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Safety Tips

Department of Public Safety

005 Sims Hall
Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is committed to reducing crime, disorder, and the fear of crime on campus. Contact the DPS dispatch center at 315-443-2224. In an emergency, dial 711 from a campus phone. In addition, the TIPS (315-443-TIPS) telephone line, available in both English and Spanish, allows citizens to leave non-urgent anonymous tips via a telephone voice mail system. Calls are not traced. The TIPS line is available 24 hours a day, year round. Calling parties may leave their names if they want someone to contact them regarding their tip or complaint. Tips for DPS can also be called in anonymously to the call center, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 866-384-4277.
Silent Witness is a web-based tip program, allowing citizens to anonymously provide DPS with non-urgent information on crime, bias, abuse, or disorder. Information is collected through a national software program and is used to solve crimes on and around campus. Silent Witness is accessible through the DPS web site at This service is not intended for emergency reporting.


“Don’t Walk Alone” Campus Escort Service

Walking escorts are provided to students, staff, and faculty on Main Campus from academic buildings to residence halls or parking facilities, and vice versa. Escorts can be requested by calling DPS at 315-443-SAFE (7233). Student marshals provide the walking escort service from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. throughout the academic year. At all other times, a public safety officer provides this service. This service does not extend to off-campus locations.

Blue Light Phone System

There are emergency two-way call stations at strategic locations throughout campus. You can identify the stations by pole-mounted strobe lights above the call box. When the red alarm button is depressed, an individual can communicate directly with a DPS communications specialist, who will dispatch an officer or emergency team to Complete the form and put it in your mailbox.

On The Street

  • Avoid walking alone. As an alternative, utilize the Department of Public Safety’s Shuttle U Home program when returning to your off-campus residence.
  • Walk facing traffic.
  • Use well-lit and well-traveled routes, avoiding alleys, entryways, and bushes. Avoid parks, vacant lots, and other deserted places.
  • Walk purposefully and confidently—and keep moving. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you think someone is following you, change directions several times and head toward bright lights and people. Go to a public place or a police station. Do not go home.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
  • Dress sensibly. Do not flaunt expensive jewelry or other items.
  • Carry only necessary credit cards and cash.
  • Carry purses or handbags close to your body.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or situation and leave as soon as possible.
  • Avoid using cell phones and headphones so you can be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try to use ATM machines during the daytime. If you have to use an ATM during evening hours, use an ATM machine that is well lit or in an attended gas station or grocery store.
  • Always know where you are and where you can find help if needed. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going.
  • Keep your head up and do not be afraid to make eye contact with others.
  • Stay sober and coherent. Persons under the influence are more likely to be victims of serious crimes or accidents.

In Your Motor Vehicle

  • Turn the ignition off and take your car keys with you, even if you have to be gone for just a minute.
  • Be sure to lock your doors and close your windows when exiting your car.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. Park in well-lit areas and near other cars.
  • Have your keys ready when you approach your car.
  • Always drive with your car doors locked.
  • Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure you have enough gas to get where you aregoing and back.
  • Always inspect your car before entering. As you approach the car from a distance, remember to look underneath it in case someone is hiding there.

 Ways To Protect Your Vehicle from Break-Ins

  • Use common sense and take some precautions to protect your vehicle from break-ins. Follow these simple tips to reduce the chances of your car being burglarized.
  • Remove all items of value from inside your vehicle and place them in the trunk.
  • Lock your doors and close your windows when exiting your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas near other vehicles.
  • Remove all spare change from your vehicle.
  • Park in an area or lot where your vehicle can be easily observed and call 911 if you witness any suspicious behavior. Information adapted from

  General Suggestions

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Many crimes occur “under the noses” of people who simply did not notice anything suspicious.
  • Safety and security are everyone’s responsibility. You can reduce the possibility of becoming a crime statistic by being alert to your environment.
  • Report non-working city streetlights by calling 315-448-CITY. You will need the pole number, located approximately seven feet from the bottom of the pole.
  • Your safety and security ultimately depend on you as an individual for effectiveness and success. You must take responsibility for your own safety.
  • Report all crimes and any suspicious activity to the Syracuse Police Department (911) or the SU Department of Public Safety (315-443-2224).
  • If you return home and find an open/broken window or door, do not enter. Go elsewhere to call the police. Do not clean a burglary scene before the police arrive.