Campus Safety and Security: A Shared Responsibility
Campus safety and security at the University of Pennsylvania is a shared responsibility. Clearly, the best protection against campus crime is an aware, informed, alert campus community--students, faculty and staff who use reason and caution--along with a strong law-enforcement presence.
The vast majority of our students, faculty, staff and visitors do not experience crime at the University of Pennsylvania. However, crime sometimes occurs despite our best efforts and yours. This information is provided because of our commitment to campus safety and security and in compliance with the Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and the Pennsylvania College and University Security Information Act. It is meant to be useful to you. If you have concerns, questions or comments about the requirements of federal or state law or Penn's compliance with these laws, please contact Thomas M. Seamon, Vice President for Public Safety, Division of Public Safety, at (215) 898-7515. Note: The statistical information is amended for 1996 and 1997.
The Division of Public Safety is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus community, integrating the best practices of public and private policing with state-of-the-art security technology. Its 134 full-time employees and 227 contract employees work in four departments: University Police, Special Services, Fire and Occupational Safety and Security Services.
The University Police Department maintains police patrols 24 hours per day, seven days a week on campus--by foot, car, motorcycle and bicycle--with a police force of 104 sworn officers, the largest private police force in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. University Police also work closely with the Philadelphia Police Department as both agencies patrol and respond in neighborhood areas west to 43rd Street, south to Baltimore Avenue, east to 30th Street and north to Market Street. University Police officers have full enforcement powers, including the authority to make arrests for criminal violations. While it is seldom necessary to use force in their work, University Police officers are authorized to carry firearms when on duty, and they do so. Otherwise, the possession of air rifles or pistols, firearms, ammunition, gunpowder or other dangerous articles or substances is strictly prohibited on Penn property or at University-sponsored events.
University Police officers have completed rigorous training prescribed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the Municipal Police Officer's Training Act. Once an officer has completed police academy training, he or she participates in a Field Training Program, developed and coordinated through the Division of Public Safety. Officers remain in probationary status for one year following graduation from the police academy, and continuing in-service training is provided in accordance with established standards for continuing professional education for municipal police officers.
The Chief of the University Police serves as community liaison for the Penn police department and coordinates all work with neighborhood town watch organizations, community and civic groups, the Police Athletic League and the Philadelphia Police Department.
The University Police department maintains a full-service detective unit headed by the department's Deputy Chief of Investigations. Criminal incidents are assigned to a detective within the University Police Detective unit, who is responsible for the investigation of the crime or coordination with the Philadelphia Police Department. If the incident involves a student who has violated policies, procedures, codes of conduct or the law, the Penn police will advise the victim or complainant of the option to report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct or the responsible University office. Pursuant to Pennsylvania's College and Universities Security Information Act, information regarding the persons arrested by University Police is available to the campus community.
The Detective Unit personnel are also specially-trained in crime prevention techniques and provide more than 120 crime prevention seminars, forums and other presentations each year to student groups, members of the faculty and the staff. Self-defense clinics and other workshops or special presentations can be designed to meet the particular needs of the group requesting services. University Police personnel are available to consult with individuals or departments regarding crime prevention and safety.
In addition, highly-trained personnel are available to offer assistance and support to victims of a crime. Services include crisis intervention, accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings and linkages to other University and community resources.
To contact University Police in an emergency, dial 511 from a campus telephone, use one of more than 250 blue light emergency telephones on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood or dial (215) 573-3333 from off-campus.
The Communications Center (PennComm) of the Division of Public Safety and all University Police vehicles monitor the radio frequency used by the Philadelphia Police Department in its patrols of the area in and around the campus. University Police officers respond to assist the Philadelphia Police Department in certain situations, and they respond to those addresses or locations owned by the University or associated with a recognized student organization. University Police detectives also are in regular contact with the 18th District of the Philadelphia Police Department to obtain information on criminal incidents reported to the Philadelphia Police Department, but not to University Police, for addresses or locations owned or controlled by the University or associated with a recognized student organization.
The Special Services Department assists in providing safety education and outreach programs, and coordinating victim support services for the Division of Public Safety.
The department is headed by a Director of Special Services, who serves as the University coordinator for support services when incidents of rape or attempted rape, acquaintance rape, sexual or domestic violence or hate/bias crimes occur. Hate/bias crimes include acts of violence or bias motivated by racial, religious, sexual, ethnic or sexual-orientation bigotry. The Director serves on various University committees that review and develop policy on these and related issues. The Director also interacts with academic departments, the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and many other divisions across the University, given the individual's authorization, to coordinate victim support services. Every effort is made to protect the confidentiality of private information.
To contact the Special Services Department during normal business hours, call 8-4481 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-4481 from off-campus. For emergency support 24 hours per day, seven days per week, call 8-6600 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-6600 from off-campus. On evenings or weekends, PennComm will answer all calls to 898-6600 and will notify Special Services personnel.
The Department of Fire and Occupational Safety oversees the University's fire and occupational safety programs, working in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia Departments of Fire and Licenses and Inspections to ensure that all University buildings are in compliance with local, state and federal codes.
The Department, which is headed by a director, provides numerous additional services, including safety training to new students and employees; new police officer orientation; inspection and maintenance of fire extinguishers and other safety equipment; review and inspection of all work-related injury reports; maintenance of fire and safety code compliance; and, when requested, will conduct off-campus living inspections and safety training.
Highly-trained personnel maintain fire and safety code compliance. The department conducts special activities throughout campus for fire prevention week, and designs and provides various promotional items for the community.
To contact the Department of Fire and Occupational Safety during normal business hours, call 8-6921 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-6921 from off-campus. To contact the department in an emergency, dial 511 from a campus telephone, or dial (215) 573-3333 from off-campus. On evenings or weekends, call the PennComm center at (215) 898-7297.
Security technologies and professional security officer services, combined with effective community policing, are vital components of the Division of Public Safety's programs to provide a safer campus environment. The Security Services Department provides technical expertise and planning to develop a state-of-the-art electronic security infrastructure on campus. Currently, this includes emergency blue light telephones, building alarm systems, electronic access control systems and closed-circuit video monitoring for security purposes. The Security Services Department designs and coordinates the installation and monitoring of the technologies and provides campus-wide systems administration for electronic security technologies.
The University of Pennsylvania retains SpectaGuard to provide skilled security services on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood to supplement its police force and the patrols provided by the Philadelphia Police Department. Security officers may be assigned to conduct highly-visible security patrols on and off-campus, to screen access to student residences and other buildings and to provide security services at special events. SpectaGuard patrols--on foot, by car and by bicycle--work in concert with both University Police and the Philadelphia Police Department to patrol some streets in the surrounding neighborhood in the evening hours. SpectaGuard officers also provide walking escort services to Penn students and staff, from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.
In addition, the University City District (UCD), a special services district which encompasses the University and its surrounding neighborhoods, employs uniformed Safety Ambassadors who serve as additional eyes and ears in the community. UCD Safety Ambassadors are in radio communication with the Penn Police and the Philadelphia Police Department. Further, the Philadelphia Police Department has dedicated additional personnel to patrol within the UCD boundaries.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Medical School use a separate uniformed security force that screens access and egress at public entrances to buildings and provides routine patrols of these facilities 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
The Communications Center (PennCom) of the Division of Public Safety is maintained 24 hours per day, seven days a week. All criminal incidents should be reported to the Division of Public Safety for response and documentation. Incidents known in common parlance as Part I crimes that are identified to the Division of Public Safety are reported to the Philadelphia Police Department to ensure that all agencies charged with providing services are aware of these incidents. The relationship and exchange of information with city, state and federal authorities is extremely important, and it is an ongoing process. The Philadelphia Police Department alerts the Division of Public Safety to reported incidents in the surrounding neighborhoods that are jointly patrolled by both University Police and the Philadelphia Police Department.
