phone contacts list. This number will connect you to the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center, staffed 24/7 with trained dispatchers who will answer and, if needed, send help your way. Please report any suspicious activity or concerns immediately using this number (you may also call 911 during any emergency).
- Look Out for DrexelALERT Messages: DrexelALERT is an emergency notification system that provides timely dissemination of crime and safety alerts via text messaging and email. If you recently changed your phone number or you’re not sure if you’re receiving these messages (texts begin with the words: “DrexelAlert URGENT”), log in to DrexelOne, select “DrexelALERT” under the “Safety, Security and Support” header on the Welcome tab and follow the instructions to update your contact information.
- Get the Drexel Guardian App: Downloading Drexel Guardian onto your mobile phone allows you to use a one-touch dialing feature to call for help or activate a GPS locator during an emergency, which the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center will use to immediately locate and assist you. You can also use the app to let a friend or family member know you’re on the move, among many other safety features. 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.
- Always Carry Your DragonCard: Have your DragonCard with you at all times while on campus, as it is the only way to access campus buildings. Always scan your card when entering a building, and do not prop doors open or allow others to “piggyback” behind you without scanning their IDs.
- Guard Against Theft: Most crimes on campus are thefts of unattended items, which can also pose the risk of potential identity theft. Safeguard your valuables — never leave them unattended — and use DPS’s free service to register your property (bikes, laptops, skateboards, cell phones, larger headphones) by bringing them to Drexel Police Headquarters at 3219 Arch St., where item details will be logged into the registration system. Regarding Bike/Vehicle Thefts: Please lock your vehicles, remove your keys from the vehicle and never leave your car running, even if you are just going into a store for a quick errand. Park in well-lit areas and do not leave any items, including small change, in view inside of your vehicle. U-locks are the best and most effective way to secure your bikes; watch DPS’s instructional video for tips on how best to use one.
- Be a Good Neighbor: Students play an important role in the development of a positive relationship between the University and the community, and there are many ways to be a good neighbor, particularly if you live off campus. Introduce yourself to your neighbors — get to know and be respectful of their lifestyles, which may differ from yours. Maintain the property’s appearance, follow the rules for proper trash disposal and participate in neighborhood cleanups when possible. Be mindful of things like shared walls and the availability of on-street parking. It’s the little things to show kindness and courtesy to others that go a long way toward building safe and healthy communities.
DPS Workload and Crime Dashboard Updated With 2022 Data
The Drexel Public Safety Workload and Crime Dashboard has now been updated with 2022 data, providing three years’ worth of information (2020-2022) about the work of the Drexel University Police Department (DUPD) in three categories: calls for service, criminal statistics, and arrests and criminal complaints. The Dashboard was launched last fall as part of Public Safety’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the relationship between the DUPD and the University community. As a reminder, the dashboard is intended to reflect the workload of the DUPD, not to provide comprehensive, real-time crime and safety information. You can find more up-to-date information in the Daily Crime Log and Fire Report. Please send any questions, concerns or feedback about the Dashboard directly to Drexel Public Safety at email@example.com or to the Drexel Public Safety Oversight Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Format for SAFE Classes
To better suit Dragons’ schedules, Public Safety has modified its self-protection program, Self-Awareness for Everyone (SAFE), by splitting it into two sessions: SAFE I and SAFE II. These two-hour classes offer the same important information and hands-on techniques as the original class. Due to the hands-on nature of the class, we strongly recommend you register with a fellow Dragon! Participation in the techniques is recommended, but not required.
- SAFE I begins with a brief overview of the class and explains the reporting processes, mindset and various free public safety services that are provided. It will focus on stances and patterns of movement, then give a general overview of striking such as punching palm strikes, as well as how to kick and knee properly. SAFE I ends with instructions on how to defend against arm grabs and some chokes. SAFE I classes will be offered the second week of every month on Monday and Wednesday.
- SAFE II begins with a quick review of what was learned in SAFE I. Class then transitions to defense from both arm grabs and body grabs, then explores various techniques from the ground (for example: how to defend against an assailant that is sitting on top of you and roll them off). SAFE II classes will be offered the fourth week of every month on Monday and Wednesday, and cannot be taken until you SAFE I is complete.
