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Safety Initiatives at the University

Much more work is underway. See below for more details and read our comprehensive and layered approach to safety (PDF) for additional updates.

Police officers talking with students at a lightrail station

The safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors is among the University’s highest priorities. The University is taking a comprehensive and layered approach to enhancing public safety, working with student government, campus leaders, and city, business, and community partners to ensure proper resources are dedicated to promoting safety on campus and in nearby off-campus neighborhoods. 

In addition to the resources below, read Safety Messages, and visit M Safe, the President’s Campus Safety Initiative, which highlights the University’s work to examine our public safety and policing efforts.

Discover University safety strategies and processes

The University has numerous strategies, processes, and communications approaches in place to enhance safety and communication about safety on and near campus. 

  • The University's Department of Public Safety includes the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD), University Security, and the Public Safety Emergency Communications Center (PSECC), which manages on-campus 911 dispatch services and systemwide camera monitoring and access control. These services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • SAFE-U, the University of Minnesota’s notification system. In compliance with The Clery Act, SAFE-U Emergency Notifications are sent when significant emergencies or dangerous situations that pose an imminent threat to health and safety to our campus community arise. SAFE-U Advisory Notifications are also issued when a reported crime, occurring within Clery Geography, poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community but does not require immediate action. Students, faculty, and staff on the Twin Cities campus automatically receive SAFE-U notifications via email and can also receive emergency notifications via text or phone call. All campus community members should review and update their preferences. Individuals who are not part of the University, but would like to receive these emails, may download the Everbridge App or visit the Safety Notifications website for updates.
  • Dinkytown Alerts alert the campus community to crime that has occurred on or immediately adjacent to campus as defined by The Clery Act, a federal law. Note that you must opt in to receive Dinkytown Alerts. Dinkytown Alerts is a pilot program that will run from September 9 through December 31, 2022. Following completion of the pilot, the University will evaluate next steps. Those who want a more comprehensive set of notifications in Dinkytown or other neighborhoods in Minneapolis should sign up for crime alerts through the Minneapolis Police Department.
  • UMPD has added a community engagement liaison and a social worker to support engagement with individuals in crisis. UMPD has also increased patrols significantly, both on and off campus.
  • UMPD has worked with our partners at the Minneapolis Police Department to coordinate patrols, ensure stronger coverage, and fully support calls for assistance in Minneapolis neighborhoods surrounding campus.
  • The Department of Public Safety requires ongoing training programs for officers, focused on mental health, de-escalation, and diversity and inclusion, among others.  It also contracts with a wellness service to ensure department members receive a psychological check-in yearly.
  • More than 4,600 security cameras are on the Twin Cities campus, monitored 24 hours a day. In particular, cameras are in place along highly traveled pedestrian routes including University Avenue, Church Street, and Washington Avenue in Minneapolis.
  • Blue light kiosks are located throughout our Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, providing instant two-way communication with University police and dispatchers at the push of a button. Kiosks provide 24/7 video surveillance, a one-stop connection to 911, and a visible presence to reassure patrons as they enjoy this historic neighborhood. The University recently invested in additional kiosks along the edges of campus to help cover areas near Dinkytown.
  • Dinkytown Safety Guides—identified by Safety Guide shirts and baseball caps—provide a welcoming presence, enhance community connections, and provide extra eyes and ears to help keep our community safe. They are available to call 911, provide walking escort services, help visitors find their way, and connect with business and property owners.
  • The Daily Crime Log is updated with all UMPD reports. You can view off-campus crime statistics through the City of Minneapolis’ crime dashboard
  • Many campus buildings remain open for public access, while others are accessible with a U Card. View the list of public access hours for each Twin Cities campus building. Always carry your U Card to ensure access to the buildings you’re visiting.
  • Highly traveled pedestrian corridors are illuminated by extra bright exterior light fixtures. View campus maps and click on Safe Walking Resources in the maroon bar to see campus pedestrian lighting. 
  • View the UMPD Off-Campus Response FAQ.

Use safety tools

You can contribute to a culture of safety by using these tools and resources when you travel on and around campus.

  • The RAVE Escort app provides users a virtual walking buddy and a direct connection to the campus 911 center as they walk across campus. Learn more and download the app today.
  • U Security's Safe Walk program, 624-WALK, provides free 24-hour walking and biking security services to and from campus locations and nearby adjacent neighborhoods. This service is available to all students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
  • Boynton Health’s Gopher Chauffeur program provides free rides.
  • The GopherTrip app is a GPS-based, real-time passenger information system that allows riders to find current bus locations, as well as predictions for upcoming arrival times for campus bus services. 
  • Gopher Rideshare is a ridesharing network where users can find all options for their journey including University buses, public transportation, and walking or biking routes. 
  • Campus Maps is a regularly updated collection of map layers regarding campus bus routes, lighting, bicycling and walking, parking, inclusivity, places of interest, and accessibility. 
  • The Campus Connector and University Avenue Circulator run until 12:15 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

Learn more about safety

The University is committed to providing ongoing education about safety, as well as tips and resources for all members of our community. 

  • The University's systemwide safety plan was presented to the Board of Regents at the December 2022 meeting and is directed by Commitment 5, Fiscal Stewardship Action Item 5.4 to “assess and improve campus safety.”  The plan's five safety goals serve as a roadmap for a holistic approach to continuous improvement of safety in the broadest sense.
  • The University emphasizes safety communications with first-year students during Orientation and Welcome Week. Messages cover a broad range of topics including important information on how to stay safe at a large university in an urban area.
  • This campaign is a student awareness effort that includes print, digital, social, and web tools for raising awareness about the pressing issue of safety.
  • The University’s Community Engagement Team (CET) offers updates and crime prevention presentations. They participate in campus activities, foot beats, and community events along with hosting the Student Summit, an annual event to connect with students, student leaders, and organizations, and to listen and discuss their questions, comments, ideas, and concerns. CET’s Community Liaison is available for presentations, events, and to share safety resources.
  • There are many safety tips and best practices available on this Safe Campus site, which offers an overview of all aspects of safety at the University, along with Department of Public Safety videos.