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Crime Prevention and Security Programs
Police and Residence Life Programming
During the pandemic, programming will be limited to what is permitted under the current University operational posture. The University of Pittsburgh offers a number of crime prevention and security awareness programs for students and employees. A common theme of all programs is to encourage students and employees to be aware of their responsibility for their own security and the security of others. Each term, the Office of Residence Life and members of the Pitt Police meet with parents and students to provide information on personal safety and residence hall security. Programs include the following:
A one-credit personal defense class is offered each term by the University’s Department of Health and Physical Activity in which students can learn to become streetwise and acquire observation skills enabling them to escape a potential attacker.
The Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (SAFE) is a two-hour educational crime awareness, crime victim prevention program that encompasses strategies, techniques, options, and prevention information for students, staff, and faculty. SAFE instructors also address bystander intervention and personal safety involving the use of alcoholic beverages. Police officers who are trained as instructors offer this program a minimum of 10 times per year.
Pitt Police officers present Active Threat Response Training upon request to staff and faculty. This training is modeled after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security video Run, Hide, Fight, which offers tips to the campus community on how to survive an active shooter or workplace violence incident. The program is offered upon request; officers conduct this program multiple times per term.
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The See Something, Say Something campaign is a collaborative effort to encourage students, staff, and faculty to report any and all suspicious activity to either the Pitt Police or the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Throughout the year, posters are distributed to various campus buildings for display and the campaign is broadcast on the information televisions located in various academic and public buildings throughout the campus.
Various programs are offered to first-year students and their families during Welcome Week. These programs include The Tipping Point, Bystander Intervention Training, and parent discussion panels. Attendees are given campus safety tips, how to help others in need of assistance, the University’s Medical Amnesty procedure, information about the Rave Guardian App, and other information regarding safety while on campus.
Each fall term, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety hosts a Fire Safety Day for students, staff, and faculty. Staff members are available at this event to answer questions regarding fire safety, and it includes interactive demonstrations on how to properly use fire extinguishers.
The Office of Community and Governmental Relations distributes and posts online their Student Guide to Campus Life each year. This guide offers students a wealth of information including, preparing to live in an off-campus apartment, safety tips on living in the Oakland community, various local laws and ordinances within the City of Pittsburgh, and how to be a good neighbor.
Every October, the Pitt Police attend the Information Technology Scarehouse. This event highlights best practices for using technology safely and allows students to register their electronic devices, so the device will be easier to identify and/or track if the item is stolen.
Various times throughout the year, the Pitt Police Community Programs team participates in Coffee with a Cop program. This allows the entire University community to connect with the Pitt Police in a relaxed and open setting.
Every spring term, the University’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management and the Student Government Board host an annual Safety Fair. At this event, faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to visit with representatives from multiple University departments, including Pitt Police and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, to learn about personal and campus safety.
In addition to seminars, safety information is distributed to the campus community through crime alerts and emergency notification messages, which can be found on the Pitt Police website.
Staff Council Campus Safety Crawl
The Campus Safety Crawl is a campus-wide safety walk led by members of the Staff Council’s Staff Life committee and representatives from the Pitt Police, various Pitt offices, and Oakland community organizations. The purpose of the Crawl is to identify and highlight pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle safety issues across Pitt’s campus. In addition to the actual walk, we have created an online survey to reach those who may not have been able to make it, or who have an office outside of the main Oakland campus. The Campus Safety Crawl takes place, at least, once a year. For information about the safety crawl, please email Staff Council.
Environmental Health and Safety Programs
The University’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) provides training on many topics related to safety, fire safety, lab safety, and the environment. EH&S coordinates, conducts, and evaluates emergency evacuation exercises in each residence hall twice per year.* EH&S also prepares, upon request, individual emergency evacuation plans for students who have impairments that may prevent compliance with University-wide emergency plans.Those in need of an individualized plan should contact EH&S or call 412-624-9505.
*Due to safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, evacuation drills are currently on hold for the fall term in accordance with City of Pittsburgh emergency exercise procedures.
Hours of operation are:
- 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday through Wednesday and on days when the Pitt shuttle system operates on a holiday schedule;
- 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Thursday through Saturday, except during winter recess and other times as advertised on buses and shuttles; and
- 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday through Saturday during the summer.
Individuals should use the fixed-route system and only request SafeRider service when shuttle service is not available. For service boundaries and to request service, download the TransLoc App or call 412-648-CALL (2255) during SafeRider hours of operation. There is a 25-ride limit per term.