Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I find myself in an emergency?
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.
What options do I have if I feel uncomfortable being by myself on or around campus?
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.
What services does Drexel provide to educate students about safety?
Drexel Public Safety offers several crime prevention and safety 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 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 DPS' website.
How does Drexel Public Safety communicate with the University community?
Drexel Public Safety 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/staff versions of the university-wide DrexelNow e-newsletters, 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.
When is a DrexelALERT sent?
The DrexelALERT system enables fast and efficient dissemination of critical information to members of the Drexel University community. As soon as Drexel Police are notified of an incident that presents an active threat to the Drexel community, an alert is sent to students, faculty and professional staff.
If an incident does not constitute an active threat, a Public Safety Advisory may be issued to provide the community with relevant information. It is paramount for students, faculty and staff to keep their contact information in the DrexelOne portal up to date so they can continue to receive these important notifications. The Public Safety website has more information on DrexelALERTs and other types of DPS notifications.
What is the role of the Drexel Police Department?
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.
What is Drexel’s approach to policing within its patrol boundaries?
Drexel University strives to ensure the safety of both its campus and surrounding community, where many Drexel students also reside. DPS and Drexel University Police (DUPD) officers patrol an area that includes the Mantua and Powelton communities to the north and west of Drexel's University City campus. DUPD officers respond to any incidents within this patrol zone — not limited to incidents involving individuals affiliated with Drexel — as well as assist the Philadelphia Police Department, SEPTA Transit Police and the University of Pennsylvania's Division of Public Safety if necessary.
Safety can feel different among members of the campus community and surrounding neighbors. As part of its ongoing efforts to improve public safety communication and programs across the campus and surrounding community, the University has established the Drexel Public Safety Oversight Committee to give voice to all members of the campus community and add another avenue for transparent communication between Drexel Public Safety and the University's many stakeholders. The Committee includes members from University City community organizations, as well as representation from Drexel students, faculty and staff.
Drexel Public Safety remains deeply committed to its mission to equitably enrich the quality of life of all members of the community by providing a safe and secure environment through effective relationships, excellence in service, and adherence to the highest professional and ethical standards.
How can I help to make our community safer?
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 website and consider taking one of DPS' situational preparedness and/or self-protection classes.
Finally, your feedback is always welcomed at email@example.com.
What is Drexel doing to enhance safety in response to increased crime and gun violence in Philadelphia?
Drexel has invested several millions of dollars of additional funds toward hiring more sworn police officers, Allied Universal security officers and police dispatchers; installing more security cameras and improving outside street lighting on campus and in nearby neighborhoods; and purchasing new equipment, including police radios and bicycles. These investments will allow Drexel Public Safety to continue expanding foot and bicycle patrols and security surveillance throughout the campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Additionally, the University has increased patrols in areas where evening classes are held.
At the same time, pooling public safety resources and sharing information along common communication platforms allows Drexel to work hand-in-glove with partners at the University of Pennsylvania, SEPTA, Amtrak, University City District, and the Philadelphia Police Department to coordinate additional patrols in areas experiencing increased crime and to provide backup as needed.
Are there measures in place for those who need to be on campus for evening classes and events?
Drexel has begun providing extra police patrols in areas where evening classes are held and around recreational facilities such as the Daskalakis Athletic Center that are open late into the evening. The University also has expanded shuttle services later at night from places and areas frequented by large numbers of students. Finally, Drexel is assessing the best way to expand patrol boundaries into the neighborhoods north of campus, where more students are choosing to live and more neighbors are asking for help.
Has Drexel approached the City of Philadelphia about increased crime?
Drexel has been part of an ongoing conversation led by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce with Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw to express concerns about the current public safety situation.
According to all publicly available crime statistics, our campus and University City neighborhood remain among the safest and most vibrant in Philadelphia — due in large part to Drexel's long-term investments in public safety, the extensive collaborations around safety and security that it has built with institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, and its neighborhood and community partnerships around clean and safe streets led by the University City District, of which Drexel was a founding member.
What is being done to improve campus safety and security in Center City?
Drexel’s Department of Public Safety works closely with Philadelphia Police to patrol the Center City campus. In the case of an emergency or incident, individuals in Center City should call 911 for immediate assistance.
Drexel is committed to continuing to monitor and improve campus security and operations in Center City, and a committee focused on these goals meets monthly to review trends and make improvements. For example, the committee has worked with the City of Philadelphia to improve pedestrian safety and with Allied Universal to increase their security presence and patrols around the Center City campus.
Walking escorts are available in Center City by calling 267.359.2380 (escorts are provided by Allied security officers). Drexel Real Estate and Facilities continues to operate shuttle buses from Center City to the University City Campus (Dragon Route), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and to the Queen Lane Campus, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Center City Campus students, faculty and professional staff can also contact Drexel Public Safety for questions, concerns, prevention programs and victim services.