Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community: Over the last several months, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees have engaged in constructive, collaborative and respectful dialogue. The Board of Trustees created a Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity…
Important Safety Information
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
As we begin the spring semester, I am writing to provide an overview of our safety resources available to you. I also want to outline the processes and protocols that guide how the Department of Public Safety communicates about safety matters.
Safety Initiatives Update:
- Residential Community Safety Officers are now in all residence halls 24 hours a day. All students and guests will be required to show their SU I.D. every time they enter.
- There are changes to the residential housing policy pertaining to overnight and short-term guests and minors. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this policy and educate yourself on what the new process is for registering your guests.
- The bus and shuttle schedule has been simplified to make it easier to identify transportation options, especially during evening and late-night hours. New this semester are the ’Cuse Trolleys! These replace the Birnie Bus routes.
- The installation of additional neighborhood cameras continues.
Existing Safety Strategies:
While your chances of being a victim of a crime are very low, it is still important to be aware of certain safety strategies while at Syracuse University:
- Always lock your windows and doors, even if you’re only going to be away from your room for a short period of time or while you’re sleeping at night. Criminals look for opportunities like an open window or unlocked door.
- Keep your stuff with you! Never leave cell phones, laptops, wallets or other valuables out of your sight—it only takes a few seconds for someone to walk away with them.
- Use a U-bolt locking device for your bicycle, and register your bike with DPS.
- Never walk alone. Most street crime incidents occur at night and usually involve students walking alone or with just one other person. Utilize the expanded safety escort services, which include both walking and shuttle escorts.
- LiveSafe: Connecting with DPS is as easy as opening an app on your smartphone. With LiveSafe, you can call DPS or 911 in the event of an emergency, report tips including videos and pictures, or use the SafeWalk feature, which permits you to virtually share your location with friends as you walk to a destination. Download the app today!
- Hide. Fight.: In the event of an active shooter situation, it’s important to be prepared. We created this video for you to understand the importance of these three words: Run. Hide. Fight.
Over the last several months, there has been a lot of discussion about how, when and via what channels we issue safety communications to our campus community. Here is what you need to know:
When We Issue Broad Communications Across the Campus Community:
- When there is an active or imminent threat of physical danger to the campus community.
- When there is an active crime scene on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need community members to avoid the area.
- When a perpetrator is at large on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need the community’s help locating the individual.
When Broad Communications Will Not Be Issued:
- When initial investigation into an incident indicates there is no continuing threat.
- When another law enforcement agency has jurisdiction or is the lead investigator on an active case, and we have been directed not to issue a notice. That agency may communicate to the broader public and direct us to inform our community.
- When communicating broadly will impede or jeopardize an active investigation. Please note: although it is our intention to communicate broadly any bias-related incident within 48 hours, we will always prioritize maintaining the integrity of an investigation, especially when we are following active leads.
The summary below provides valuable information about how and why DPS uses emergency notification and public safety messages.
Bias Incidents: Last semester, we established a new protocol as it relates to sharing information about bias-related incidents. As part of that effort, we introduced a new Bias Incident Reports web page where we will aggregate all bias-related incidents. This page will be updated and accessible to students, faculty, staff, parents and other community members. Hate speech and other bias-related incidents will be posted to this page within 48 hours but likely much sooner, unless posting will impede or jeopardize an active investigation. This channel will be your trusted source of accurate and reliable information moving forward. This protocol has been developed in partnership with law enforcement, which has advised the University against the repeated distribution of email notifications, as they could motivate copycats.
Public Safety Messages (Timely Warnings): Public safety messages are distributed via email and posted on the DPS website and on DPS social media accounts. There are three types of messages:
- Public Safety Notice designates a timely warning related to an ongoing concern for violence.
- Public Safety Information designates a warning related to an ongoing property crime problem or about general safety-related information.
- Public Safety Update provides information regarding a threat that has passed or an update to a previously issued Public Safety Notice.
Public safety messages include information about the incident that triggered the warning in order to promote safety and enable members of the campus community to protect themselves from similar incidents. They are intended to inform the community of suspects at large or an ongoing threat to campus community members and to seek the community’s help in identifying suspects and gathering pertinent details. Follow-up information will be disseminated when appropriate, and all alerts are posted online.
Emergency Notification and Response (Orange Alert): The Orange Alert system is designed to provide rapid notification and instructions to Syracuse University students, faculty and staff and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students in the event of a verified crisis where there exists an immediate threat of serious physical harm. All DPS officers have the authority to activate the Orange Alert system if necessary.
Orange Alert utilizes email, text messaging, social media networks and cell/landline phone calls to send a brief notice about the incident and instructions about what actions to take. Additionally, sirens located on the Kenneth A. Shaw Quad, Whitman School of Management building, Falk College complex and South Campus housing will sound in the event of an Orange Alert. After an Orange Alert message is broadcast, more detailed follow-up information will be provided through various means, including but not limited to the University’s website, University social media resources, email, phone, and campus radio and television resources.
Sign Up in MySlice: To receive the aforementioned communications, all students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to log into MySlice to ensure their contact information for Orange Alert is up to date. Students may also enter their parents’ and families’ contact information by logging into MySlice.
Reporting a Crime or Bias Incident: Anyone with information warranting an Orange Alert or a public safety message is encouraged to report the incident to DPS by immediately calling 315.443.2224; toll-free 855.443.2224; 711 from a campus landline; or via the LiveSafe app. If you would like to anonymously report NON-EMERGENCY information to DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool. To report a bias incident or to receive support, visit the Stop Bias website.
My colleagues and I are always available to discuss our processes, protocols and how we collaborate with local, state and federal law enforcement to keep our campus community safe.
Chief Bobby Maldonado
Department of Public Safety