Penn Public Safety: Some Tips for Traveling More Safely
November 7, 2017, Volume 64, No. 12
Remember: Fall back, Spring forward! On Sunday, November 5, at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time came to an end. This means we lose an hour of daylight just around the time most of us are heading home from work or school. Penn’s Division of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind you of the following tips on how to stay safe during your commute.
Public Transportation Safety Tips
Become familiar with the different bus and trolley routes and their schedules. SEPTA schedules and general information are available by visiting www.septa.com or calling (215) 580-7800.
If you travel underground, be aware of the emergency call boxes on the platform. These phones contact SEPTA Police. The phones operate much like the University’s Blue Light Phones. To operate the SEPTA Phone, push the button. A SEPTA operator will identify your transit stop and assist you immediately.
• Whenever possible, try to sit near the driver.
• In the subway station, stand back from the platform edge.
• Pay attention to your surroundings.
• Don’t become complacent while using your cell phone or other devices.
• Don’t fall asleep! Stay alert!
• Do not display your money.
• Keep your bag or purse closed, close to you, and in your line of view.
Off Peak Travel Tips
• Request a Walking Escort by calling (215) 573-WALK (9255). The security officer will wait with you until you board the train, bus or trolley.
• When using subways, especially during off-peak hours, stand near the SEPTA call box.
• In case of an emergency, there is a cashier’s booth staffed during hours of operation.
• If possible, travel with a companion(s).
Blue Light Phones
• If you observe a potential safety hazard, would like a Walking Escort or require the Division of Public Safety’s assistance, you can use one of more than 700 blue light emergency phones on campus and in the surrounding community. Blue light phones are located across campus in garages, on the street and on buildings, and in elevators. Just pick up the receiver or press the button. Map of emergency phone locations: https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/about/security-technology/blue-light-ephones/
Safety Tips on the Street
• Do not display your smartphone when walking about. Keep it in your bag or pocket.
• Avoid using earphones when walking to ensure that you stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
• Stay in well-lit areas. Walk mid-point between curbs and buildings, away from alleys, entries and bushes. Stay near people.
• Avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots and other low-occupancy places.
• Carry only necessary credit cards and money. Avoid using outdoor ATMs. Instead, look for banks that require entry into a lobby to use their ATM.
• If you must carry a purse or handbag, keep it close to your body. This will minimize the chances of theft. If your purse is taken, don’t fight. Turn it over and immediately call 911.
• Walk with someone whenever possible. Participate in buddy systems.
• Do not stop to give directions or other information to strangers.
• Never hitchhike.
• If you believe you are being followed, call 911. Be alert and confident—making good eye contact may discourage the follower. Cross the street, change directions or vary your pace. If someone follows you in a car, record the license number and call 911 immediately.
• Have your key out and ready before you reach your car or door.
• Trust your instincts and use common sense.
Additional Services Available on Penn’s Campus
LUCY (Loop through University City) is a shuttle operating Monday through Friday, from 6:10 a.m. until 7 p.m., between 30th Street Station and University City. Managed by the University City District and operated by SEPTA, LUCY is a great way to ease your commute. Rides are free for holders of a valid PennCard. Schedule and route information is maintained by the University City District. For more information visit: www.universitycity.org/getting_around/lucy
(215) 898-WALK (9255)
Uniformed Allied Universal Public Safety Officers provide walking escorts to all campus locations. Officers are dispatched by radio and will accompany you from one campus location to another, to your parked vehicle, to a Penn Transit Stop or to an on-campus SEPTA regional transit stop.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, between 30th to 43rd Streets and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue.
Escorts are also available from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. between 30th & 50th streets and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University’s partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.
How to Request a Walking Escort:
Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building
Call (215) 898-WALK (9255) or 511 (from campus phone)
Use one of the many building and blue-light e-phones located on and off Penn’s Campus.
(215) 898-RIDE (7433)
Penn Transit Services: (215) 898-RIDE (7433) Monday-Sunday, 6 p.m.-3 a.m. Limited on-call service, 3 a.m.-7 a.m. Business Services’ Penn Transit offers various transportation services that you can use for getting around University City or simply just getting to your car. For more information, visit www.upenn.edu/PennTransit
Penn Guardian is a free app that is available to all Penn community members. It was developed by the University’s safety partner Rave Guardian, a service utilized on college campuses across the country.
Registering is easy; search “Rave Guardian” in the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices. You will be prompted to enter your name, phone number and Penn email address, which provides access to the University’s customized interface. Calls from a registered phone will allow Penn Police to determine your cell phone’s GPS location. This information will only be available to Penn Police if you call the PennComm Operations Center directly, either through the app or at (215) 573-3333.
The app also allows users to create a Smart911 profile, in which medical conditions, medications, allergies and disabilities can be included. This information can also be viewed at other Smart911-enabled emergency response centers across the country should you need to call them.
If a call is made to PennComm, and you are unable to speak—perhaps because of an allergic reaction—a call taker will send a text message to your phone. You can then communicate directly via text.
The app includes other features, including a confidential way to submit a tip to Penn Police—with a photo, if necessary —through a text message.
For more information, please visit the Penn Guardian website at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/pennguardian
University of Pennsylvania Police: (215) 573-3333 or 511 from campus phone
Philadelphia Police: 911
SEPTA Police Hotline Emergency: (215) 580-8111
SEPTA Non-Emergency: (215) 580-4487
CHOP Security: (215) 590-5500
Philadelphia Poison Control Center: (215) 386-2100
National Poison Control Center: (800) 222-1222
Special Services: (215) 898-4481
Victim Support & Sensitive Crime Reporting (24/7): (215) 898-6600
Victim Support Help Line: (215) 898-HELP (4357)
The Division of Public Safety Headquarters is located at 4040 Chestnut Street and is open 24/7/365