• Staying Safe
    • Staying Safe

Living in Philadelphia has many advantages: cultural diversity, historical areas, and night life attractions. However, like other big cities in the United States, Philadelphia also has some disadvantages, one of which is the problem of public safety. Being aware of and taking appropriate safety precautions can help you avoid problems.


  • Division of Public Safety
  • The Division of Public Safety's primary purpose is to educate the Penn Community on how to be safe and secure on campus and in Philadelphia. Also provided, are 24/7 walking escorts and secure riding services after 6:00 p.m. For more details click here.

    Division of Public Safety
    4040 Chestnut St.
    Tel: 215-898-7297
    Web: http://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/

    Emergency phone numbers

    On campus, call:

    University Police:
    511 (from a campus phone)
    or
    215-573-3333 (from off campus)

    Off campus, call:

    Philadelphia Police
    911

    or
    University Police
    215-573-3333

    It is important to familiarize yourself with the Personal Safety Tips provided by the Penn Police and follow them meticulously and consistently.

    Topics include:

    • The Office, Classroom, Lab, Street, Residence Halls, and Fraternities/Sororities
    • Off-campus Residence and Operation Identification
    • Car or Bicycle
    • Avoiding Fraud, Con Artists, Identity Theft, and Harassment
    • Computer Security
    • Everyday Safety Instructions
    • Special Issues

  • Personal Identification
  • Many students and scholars choose not to carry their passports and instead carry their Penn Cards or obtain Pennsylvania State identification cards from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. However it is recommended that you carry at least a photocopy of your passport information page, visa stamp page, and I-94 card as all non-US citizens are required to carry proof of status at all times.

  • Know Your Rights
  • If you are accused of committing a crime and have been arrested, remember that you have certain rights. You should notify OIP-ISSS staff as soon as possible as we may be able to assist you.

    You also have the right to notify your government about your arrest or detainment. If you so choose, the police must inform the appropriate consulate or embassy immediately. Your consular officers have the right to visit you and arrange for your legal representation. Many countries (i.e., China, Nigeria, and Singapore) require that the consul be notified when their nationals are confined or detained. In these cases, you have no choice in the matter of whether the authorities notify your consulate; they must do so.

    If you are accused of a crime, in most cases you should obtain legal advice from an attorney.

    In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union is the United States' (self-appointed) "guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and the laws of the United States." Their site includes information about your individual rights if arrested.