Public Safety and the U
The safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors is of the highest priority at the University of Minnesota. University leaders continue to implement a multipronged approach to actively promote on-campus safety, while working with our Minneapolis and other community partners to ensure proper resources are dedicated to making off-campus neighborhoods safe.
Since 2002 the University has invested nearly $16 million in campus security systems and infrastructure. Many resources are in place to monitor, promote and ensure safety on the Twin Cities campus:
- TXT-U, the University of Minnesota emergency notification text messaging system.
- 1,700 security cameras on the Twin Cities campus, monitored 24 hours a day.
- Secured buildings: 158 buildings with U Card access and 2,600 doors with card access readers.
- Code Blue Emergency Telephones: 20 phones provide instant two-way communication with University Police with the push of a button. Located throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.
- 267 emergency intercom buttons, located in the stairways of most parking structures on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Callers are immediately connected to the University's Police Security Emergency Command Center (PSECC).
- Coordinated efforts: With professionals in law enforcement, emergency preparedness and security, the U's Department of Public Safety comprises Central Security, Emergency Management and the University of Minnesota Police Department.
- Many safety resources for students such as the Gopher Chauffeur free transportation service and 612-624-WALK—the free 24-hour campus safety escort service—can be found on the What You Can Do page.
Ensuring fair policing
The University does not tolerate racial profiling, and any reports of it will be investigated. See the University Police policy (PDF) regarding racial/bias-based profiling.
Crime alerts and public safety updates
The U believes a well-informed community is an asset to public safety and therefore faculty, staff and students on the Twin Cities campus automatically receive emailed Crime Alerts and Public Safety Updates. Individuals who are not part of the University, but would like to receive these emails may subscribe to updates.
The U collaborates with external partners, student government and other campus leaders to spread awareness among students and the University community regarding safety resources. The University’s safety efforts are brought together in a concerted and coordinated approach based on four E's: education, environment, enforcement and engagement.
- The University has been more intentional about safety communications to 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.
- Safety education related to the new Green Line Light Rail Transit that runs through the heart of campus will be an important focus during the fall semester. The University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) and Metro Transit Police will be educating pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers about safety on the Green Line. In addition, the U will sponsor entertaining “What to Do While You Wait” activities on Sept. 2 and 3 for pedestrians while they wait for the appropriate signal crossing. Metro Transit volunteers will be on Green Line platforms the first week of school.
- SAFE U, a student awareness campaign that includes print, digital, social, and Web components, began in January 2014 and will continue this year to heighten consciousness about the pressing issue of safety.
- The recently completed building access program increases Twin Cities campus security by reducing the number of hours campus buildings are open to the general public while ensuring that current students, faculty, and staff have access to facilities when they need it. Since beginning in February, 142 campus buildings have been added to the program.
- The new University Avenue Circulator bus will run on University Avenue and Fourth Street on the weekends until 2 a.m. The Circulator – along with the existing Gopher Chauffer service and 624-WALK – will give students multiple options to get home safely.
- The Campus Connector, the Washington Ave. Bridge, and the East Bank Circulators will continue service until 2 a.m., an extension that began last semester. The Weekend Circulator, which runs between the East and West Banks and began in January 2014, will continue running as well.
- Highly traveled pedestrian corridors are now significantly brighter after yellow sodium bulbs were replaced with white metal halide bulbs in exterior light fixtures. The U continues to work with the City of Minneapolis and Xcel Energy to improve additional busy pedestrian routes.
- Sixteen new security cameras have been added on highly traveled pedestrian routes including University Avenue, Church Street, and Washington Avenue.
- The UMPD participated in a recent multi-agency effort that resulted in the indictments of 20 people involved in an organized crime ring that allegedly stole thousands of smartphones nationwide and sold them on the world-wide black market. The break-up of this Twin Cities-based crime ring, along with new “kill switch” legislation that will allow users to disable their phones if lost or stolen, aims to make it much more difficult for robbers to profit from stolen smartphones.
- Three new officers joined UMPD in December 2013. Those officers have completed their training and are on the streets. The additional officers increase the UMPD roster to 50 sworn officers. More student security monitors also have been added.
- The University’s highly regarded Community Response Team will add an additional member this fall, increasing the team’s capacity to work both on and off campus.
- The campus and surrounding neighborhoods will all be safer when everyone plays a role in promoting and encouraging safety. University leaders are committed to strengthening these partnerships through town hall meetings with students, faculty, and staff and metro-wide public safety strategy sessions, among other initiatives.
- The University’s Board of Regents approved a resolution related to the U’s new approach to engagement for the vitality and safety of the neighborhoods surrounding the Minneapolis campus. The U seeks to ensure a vibrant, welcoming, safe and attractive environment for all.