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About Public Safety

Safety is our top priority

The University of Rochester’s Department of Public Safety includes 200 support staff and peace officers. In addition to providing emergency services and support, our team provides training opportunities and engages in ongoing safety measures across all University campuses. Learn more about our mission and view frequently asked questions.

How we serve and support

  • 25,000+ Students, faculty, and staff served by DPS
  • 300,000 Calls for service each year
  • 62,500 Dispatches for responses each year
  • 24/7 Call Center and officer patrols

Our mission

  • Protect people at the University
  • Inform our community about security issues, personal safety measures, and protective strategies
  • Prevent disruption of University activities and misuse of premises
  • Protect University and personal property against theft or abuse
  • Provide a visible, reassuring, and readily accessible presence
  • Foster beneficial community relations


In April 2020 the University of Rochester Department of Public Safety received full accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the leading authority for campus public safety. Public Safety recently demonstrated to outside, impartial experts its compliance with national standards that denote current best practices in the profession. Fewer than 100 agencies have earned this distinctive recognition. This is the first term of IACLEA accreditation for the department.

IACLEA is an association that represents campus public safety leaders at more than 1,200 institutions of higher education worldwide and offers accreditation to colleges and university law enforcement, security, and public safety departments.

Frequently asked questions

Sworn unarmed peace officers are deployed to roving posts—both on foot and in vehicles—to respond quickly to all areas of the University. Sworn armed peace officers are assigned to the University Medical Center in specialized duty assignments.

Public Safety handles all calls for service on River Campus, Eastman School of Music, South Campus, the Medical Center campus, and the Memorial Art Gallery, as well as the immediately adjacent areas that border these main campuses.

Immediately adjacent means that Public Safety only responds to University affiliated or unaffiliated incidents or calls occurring on the sidewalks and roadways that are defined as adjacent to University owned or leased property, for example, the sidewalk outside the doors of the Eastman School of Music, and the sidewalks and roadways that border Riverview Apartments and Brooks Crossing. Outside of this New York State authorized jurisdiction, Public Safety does not handle any calls for service, nor patrol (foot or vehicle), nor become involved in any response activities in the neighborhoods and communities near the University’s campuses.

The majority of University of Rochester campuses are located within the City of Rochester and, therefore, fall under the geographical jurisdiction of the Rochester Police Department. Public Safety is required to maintain, pursuant to NYS Criminal Procedure Law, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that defines areas of authority and the primary responsibility and lead agency status for identified offenses or events occurring on University properties.

Of note, Public Safety is a unit of the University of Rochester, wholly independent from the Rochester Police Department (RPD). The University does not contract with RPD for any law enforcement services nor hire RPD personnel to staff campus events.

RPD does support Public Safety in some felony offense investigations, weapons situations, and in transporting prisoners to jail. Public Safety has signed memorandum of understandings with area law enforcement agencies to establish response protocols.

The University established the Public Safety Review Board (PSRB) in October 2016. The board is comprised of a representative from both Arts, Sciences & Engineering and Eastman School of Music student associations, as well as faculty, staff, and administrators from across the University who meet quarterly or as needed to provide regular assessments of Public Safety policies and procedures, and to review any significant incidents involving Public Safety actions.

The PSRB periodically reviews officer selection, training, cultural sensitivity practices, de-escalation procedures, community engagement, and gun safety measures. The PSRB reports to the University president. The Public Safety chief is not a member of the PSRB, nor are any Public Safety officers or staff.

Learn more on the PSRB’s website

You can call Public Safety headquarters at (585) 275-3437 during normal business hours and your question will be directed to the appropriate person. Visit our Contact page for more information, to ask a question, or provide feedback.

As always, if you have an emergency or urgent concern, please call our emergency line at (585) 275-3333, 24 hours a day.

Contact us

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