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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Brown Safe?
We at DPS feel comfortable in saying that the Brown campus is a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. With this said, all members of the community must keep in mind that Brown is an open campus in an urban setting. The same basic personal safety strategies one would follow while in any major city should be applied while at Brown. DPS distributes Crime Alerts through campus-wide emails with information about any recent crimes happening on or near Brown University’s campus. Along with this, you can review our crime statistics for the past 3 years by visiting the Department of Public Safety website at: www.brown.edu/publicsafety and selecting the 2012 Annual Security Report link.

What is the most commonly reported crime at Brown?
Property crime comprises the greatest percentage of reports to DPS. Most property is stolen as a result of items being left unattended in public areas or in unlocked rooms, offices, or laboratories. The best methods of prevention are never leaving your property unattended and always locking your door whether in a residence or administrative office.  Encourage your student to register their laptop and/or tablet with the DPS Crime Prevention Unit.  This is a free service

When on campus and an emergency arises, should I call 911?
During an emergency situation calling the DPS Emergency #: 863-4111 or even the Non-Emergency #: 863-3322 is recommended, and will put you in direct contact with our Communications Center. This will result in the quickest response of emergency personnel. A call to 911 while on campus is a viable option to get help, but the call will first travel to the 911 call center located in Scituate, RI. An explanation of the emergency must be given to the dispatcher on duty at that center, who will then transfer this information to our Communications Center here at Brown.  It is recommended that students program our numbers into their cell phones.

Where is the Brown Department of Public Safety located?
Brown DPS Headquarters is located at 75 Charlesfield Street, which is between Brook Street and Hope Street. This is directly across the street from the Barbour Hall residence hall.   

What services will help my student stay safe at night?
 The Brown University Transportation Office offers SafeRide and OnCall Shuttles. Shuttles operate on main campus and transport students to their off-campus residences as well as to additional campus locations found in the new Knowledge District.  For information regarding shuttle routes and hours of operation visit: www.brown.edu/saferide.
 There are also over 140 Emergency Blue Light Phones located throughout campus. These phones provide a direct link to our Communications Center. The Communications Officer will know the location of the phone being used and can dispatch officers as needed. DPS offers for free: Brown Guardian: A mobile security service that turns your cell phone into a personal safety device. This service allows the user to place panic calls or activate precautionary timer alarms allowing direction communication with DPS. Personal Safety Alarms (PALs): These small, lightweight devices emit a 120 decibel alarm when activated, and will bring attention to an unsafe situation. PALs are free for all students.   Safe Walk: A DPS service run by students and available for all members of the Brown community. During the academic year, Safewalk operates Sunday through Thursday, 9 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. For more information or to request service call 863-1079. For a complete list of DPS services visit: www.brown.edu/publicsafety.

 Where do I park when visiting Brown?
The Brown Visitors Parking Lot (a pay for use lot) is located just south of the corner of Brook Street and Waterman Street. Parking is extremely limited on the East Side of Providence in the vicinity of the campus.  Additionally, the city of Providence does not allow overnight parking on the streets.  Use of University parking lots (other than the Visitors Lot) is restricted to individuals who have obtained a valid parking permit from the University. For more information on parking on campus contact the Transportation Office at 863-3157 or www.brown.edu/transportation/parking

How do I submit a compliment or complaint about an officer?
We at DPS believe a true measure of our success can be gained from the feedback of the members of the community which we serve.  We have thus established several methods by which a Compliment or Complaint can be submitted regarding a member of our staff. · On line at: www.brown.edu/publicsafety. Information found under DPS Forms or DPS Links (Guide to making citizen…) · Paper Forms: Found at the following locations; - DPS Headquarters, 75 Charlesfield Street, front or rear lobby. -Office of Student Life, 20 Benevolent Street. -Office of Institutional Diversity, University Hall. · In-person : Speaking to the on-duty sergeant at DPS Headquarters. · By phone: Call 401-863-1663 to speak to the on-duty sergeant.*Paper forms to be handed in at the front lobby of DPS Headquarters or mailed to Chief of Police, Brown University Department of Public Safety, Box 1842, Providence, RI 02912   

Would my student be notified of a dangerous or emergency situation occurring on campus?
Yes. Upon confirmation that a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students and employees is occurring on campus, Brown University will provide immediate notification of the emergency or dangerous situation to the campus community.  Any such notification will be provided by the following methods:
 1.      BrownAlert System. Brown Alert is a web based notification system used to deliver immediate advisories and instructions to students, faculty, and staff via cell phones, land line phones, wireless PDA, text pager, email and other communication devices. 
2.      The Emergency Siren Warning System is designed to alert the Brown community of a life threatening emergency on campus such as a hostile intruder, a large chemical release near campus, or a natural disaster where there is no advance warning. The siren and accompanying message is intended to be heard while outdoors.
3.      BrownReady - Emergency Announcements Webpage.  In the event of an emergency where it is deemed necessary, the University will utilize an Emergency Announcements webpage to inform and update the community members and families about an emergency occurring on campus.