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Admitted Students Guide: Public Safety

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Department of Public Safety

75 Charlesfield Street
Box 1842
Providence, RI 02912
(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

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The Department of Public Safety (DPS), an internationally accredited police agency, is responsible for the safety and security of more than 10,000 students, staff, faculty and guests, and is governed by its code of ethics. With a jurisdiction including all University property and adjacent city streets, the department is responsible for all University buildings over an area in excess of 140 acres.

The DPS Communication Control Center is staffed 24 hours a day and serves as the nexus of University communications. Department headquarters is located at 75 Charlesfield Street (across from Barbour Hall). Police and Public Safety Officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week in patrol vehicles, on bicycles, and on foot for your safety. Please do not hesitate to approach an officer if you are lost or need assistance.  Our department operates under a community-policing philosophy and end encourages officers to serve as liaisons to various student constituencies to initiative collaborative problem-solving and community building efforts.

Please store DPS numbers into your cell phone. If you are living off campus, please call the Providence Police Department for emergency response by dialing 911.

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.

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) 863-2542 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)863-1379 or 863-6937. 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 from your phone’s browser.  

Short videos on how to install the app and use key features are available at here.  Brown Guardian has three 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.

Residence Security Assessments
DPS offers home security assessments for graduate students living nearby in off-campus housing. For more information, please call the DPS Crime Prevention Unit at (401) 863-6937 or (401)863-1379.  Students living off-campus are encouraged to keep doors secured to prevent theft. Read tips about living off-campus safely.

Card Access
A campus-wide card-access system has been installed in all residence halls and 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: