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Admitted Students Guide: Public Safety

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Department of Public Safety

75 Charlesfield Street
(401) 863-4111 police, fire, medical emergencies
(401) 863-3322 routine response
(401) 863-3103  administrative office
(401) 863-1079 to request a Safewalk escort
(401) 863-2542 for safety planning, advocacy & support services
(401) 863-1740 TDD
(401) 863-1438 residential assessment & property registration
[email protected]

The Brown University Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a fully functioning police department and serves the Brown community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, patrolling the campus to deter crime, develop community relations, and respond to calls for service and assistance. The department’s mission emphasizes crime prevention, problem solving, and joint officer-community responsibility.  

The Department of Public Safety consists of over 95 highly trained members who are here to serve the Brown community. Police and Public Safety Officers are charged with protecting the university community and enforcing university rules and regulations. The Department’s Police Officers are required to attend a state-certified police academy, and are licensed as RI Special Police Officers. DPS Police Officers also enforce the laws of the State of Rhode Island and the Ordinances of the City of Providence and have police jurisdiction on campus and upon the streets and highways adjacent to the campus.

The Department of Public Safety provides the community with the resources and the education necessary to make informed choices about their personal safety. This information is distributed through a variety of initiatives to include but not limited to:

Our Safety Portal for Brown students, which offers information and resources on a variety of topics for staying safe on and off campus.

DPS provides the following services for students

Blue-Light Emergency Phones
Phones are located on exterior of all campus residential halls, as well as along most University walkways. By pressing the red button on the phone during an emergency, you will prompt a response to your location from DPS. These phones can also be used to make routine campus calls.

Safewalk
This student-run safety service provides on-campus point-to-point walking escorts for Brown community members. Each two-person escort team also patrols the campus, acting as additional eyes and ears for campus safety. The teams can be identified by their distinctive neon vests and photo IDs. This service is available Sunday through Thursday from 9 pm to 2:15 am during the academic year. Call (401) 863-1079 to request a Safewalk.

Campus Watch
Email crime alerts and notifications, as well as periodic bulletins are sent by the Department of Public Safety to students, faculty, staff, campus agencies and local businesses about any major or significant crimes or criminal incidents that occur on or nearby campus. Crime alerts and notifications can also be accessed on the DPS website. The department also sends out email bulletins to all students

Support Services
Safety planning, advocacy and support services to include court accompaniment for victims of crime, assistance with obtaining protective orders, review of victim rights and self-defense programming. Call 401-863-5376 for more information.  Also, learn more about how Public Safety responds to reports of sexual assault. DPS Detectives also play an integral role in assisting with the processing of criminal charges, as well as providing follow-up and support to victims of crime.  

Operation Identification is a nationally recognized property identification program open to all members of the Brown University community. As a Crime Prevention Program, its goal is to deter the thefts and aid in the recovery of stolen property. This is accomplished by engraving valuable property and tracking important identifying information about such property. Marked items are difficult for a thief to resell, and these items can be traced to the rightful owner. Registration events are held weekly in University dining halls and libraries. Students may also make an appointment to have items registered by calling 401-863-9637. Bicycles may be registered online at the DPS website.

Brown Guardian Mobile Security App
Brown Guardian is a mobile app which enhances your personal safety on campus.  It can be downloaded as Rave Guardian by Rave Mobile Safety from Google Play or iTunes or by visiting GetRave.com from your phone’s browser.  

Watch short videos on how to install and use the app. Brown Guardian has these great features:

  1. Make Emergency Calls - Place a call and send  location and personal profile information to the Department of Public Safety (DPS)  when you need help in an emergency. 
  2. Send Emergency Tips to DPS - Send text tips - including photos-if you are in a situation that requires immediate assistance but circumstances do not allow you to make a call.
  3. Set a Safety Timer and Status - set a timer before you set out for your destination.  If you don't deactivate the timer in the specified number of minutes, DPS will be notified and will call your phone to verify your safety.

Card Access
A campus-wide card-access system has been installed in several administrative buildings on campus. There is 24-hour monitoring of the system, and an officer is dispatched if a door is propped or held open too long or is forced open. As with all technology, the system is not infallible and students are advised to remain vigilant and to make sure that doors are closed and locked behind them. Do not prop doors open.

Other useful safety tips: