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Message from Interim Chief Gerald Pickering


The University of Rochester is deeply committed to protecting the safety and security of everyone in our campus community. The University is secured 24/7 by highly trained Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers and staff who work collaboratively with many groups on campus and engage in outreach and education efforts. Reported crimes and incidents on our campuses are historically low and remain so, but recent national events have reminded us of the vital role we all play in maintaining the safety of our campuses. As we begin a new academic year, I’d like to provide an overview of campus safety and offer some useful resources.

Each year the University publishes crime statistics as mandated by The Clery Act. We post the University’s current safety report, as well as reports for the past three years on the DPS homepage. Our next report will be published in October.

 What is Happening Now

Car thefts continue to be a challenge across the nation, and Rochester is not immune. While there have been motor vehicle thefts on campus, the incidents remain relatively low. Between January and August 2023, a total of 17 motor vehicle thefts occurred across all University campuses. For context, about 2,000 car thefts were reported during the same period in Monroe County. DPS has worked with local enforcement to determine the best methods to decrease these incidents, including providing free steering wheel locks to faculty, staff, and students driving Kia and Hyundai models.

We have numerous safety measures in place to secure all our campuses. Below are highlights. You can find more information on our website.

  • Emergency Communication Systems: We have a robust emergency communication system, called AlertUR, designed to provide rapid notification and instruction via voice, text, and e-mail message to students, faculty and staff in all University Divisions.
  • Security Technology: Emergency Blue Light phones provide a direct line to DPS for immediate assistance.
  • Crime Reporting: DPS works with 20+ student aides each semester who help alert us to safety concerns or suspicious activities occurring on campus. We also encourage everyone in the University community to report safety concerns. Call or text us at (585) 275-3333.
  • Safety Rides: Our Department of Transportation and Parking’s Safe Ride program offers students safe and reliable transportation between River Campus properties and residence halls between 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. every day during the academic year.
  • Collaboration with Local Law Enforcement: We work closely with local law enforcement agencies with joint patrols in vehicles and on bikes to keep areas around our campus safe. Working together also ensures a coordinated response in case of any off-campus incidents affecting our students.
  • Safety Workshops and Trainings: The Department of Public Safety regularly provides safety workshops and training sessions to educate our students, faculty and staff on personal safety, situational awareness, and emergency response.

Our department (commonly referred to as “DPS” on campus) is committed to the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, learners, patients and visitors. We are here for you, and we care for you. Please reach out anytime by texting or calling (585) 275-3333 or .


Interim Chief Gerald Pickering

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