Campus Transporation and Public Safety

Campus and Public Safety

This page will include information about on-campus and off-campus public safety resources, safety tips as well as information regarding interaction with law enforcement. 

Campus Public Safety Resources
Safety Tips 
Safety and Security Resource Phone Numbers - On-Campus & Off-Campus
Knowing Your Rights: Interactions with Law Enforcement 

Brown Campus Public Safety Resources

Brown University Department of Public Safety

The Brown University Department of Public Safety (DPS) takes seriously the safety and well being of students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. DPS is committed to providing the highest level of professional police and public safety services to foster a safe learning and working environment for the Brown community

Identification Cards

All students, faculty, and staff members at Brown University are issued identification cards. The cards may be used to gain access to certain locations and may be used to make purchases from university facilities. Lost or stolen University ID cards should be reported immediately to the Brown Card Office, 401-863-2273, during business hours, or to Brown Department of Public Safety, 401-863-3322, during non-business hours.

Emergency Phones

 Approximately 134 emergency telephones are located throughout the university campus. Each phone has an emergency button that, when pressed, automatically dials DPS. Outdoor emergency phones are housed in gray or yellow lexan cases, are mounted directly to buildings or stanchions, and have a blue light above them. These phones can be used for calling within the university phone system and have a direct speed calling button (marked in red) with an automatic identifier so that the Communications Officer will know your locations when the call is answered. An emergency response can also be activated by dialing 3-4111 from any campus phone or 401-863-4111 from an off campus phone. For off-campus emergencies, dial 911.  You may want to familiarize yourself with the location of emergency phones on campus.
Emergency (Blue Light) Phones Map

Brown Campus Shuttles

The Brown Transportation Office provides various shuttle van service options to transport students to the many campus locations on College Hill and in certain downtown Providence (Jewelry District/Med School) areas.

The daytime and evening shuttles are fixed-route service around the Brown campus area and are available to all Brown students, faculty, and staff.  A Brown I.D. must be shown before boarding the van. 

The South Main Street Express shuttle provides express service from the Alpert Medical School in to 121 South Main Street. A Brown ID must be shown before boarding the van.

The Brown onCall  service will be available to all Brown community members without pre-registration for point-to-point transportation during the service hours of 7pm to 3am DST and 5 pm – 3 am EST within the onCall coverage area.

The Brown SEAS onCall service is  primarily a reservation-based transport for members of the Brown community who have disabilities and need assistance getting around campus.


Safewalk is a program run by student employees, that provides point to point walking escorts for their fellow community members on the Brown campus. Each two person team also patrols the campus, against the Brown safeRIDE shuttle route, acting as additional "eyes and ears" for community safety. Safewalk also stations a team at the Rockefeller Library, as well as the CIT, to accommodate those who study late. The teams can be identified by their distinctive Safewalk vests with reflective strips, and photo IDs. Each Safewalk team is also equipped with a two-way portable radio to communicate to DPS dispatch at anytime. If you see a Safewalk team on campus, feel free to ask them to walk with you if you are feeling unsafe.  Safewalk request line: 401-863-1079.
Safewalk Info 

Risk Reduction Tips

Personal Safety
  • Walk or jog in groups of three or more.
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Be aware of crimes on campus
  • Avoid isolated or dark areas
  • Travel with confidence and a purpose
  • Do not wear earphones while walking or jogging
  • If you can’t find a travel companion, use the services on campus, no matter how short the distance.
  • Before exiting a building or car, look around the area for anything suspicious.
  • If confronted by a situation, try to remain calm.
  • If it is safe to do so, try to get a detailed description of suspects or suspicious persons and/or their vehicle(s).
  • Know the locations of emergency telephones.
  • Do not use ATMS (automated bank teller machines) alone, at night, or when someone suspicious is nearby.
  • Avoid strangers; you do not have to stop and talk to them.
  • If you are being followed, go to the nearest area of safety.
  • Stay alert, and plan ahead for “What if…?”
Residential/Workplace Safety
  • Know your neighbors or co-workers; you are the best one to determine who does not belong.
  • Do not prop open exterior doors.
  • When entering a building with access control in place, do not allow strangers to enter behind you.
  • Always lock your door when you leave, sleep or work late.
  • If you see someone you consider suspicious or out of place, call Brown Department of Public Safety immediately.
Protecting Your Identity & Property
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Register your bicycle with the Department of Public Safety.
  • Record the serial numbers of your belongings. Engrave or permanently mark items with a unique identifying number.
  • Keep your car locked. Store items out of sight or in your room/office.
  • Coats, backpacks, and purses should remain with you or be locked up.

