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A campus-wide emphasis on safety

The University of Minnesota provides a multipronged approach to safety on and near campus.

The University’s commitment to safety involves a number of University offices, along with student government, local law enforcement, public officials, neighborhoods, and students themselves.

The University has a responsibility to create and sustain safe and secure places on campus," says Pam Wheelock, vice president for University Services, which includes the University of Minnesota Police Department and campus facilities. "Beyond physical and operational safety, our short- and long-term initiatives are based on a shared culture of safety. We need the University community to adopt safe practices, and we need strong and effective partnerships with our public safety partners."

The University’s safety initiative is focused on four areas: education, enforcement, environment, and engagement.

Education

The University informs the campus community about safety concerns via Crime Alerts and Public Safety Updates, while collaborating with campus leaders to spread awareness regarding safety resources. For example:

  • SAFE U is a student awareness campaign that reminds students of safe practices, such as walking with friends; keeping valuables secured; and using well-lit, well-traveled paths at night.
  • The SAFE U website provides information on what the U is doing to promote safety and what community members can do to promote safety for themselves and others.
  • Parents can receive Crime Alerts and Public Safety Updates by signing up at the following website: z.umn.edu/ja9

Enforcement
The University deploys undercover and uniformed police patrols both on and off campus in conjunction with local law enforcement to prevent crimes and catch criminals. Law enforcement efforts include  

  • The University of Minnesota Police Department, which employs 50 licensed officers.
  • The Security Monitor Program, which hires and trains 150 student employees.
  • Collaboration with the Minneapolis Police Department, the Metro Transit Police Department, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Environment

The infrastructure of the University is designed with security in mind. Parking ramps are built with open sightlines and are well lit. Exterior spaces are also planned with long sightlines, and plantings on campus are maintained to limit hiding spaces.

The University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) integrates security plans into all campus renovations and new construction. Among DPS’s key services are around-the-clock video surveillance using 1,700 security cameras across campus, as well as answering 911 calls made on campus and calls from 20 Code Blue emergency phones across campus and 267 emergency intercoms in parking structures.

The University provides services to assist students as they navigate campus through

  • Campus Connector bus service between the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses until 2 a.m. during the academic year.
  • The Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator and East Bank Circulator bus services to 2 a.m., Monday through Thursday.
  • Weekend Circulator bus service between the East and West Banks Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.
  • A free ride service, Gopher Chauffeur from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during the academic year.
  • The Security Monitor Program, which offers free security escorts to and from campus locations and nearby neighborhoods.

Engagement

The campus and surrounding neighborhoods are safer when everyone plays a role. University staff work with students and employees, as well as nearby neighborhoods, landlords, and the business community, to encourage everyone to develop their own local safe practices.

To keep informed of the University’s public safety efforts and information, go to safe-u.umn.edu/.   

2014 SafeU crime flier image. A series of safety tips are posted across campus to enourage personal safety.


Safety and Security Communications

In case of campus emergencies, the University uses multiple communications to notify the community, including tone alert radios, on-the-ground safety personnel, email, the University home page, and TXT-U, the University’s emergency text messaging system.

Although only students, faculty, and staff can register for TXT-U, students can sign up parents or other family members by designating more than one mobile number. For information, see TXT-U on the SAFE U website.

In an emergency situation, notices are posted on the University’s home webpage (umn.edu) and the University Parent website (umn.edu/parent). Depending on the situation, a parent email will be sent with information on what happened, what the University is doing about it, and how to support your student. Please be aware that the University gives priority to notifying students and staff who are likely to be most affected by an emergency situation, and the University works with local news media to help distribute information; parent notification will follow as soon as possible.