To report a criminal incident, dial 511 from a campus telephone, use one of more than 250 blue light telephones on campus and in the community or dial (215) 573-3333 from off-campus. You also can report a criminal incident in person at the Division of Public Safety, 4040 Chestnut St., which is staffed with professional personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The University of Pennsylvania Police Department maintains a computerized database for all reported criminal incidents, including those that occur on campus, those that occur in the surrounding neighborhood and those that occur well beyond the campus community. This data is the basis for crime statistics reported to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting System, for compliance with the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act and the College and University Security Information Act and for reporting crime statistics to the campus community.
The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act requires Penn to provide information on its security policies and procedures and specific statistics for criminal incidents and arrests on campus to students and employees and to make the information and statistics available to prospective students and employees upon request. The College and University Security Information Act requires Penn to provide information on its security policies and procedures to students, employees and applicants and to provide crime statistics to students and employees and to make those statistics available to applicants and prospective employees upon request. This information is available by calling the Division of Public Safety Communications Center (PennComm) at (215) 898-7297.
All crimes against persons that occur on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood, including the areas jointly patrolled by University Police and the Philadelphia Police Department, are published in Almanac, the weekly journal of record, opinion and news, published by the University of Pennsylvania. The Division of Public Safety maintains an Incident Journal, a chronological listing of all crimes reported to University Police, which is open for public inspection at the Communications Center (PennComm) of the Division of Public Safety.
The Division of Public Safety uses "Crime Alerts" to notify the campus community of crimes that pose a threat to the community.
For more than 20 years, the University of Pennsylvania has addressed the issues of rape and sexual violence through firesides, seminars, forums and other presentations. Students Together Against Acquaintance Rape (STAAR), Penn's nationally recognized student-operated program, also addresses these issues through its workshop programs. Penn also conducts educational and training programs for its employees who interact with students, including University Police officers, coaches and student service personnel in the Office of University Life, members of the campus ministries and those who provide services in the student residences.
Acquaintance rape is a form of sexual violence defined under our policy as any act in which a person forces another person with whom he or she is acquainted to engage in sexual activity against his or her will or without his or her consent. Assent does not constitute consent if it is given by a person who because of youth, mental disability or intoxication is unable to make a reasonable judgment. This policy applies to groups as well as individuals.
Penn will provide support for victims of acquaintance rape or sexual violence, and it is committed to provide resources and processes for prevention, education, reporting, adjudication, protection from retaliation and sanctions. Incidents that are reported to the appropriate departments at Penn will be addressed promptly and will be confidential. The procedures that govern the investigation of charges under these policies will take into account both the need to gather the facts and the rights of all parties involved in the incident.
Anyone who is a victim of sexual violence or acquaintance rape at Penn is encouraged to seek support and assistance and to report the incident. While students are encouraged to contact the Special Services Department at 8-6600 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-6600 from off-campus, contact also can be made through University Police emergency lines by dialing 511 from a campus telephone, by using one of more than 250 blue light telephones on campus and in the community or by dialing (215) 573-3333 from an off-campus telephone; through contact with Counseling and Psychological Services by dialing 8-7021 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-7021 from off-campus; or through contact with the Penn Women's Center by dialing 8-8611 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-8611 from off-campus.
When a victim of a sex offense contacts the Special Services Department, the individual will be advised of all the health, legal and support services available on and off campus, and the victim will be assisted in accessing these services. If the victim elects to go through the criminal justice system and/or receive medical treatment, personnel from Special Services will accompany the victim to the sexual trauma unit at Jefferson Hospital for evaluation, treatment and evidence collection. The Director of Special Services at Penn is the designated coordinator of support services for students who have been victimized. Whether the victim chooses to report an incident of acquaintance rape or sexual violence to the Special Services Department, the University Police Department or another resource center within the campus community, the victim will be informed of all options for filing a complaint, including the right to report the incident fully and completely to the Philadelphia Police Department, the right to file an anonymous report with the Philadelphia Police Department or the right to file no report.
Due to the sensitive issues involved in acquaintance rape and other sexual assaults, the victim may first disclose the incident some time after it has occurred, but the victim is nonetheless encouraged to contact Special Services for support and assistance and to report the incident.
Those within the campus community who are found responsible for acquaintance rape or other sexual violence are subject to University sanctions, which may include suspension, expulsion or separation from the University. The individual also may be subject to prosecution by the Office of the District Attorney under Pennsylvania criminal statutes. In any University disciplinary proceeding involving charges of sexual assault, the accused and the accuser are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during the proceedings, and both the accused and the accuser are informed of the outcome of the proceedings.
The Acquaintance Rape and Sexual Violence Policy is stated on pages 21-22 of the PennBook: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081.
The University of Pennsylvania and its programs and policies regarding the possession, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages encourages all within the campus community to make safe, responsible decisions about alcohol that are consistent with existing state and federal law. The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus by persons under the age of 21 is strictly prohibited by Penn and by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Consistent with its educational mission, Penn provides programs that promote awareness of the physical, psychological, social and behavioral effects of alcohol consumption.
The use, sale or possession of narcotics and dangerous drugs is illegal and is strictly prohibited on campus.
Employees are required to adhere to the University's Drug-Free Workplace Policy and the Drug and Alcohol Policy, which strictly prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of drugs by its employees in the workplace. Those who violate these policies may be subject to disciplinary procedures or may be required to participate in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs.
Students who have questions or concerns about alcohol or drugs are encouraged to use the medical or counseling resources provided by the University of Pennsylvania. These services adhere to all applicable laws governing the confidentiality of patient information.
The Alcohol and Drug Policy is stated on page 25 of the PennBook: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081.
Any student who fails to comply with University policies or local, state or federal laws may be subject to discipline under the University Code of Student Conduct. Sanctions can include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation for a specified period of time, withdrawal of privileges, indefinite probation, term suspension, indefinite suspension without automatic right of re-admission and expulsion. When a student's presence on campus is considered a threat to order, health or safety, the Provost or his or her designee may impose a mandatory leave of absence or conditions on the student's attendance.
Generally, prospective students are not asked about previous criminal records, with the exception of applicants to certain graduate and professional programs, such as the Law School. Employees, however, are required to disclose any and all convictions for a felony, crime of violence, dishonesty or crime against property or involving the threat of violence in the past 10 years. A criminal record, if relevant to the position in question, is a factor considered in the employment process.
The University's disciplinary procedures are described on pages 14-21 of the PennBook: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081.
The University of Pennsylvania offers a variety of housing options on campus, ranging from the undergraduate College House system to high-rise apartments to fraternities and sororities both on and off campus. Penn's College House system is designed to enhance the undergraduate experience for all residents through faculty-directed, academically supportive environments that promote intellectual, social and recreational opportunities. The Graduate Towers consist of Sansom Place East and Sansom Place West, housing graduate and professional students. Mayer Hall provides housing for married students and their families. If you have questions on room assignments, rents and billing, call (215) 898-8271; questions or concerns about residential services, call (215) 573-DORM; or questions about the student housing program, call (215) 898-3547.
The Division of Public Safety has regular contact with those responsible for the campus grounds and lighting to ensure that the shrubs, bushes and greenery throughout the campus are appropriate and well-maintained and that campus lighting is appropriate.
1998-99 Academic Year
Housing for first-year undergraduate students is processed randomly by computer program--with the exception of those College Houses and residential programs requiring an essay--for those applications received by May 1; the program attempts to assign students to one of their top three choices. Students applying after May 1, including transfer students, are processed in order of the receipt of their application. Upper-class students are assigned housing through a retention, lottery or special program process. Graduate and professional students are assigned housing in the order of the receipt of their application. Room changes are made during scheduled periods in October, December and February, given availability of space. Emergency room changes can be made at any time upon the recommendation of a member of the residence hall staff.
