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Public Safety at the University

Two students talking to a smiling police officer

The safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors is of the highest priority at the University of Minnesota. University leaders are committed to a multipronged and layered approach, working with student government, campus leaders, 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, this interview with University leaders about our approach to public safety provides more information, and M Safe, the President’s Campus Safety Initiative, highlights the University’s work to examine our public safety and policing efforts

Environment

Units across the University offer programs, resources, and guidance to enhance 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 emergency notification system. 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 when emergencies arise. 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.
  • The Department of Public Safety offers the RAVE Escort app, which 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.
  • 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.
  • There are blue light kiosks located throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, providing instant two-way communication with University police at the push of a button. Additional emergency kiosks are being added near Dinkytown to provide 24/7 video surveillance, a one-stop connection to 911, and a visible presence to reassure patrons as they enjoy this historic neighborhood. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Campus Connector and University Avenue Circulator run until 12:15 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 
  • 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. 

Engagement

We interact with students, faculty, staff, and visitors, both on and off campus, to build community and trust. 

  • UMPD has added a neighborhood liaison specialist 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 the Minneapolis neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
  • UMPD has contracted with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to bring additional law enforcement visibility patrols to the campus and surrounding areas.
  • The Community Engagement Team participates in campus activities, foot beats and community events. The Team’s Civilian Liaison is available for safety presentations, community events, and to share campus safety resources.
  • The University is contracting with a firm specializing in safety ambassadors who will staff individuals in the Marcy Holmes/Dinkytown neighborhood. These safety ambassadors will assist with questions, remove litter, and are connected with UMPD to communicate their observations and support neighborhood safety.
  • UMPD Off-Campus Response FAQ

Education

We provide safety training, tips and resources for all members of our community. 

  • 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 that work to heighten awareness about the pressing issue of safety.
  • The University’s Community Engagement Team offers updates and crime prevention training. Want to schedule a presentation for your student group, residence hall, or University department? Contact them today!
  • The Department of Public Safety requires ongoing training programs for officers, focused on mental health, de-escalation, and diversity and inclusion, among others. Learn more.
  • There are many safety tips and best practices available on the Safe Campus site, which offers an overview of all aspects of safety at the University.