Recognizing Telecommunicators: The Eyes and Ears of Public Safety
In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 9-15), DPS is shining a light on the folks who staff the Drexel University Public Safety Communications Center (DUPSCC), which acts as the eyes and ears for all campus activity. The center is staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week by dispatchers who are certified by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials. They are the ones who respond when you call 215.895.2222 or use your Drexel Guardian mobile app, and they serve as the crucial link between the University community and all services provided by Public Safety, Drexel Police and the Philadelphia police and fire departments.
Spotlight on DUPSCC Mentors
Director of Communications and Accreditation Caneshia Bailey takes pride in mentoring and teaching members of DUPSCC. She said her dedication and passion for over 27 years in the public safety field has made her realize that bringing a positive spirit — whether it is at work or in her personal life — makes everything more exciting. She strives to help the community by ensuring Drexel dispatchers are trained properly to recognize the urgency and importance of who they serve while also being self-believers in the profession they chose. Caneshia has a saying, “If I can teach one person something, then I have done my job.”
Leah Freiling started as a dispatcher with Drexel University in August 2015 and moved up the ranks to become a certified training officer (CTO), communications supervisor, and as of May 2021, a lead dispatch supervisor. She said becoming a CTO was very inspiring, as she was able to help new dispatchers become confident and reliable for day-to-day operations and emergencies. In her current role, she works with new hires, training them to become dispatchers before they are assigned to a shift within the communication center. She also works as a dispatcher herself. Freiling finds joy in knowing that by answering an emergency call or simply sharing information with callers, she contributed to helping them resolve an issue. Freiling added, “As dispatchers, we are rarely seen but always heard.”
What DPS Dispatchers Want You to Know
Supervisor Attia Wright would like the community to know that “dispatchers understand they're calling for assistance and want a quick response. But our job is to ask questions of the caller, so that we can send the appropriate help. Asking questions also helps us keep our officers safe.”
Dispatcher Bianca Landers added that the most important thing about her job is getting the address. She urges the callers to always give the dispatcher your location, as it is hard for police to be dispatched if they don’t know where the emergency location is.
Saying Goodbye and Good Luck to DPS’ Co-op
DPS had the pleasure of hiring Joey Kloss, a second-year nursing student, for co-op for the fall/winter terms. During his time with the department, Kloss was able to complete several independent courses through FEMA and attain certifications as a public safety telecommunicator from APCO. He also successfully passed the International Association of Arson Investigators to become a Fire Investigation Technician. In addition to these accomplishments, Kloss worked exclusively with Fire & Emergency Services Director Dave Hollinger to learn more about the resources this unit offers.
Thanks for spending your co-op with DPS, and the team wishes you much success in your future endeavors!
Cookies with Cops – April 18
Join Public Safety from noon to 2 p.m. on April 18 on Lancaster Walk for a pop-up event as we support our colleagues on Teal Tuesday for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Come for an afternoon treat and conversation with Drexel Police to learn about our Victim Services resources.
Property Registration at Civic Engagement Fair – May 12
In partnership with the Undergraduate Student Government Association, look for DPS at the Civic Engagement Fair from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 12 on Lancaster Walk. Bring your bikes, laptop and other items, as an officer will be onsite for property registration.
Have an event or hot spot on campus or in the neighborhood you’d like us to come to? Send suggestions to Linda Moran, email@example.com, and we will do our best to get there!
DPS Educational Programs: Learn How to Protect Yourself
In addition to the SAFE classes described above, you can request any of the following presentations and trainings by completing the Request a Presentation Form.
- Your Safety Is Our Goal: This 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.
- Fire & Emergency Services, Emergency Preparedness: The Office of Fire and Emergency Services offers tailored, data-driven awareness and training programs, by request, to help the Drexel community reduce the risks of fire. Additional 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 is designed to empower and educate members of the Drexel community and can be customized to address the unique security challenges of your unit 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 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 or 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.