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How to Report Crime and Emergencies

The University of Pittsburgh encourages everyone in the Pitt community to report crimes and other emergencies promptly to the Pitt Police or to other appropriate police agencies if off campus. At sessions conducted for first-year students and their parents, participants are advised to report all information regarding any incident to the Pitt Police. University police department seminars and publications offer crime prevention tips and emphasize the importance of reporting crimes.

A student, resident director, resident assistant, University police officer, or any other member of the Pitt community also can refer a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Office of Student Conduct.

Reporting to Pitt Police 

You can report criminal activity or other emergencies to Pitt Police by calling 4-2121 from a campus phone or 412-624-2121 from a noncampus phone. Crimes also may be reported by:

  • Using the Rave Guardian app on your smartphone.
  • Using the anonymous tips portion of the University of Pittsburgh Police Department.
  • Picking up a campus emergency phone. These phones ring directly to the Pitt Police, automatically registering the caller’s location.
  • Visiting the University of Pittsburgh Jerome Cochran Public Safety Building (3412 Forbes Avenue) or any of these substations: Sutherland Hall, Forbes Avenue (between the Barco Law Building and Lawrence Hall), Sennott Square, or Bouquet Gardens J.
  • Contacting the resident assistant, resident director, or other residence life staff member in the residence halls; guards or desk attendants; or any University official who will then contact the Pitt Police, if desired.

Incidents involving sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, and/or dating and domestic violence, as well as incidents of bias, may be reported to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 412-648-7860.

Demonstration and Protest Information

Students and student organizations have often used demonstrations to effect change at their institutions, as well as to call attention to areas of concern within the community. Prior to organizing and/or participating in an on-campus demonstration, please review the University’s Demonstration and Protest Guidelines.

University of Pittsburgh Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing at the University of Pittsburgh is considered a violation of the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy and Code and is absolutely prohibited. Hazing may also be considered a criminal act in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding. Therefore, any Student who causes or participates in hazing may be subject to appropriate University discipline and/or may be subject to criminal prosecution. Hazing is defined as follows:

Hazing - A person commits hazing if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, for the purpose of initiating, admitting or affiliating a minor or student into or with an organization, or for the purpose of continuing or enhancing a minor or student’s membership or status in an organization, causes, coerces or forces a minor or student to do any of the following:

(1)  Violate Federal or State criminal law;

(2)  Consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug or other substance which subjects the minor or student to a risk of emotional or physical harm;

(3)  Endure brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics or exposure to the elements;

(4)  Endure brutality of a mental nature, including activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment;

(5)  Endure brutality of a sexual nature;

(6)  Endure any other activity that creates a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to the minor or student.

Aggravated Hazing

A person commits aggravated hazing if the person commits a violation of hazing that results in serious bodily injury or death to the minor or student and:

(1)  the person acts with reckless indifference to the health and safety of the minor or student; or,

(2)  the person causes, coerces or forces the consumption of an alcoholic liquid or drug by the minor or student.

Organizational Hazing

A Registered Student Organization commits organizational hazing if the organization intentionally, knowingly or recklessly promotes or facilitates a violation of hazing or aggravated hazing.

Students and others are encouraged to report incidents, and suspected incidents of hazing. Reports may be made to the University Police (412-624-2121), the Office of Student Conduct (412-648-7910) or the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (412-648-7832).

Although the University encourages students and others to make formal reports, you may file an anonymous report with the University Police online at police.pitt.edu/anonymous-tip-line or by using the Rave Guardian app from a smartphone. Anonymous reports greatly limit the University’s ability to respond to and investigate the report.

Hazing related to any University of Pittsburgh athletics teams may also be reported to the Director of Athletics at 412-648-8230 or the Associate Athletic Director for Student Life and Compliance at 412-648-8452.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Anti-Hazing Law, the Office of Student Conduct maintains a five-year report of all incidents of hazing reported to the University. This report can be found on the Office of Student Conduct website.

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) maintains a list of all chapters and their current status at the University. This list can be found on the OFSL website.

Reporting to Campus Security Authorities

While the University prefers that community members promptly report all crimes and other emergencies directly to the Pitt Police at 412-624-2121, we also recognize that some may prefer to report to other individuals or University offices. The federal Jeanne Clery Act recognizes certain University officials as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). The act defines these individuals as “officials of an institution who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings.” In addition to the Pitt Police, persons within the University who are designated as CSAs include housing and residence life staff, the Office of Student Conduct staff, athletic coaches and trainers, security guards and welcome attendants, staff who are not counselors at Student Health Service, and faculty advisors to student groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q Can I carry a gun on campus as a means of self-protection?
A  No. The carrying or possession of firearms and/or other weapons on campus by anyone other than authorized law enforcement officers, such as Pitt Police or city of Pittsburgh Police, is absolutely prohibited.

Q  How do I report suspected child abuse or sexual misconduct with a child at the University?
A   Anyone affiliated with the University who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, shall make an immediate and direct report to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling 1-800-932-0313. Immediately thereafter, the individual also must make an immediate and direct report to the University police or the Office of University Counsel. Retaliation is strictly prohibited against anyone who makes a good faith report of suspected child abuse or who participates in a related investigation. View more information on reporting child abuse.

Confidential Reporting 

Q  Can my report be confidential? 
A  The Clery Act allows individuals working at the University as professional and/or pastoral counselors to be exempt from reporting crimes to law enforcement. Counselors at the University Counseling Center (UCC) are confidential resources. For more information on scheduling an appointment and the services the UCC provides, please visit the UCC website.

Crime Alerts—Timely Warning

In the event of a reported crime, the chief of police is responsible for

  1. determining whether a Crime Alert is required,
  2. preparing the content of the Crime Alert, and
  3. distributing the Crime Alert as promptly as reasonably possible to aid in the prevention of similar occurrences.

Determination

A Crime Alert will be issued when a serious, unresolved crime is committed on or adjacent to campus and the crime creates a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community, and the likelihood of repetition is such that a report is necessary to aid in the prevention of similar occurrences. Crime Alerts will not be issued if, in the professional judgment of the chief of police, the crime is not considered to create a threat to the campus community.

Content

Crime Alerts will describe the alleged actor(s), if known; the nature, date, time, and general location of the crime; and the type of precautions that individuals should take to prevent similar occurrences. Crime alerts do not contain identifying information about the victim(s).

Distribution

Several methods are used to notify the community about crime alerts. Faculty, staff, and students can sign up to receive crime alerts via text message. Students also will receive crime alerts via their Pitt e-mail account.

In addition, crime alerts will be posted on the Pitt Police website: police.pitt.edu. A link to the posted crime alert will be placed on the Pitt Police Facebook and Twitter pages. Crime alerts also may be posted at various University buildings, on University bulletin boards, and may be reported to the campus media relations office.

In the event these communication media are unavailable, alternate distribution may be made through the University’s voicemail system or other modes of communication.