The University of Pennsylvania maintains three undergraduate college houses, two graduate high-rise residences and one graduate low-rise residence as open residences during the winter break between semesters. All other residences are closed to students, who are welcome to stay in an open building during the break.
Entrances to all student residences are either locked or closely monitored by security personnel, and access to these facilities is limited to residents, faculty, staff and authorized contractors, who are admitted only during certain hours and only with valid identification. Access to most student residences at Penn is monitored electronically by a card access system. Those without a valid PENNCard are considered visitors and will be admitted only after the presentation of valid identification and with the approval of their hosts, who will be responsible for their conduct. All student rooms are equipped with dead bolt or Mortis locks with anti-carding devices.
The Division of Public Safety is available to provide firesides, seminars, forums and other presentations on campus safety and security to those living in student residences. Campus safety and security is discussed as a matter of course at residence hall meetings.
The facilities at the University of Pennsylvania exist to house or support the tripartite mission of the institution: teaching, research and service. The use of these by University groups is permissible, given the facilities are available, and by approved non-University organizations under certain circumstances. Permission to use these facilities does not constitute University endorsement of the activities. The policy on use of facilities is stated on page 37 of the PennBook: Resources, Policies & Procedures Handbook, which is available through the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life by calling (215) 898-6081. If you have questions on the use of the facilities at Penn, please contact the Director of Student Life Activities and Facilities by dialing 8-5552 from a campus telephone or (215) 898-5552 from off-campus.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) maintains a proprietary security department that is committed to providing a safe and secure environment in hospital facilities, and for its patients, staff and visitors. Security officers are stationed at the major entrances to the hospital and engage in regular patrols of the facilities. Officers respond to all requests for assistance, whether routine or emergency. An Operations Center of the Security Department is maintained 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and it monitors the CCTV/Controlled Access System as well as safety and security alarms.
To contact the HUP Security Department in an emergency, dial 2677 (COPS) from a hospital telephone or (215) 662-2677 from outside the hospital.
Most of the hospital's population does not experience crime at HUP. However, crime sometimes occurs despite our best efforts and yours. Security awareness and the cooperation of all employees in reporting potential problems have been invaluable.
The Security Department
The HUP Security Department consists of 41 employees divided into three areas:
The HUP Security Department has the same powers of arrest as any private citizen and, when necessary, coordinates its activities with the University Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department.
Reporting Crime at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
All criminal incidents and requests for assistance should be reported to the Security Operations Center. The HUP Security Department reports all criminal activity as well as other data to the Hospital Safety Committee, which reports data to the Health System Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis. The HUP Security Department also reports criminal statistics to the University of Pennsylvania Police Department.
To report a criminal incident at HUP, dial 2677 (COPS) in an emergency from a hospital telephone or (215) 662-2677 from outside the hospital.
Access to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Security monitors all major entrances to HUP during normal hours; entrance to HUP is restricted to the main entrance and the Emergency Room after hours.
Crime prevention programs and security awareness education are presented
annually to the HUP staff and, when necessary, on a departmental basis.
The Pennsylvania College and University Security Information Act requires the release of crime statistics and rates to students and employees, and it requires that those statistics be available to applicants and new employees upon request. The rate is based on the actual number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) students and employees. The index in the table below is based on incidents per 100,000 people. The University's FTE population for 1996 was 51,585, for 1997 was 51,162 and for 1998 was 51,948.
The Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act requires separate
statistics for criminal incidents and arrests for certain non-contiguous
properties. The following statistics include reportable crime at five non-contiguous
properties specified for inclusion in this report for the period January
1, 1996 through December 31, 1998. These statistics conform to the specific
definitions, time period and classifications specified by federal law.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 29, April 20, 1999