Safety and Security Reference Phone Numbers


Brown Department of Public Safety
  • Emergency – 401-863-4111 (off campus), 3-4111 (on campus)
  • Non-emergency – 401-863-3322 (off campus), 3-3322 (on campus)
  • Administrative offices- 401-863-3103 (off campus), 3-3103 (on campus)
  • Safewalk– 401-863-1079 (off campus), 3-1079 (on campus)
  • Student Health Services –401-863-3953 (for student non-emergency illness & injury)
  • Poison Control Hotline – 1-800-222-1222
  • Psychological Services –401-863-3476 (counseling services and referrals for students)
  • Employee Assistance Program – 877-695-2789 (counseling, referrals for both personal and workplace issues)
  • Office of International Student & Scholar Services – 401-863-2427 (advocacy & support for international students, scholars and their dependents)
  • Sarah Doyle’s Women’s Center – 401-863-2189
  • LGBTQ Resource Center - 401-863-3062
  • Office of Residential Life (for students only) –401-863-3500
  • Office of the Chaplains & Religious Life – 401-863-2344
  • Employee Relations –401-863-3175 (conflict resolution issues between staff members or between staff & supervisors)
Parking & Shuttles
  • Transportation Office – 401-863-3157

Off-Campus Resources

  • For all life-threatening health and safety emergencies, call 911
  • Providence Police Department – 401-272-3121 (non-life threatening emergency)
  • Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island - 401-421-4100 - a 24-hour hotlineVictim advocates are available at 1-800-494-8100. Advocates will meet victims at the police station and/or hospital.
  • District Attorney’s Office (Victim Services)– 401-274-4400 (legal questions)
  • RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence-1-800-494-8100 (24 hour hotline)
  • Day One: Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center- 401-421-4100

Know Your Rights: What to Do If You're Stopped by the Police

If you are questioned by law enforcement, you need to know your rights. There are some things you should do, some things you must do and some things you cannot do. Please review the quick reference to learn what your rights and obligations are. Know Your Rights

  • Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.
  • Don't get into an argument with the police.
  • Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Don't run. Don't touch any police officer.
  • Don't resist even if you believe you are innocent.
  • Don't complain on the scene or tell the police they're wrong or that you're going to file a complaint.
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident. Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
  • Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.
  • Write down everything you remember ASAP.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.
  • If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.
  1. What you say to the police is always important. What you say can be used against you, and it can give the police an excuse to arrest you, especially if you bad-mouth a police officer.
  2. You must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. Otherwise, you don't have to answer any questions if you are detained or arrested, with one important exception. The police may ask for your name if you have been properly detained, and you can be arrested in some states for refusing to give it. If you reasonably fear that your name is incriminating, you can claim the right to remain silent, which may be a defense in case you are arrested anyway.
  3. You don't have to consent to any search of yourself, your car or your house. If you DO consent to a search, it can affect your rights later in court. If the police say they have a search warrant, ASK TO SEE IT.
  4. Do not interfere with, or obstruct the police -- you can be arrested for it.

1. It's not a crime to refuse to answer questions, but refusing to answer can make the police suspicious about you. If you are asked to identify yourself, see paragraph 2 above.

2. Police may "pat-down" your clothing if they suspect a concealed weapon. Don't physically resist, but make it clear that you don't consent to any further search.

3. Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have a right to know why.

4. Don't bad-mouth the police officer or run away, even if you believe what is happening is unreasonable. That could lead to your arrest.


1. Upon request, show them your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. In certain cases, your car can be searched without a warrant as long as the police have probable cause. To protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search. It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

2. If you're given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise you can be arrested. You can always fight the case in court later.

3. If you're suspected of drunk driving (DWI) and refuse to take a blood, urine or breath test, your driver's license may be suspended.


1. You have the right to remain silent and to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police. Tell the police nothing except your name and address. Don't give any explanations, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later, in court, based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.

2. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If you can't pay for a lawyer, you have a right to a free one, and should ask the police how the lawyer can be contacted. Don't say anything without a lawyer.

3. Within a reasonable time after your arrest, or booking, you have the right to make a local phone call: to a lawyer, bail bondsman, a relative or any other