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Promoting a Culture of Safety

Two students sitting in the grass talking

Emergencies, disasters, accidents, injuries, and crimes can occur without warning. Being prepared to respond to unexpected emergencies is an individual and an organizational responsibility. Each member of our community has a role in emergency preparation and response.

As an individual, you can help by observing your surroundings, asking about suspicious or questionable behavior, and calling for help when safety is an issue.

Being alert to what's going on around us enhances security, safety, openness, and the accessibility of our campus.

The University of Minnesota Police Department and other public safety professionals on campus are trained to respond appropriately to dangerous situations. But the multiplied effect of thousands of alert eyes and ears has the most impact on keeping our community safe, secure, and ready to respond.

The University, a public institution, values openness and access. However, "open" should not mean unsafe or dangerous.

Propping doors open for convenience, turning a blind eye to strangers, and leaving computers and other valuables in the open too often lead to unintended consequences. Every member of the University community needs to help promote personal and community safety. Closing and locking doors and windows, obtaining photo ID cards for your unit, preparing department and building-wide plans, and questioning strangers are examples of simple steps you can take to ensure a safe U.

Encouraging these actions within departments and units goes a long way toward fostering a culture of safety, without unduly infringing on daily activities or an open community.

Safety at the University

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is like a city within a city. It has its own police department, its own building inspectors, and its own environmental health and safety department. It works closely with local law enforcement agencies and state and county law enforcement, as well as with municipal fire departments, to ensure a timely response to campus emergencies.

The University's 911 dispatch center operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The dispatch center monitors nearly 2,500 security cameras around the clock. There are 200 yellow phones for emergency, medical, and service-related calls, and 20 blue-light emergency call-boxes located throughout campus. University Security provides walking escorts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To request an escort, call University Security at 612-624-WALK (9255).

A committee of senior administrators routinely assesses safety risks and leads efforts to mitigate them. A variety of University departments are involved in planning for and responding to emergencies.

In the event of an emergency on campus, the University uses multiple methods to notify the campus community and general public about the nature of the emergency, how to respond, class or event cancellations, and campus closure.

Those methods include the media; the U's home page at www.umn.eduSAFE-U, the U's text message emergency notification system; email; tone-alert radios; and on-the-ground public safety personnel.