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University of Rochester

Department of Public Safety

Protecting and supporting our community

The University of Rochester’s Department of Public Safety is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the University community. Please explore our website to learn more about our mission, services, and how we maintain safety on our campuses.

Emergency services:
Call or text (585) 275-3333

Message from Interim Chief Gerald Pickering

Portrait of Gerald Pickering
Interim Chief, Gerald Pickering

Welcome to the University of Rochester Department of Public Safety website. As we start a new academic semester, DPS also begins a new chapter with a change to our leadership. We will continue working hard to keep our campuses safe using the highest levels of training, professionalism, collaboration, and transparency. We continue to increase the diversity of the department and we hear you—our students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors—and will act upon your concerns and suggestions.

As interim chief of DPS for the coming year and having served as deputy chief for the past six years, I am committed to maintaining our forward momentum. I am interested in learning about your public safety concerns and discussing innovative ideas where we can work together to reimagine the services we provide and how we provide those services. I welcome the opportunity to meet and chat with anyone about our department, our officers and their responsibilities, our training, and our policies, procedures, and legal jurisdiction.

Public Safety is committed to equity, inclusion, and transparency. We seek to recruit a highly diversified workforce who excel in communications, customer service, and community policing. Our current class of 12 newly hired officers reflects our commitment to building a more diverse department.

We invite members of our community to attend a DPS training, ride along with patrol officers, and/or join focus groups to develop collaborative relationships. Thanks to previous suggestions from our student organizations, we now have Department of Public Safety policies and procedures posted on our website and have the ability to receive text messages in our communications center. We are listening and interested in your ideas that provide opportunities for our department to engage in constructive processes to implement meaningful change.

As part of our newly expanded Community Engagement Team, DPS officers will work in concert with the University community stakeholders to identify and solve emerging public safety concerns. This will allow officers to achieve a greater understanding and appreciation for not only the public safety issues but also the experiences and perceptions that students, faculty, and staff bring with them to our campuses, classrooms, and workplace. DPS officers will continue volunteer efforts to host drives for needed supplies at shelters, participate in educational opportunities for our community on mental health issues and addictions, and lead affinity and networking groups.

Just as our Rochester community is distinct from others, DPS officers are different from outside law enforcement officers. They respond to calls for service the same as other officers do, but our officers understand that there are many alternatives to settle issues outside of the criminal justice system. DPS officers will spend as much time as necessary to de-escalate conflict while utilizing all available internal and external resources at their disposal to resolve complaints. Only as a last resort, with no other course of action reasonably working or available, will DPS officers use their law enforcement authority.

Our officers understand that each action they take or fail to take reflects on the University and our community. DPS officers work each day to uphold the values we all share as a community providing public safety services with integrity and pride while respecting and safeguarding the dignity and rights of all individuals.

I hope to hear from you and wish you all the best for the coming year!

Meliora

Gerald Pickering 
Interim Chief

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