President's Message - Public Safety is a Top Priority at Penn - November 2007

Statement from Penn President Amy Gutmann, Provost Ron Daniels and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli

November 15, 2007

As you may be aware, Philadelphia, like many other large cities, has experienced an increase in crime. While Penn has successfully countered the impact of these pressures in our campus community, we have recently experienced two serious incidents of crime, including a reported sexual assault in an off-campus apartment building. These incidents underline the importance of the University remaining ever vigilant in all our efforts to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff, which is a fundamental priority.

Two years ago, we announced a comprehensive initiative to enhance the safety of our campus and surrounding community. At that time, we committed $5 million to implement a series of measures to strengthen safety and security. These included the addition of both uniformed and plain-clothes police officers and security guards to street patrol during the evening and early morning hours, both on campus and in the surrounding community, and a significant expansion of lighting and other security-related technology. These measures remain in place today and they have proven effective.

Nevertheless, the recent incidents near Penn are unacceptable, and we are supplementing our current measures with additional safety initiatives, especially in the area west of our campus where many of our students live. Where appropriate, we are working with local area landlords in these efforts.

The additional measures include:

- Additional police overtime hours to supplement the already high level of police and security patrols;

- The installation of new CCTV cameras between 40th and 43rd Streets;

- A new lighting program to increase pedestrian lighting on and off campus;

- Three new transit stops - two on the western boundaries of campus and one on the eastern side;

- A new late night pilot shuttle service for those who live in Center City developed with input from our graduate and professional student association.

We also are working closely with our city leaders, including incoming Mayor Michael Nutter, who made improved public safety a cornerstone of his campaign.

We encourage our students, faculty and staff to continue to use the numerous safety resources available to them. Details can be found at http://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu.