Campus safety programs and resources available to students, faculty and staff throughout the year

University Police Services reminds students to take charge of their personal safety

9/3/2013 | By: Natalie Savidge  |

The University of Nevada, Reno provides resources and training opportunities to promote campus safety and security. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to utilize the offerings available through this safety program. As you take charge of your personal safety, also reach out to friends or colleagues and encourage them to do the same. Together, we can further the sense of community and culture of safety at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Campus safety and security efforts include:

The University's emergency information website is

Pocket-sized cards with safety tips and important numbers, including the numbers for motorist assistance and the Campus Safety Escort Service, are available at a number of locations on campus. Tips and numbers are also available at or the University's Personal Safety page,

University Police Services is a fully functional law enforcement agency. Officers have full police powers and are certified under the laws of the state of Nevada. They perform the same function as officers from city, county and state agencies; enforcing all local, state and federal laws and ordinances within the jurisdiction of the University of Nevada, Reno, which includes the main campus as well as other properties owned and operated by the University. They also have the authority to exercise police powers on University-owned and/or supervised sites, such as fraternity houses, sorority houses and adjacent properties.

Officers patrol, walking and biking around campus, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provide escorts upon request. The department also has standing agreements with other local law enforcement agencies giving officers authority to exercise police power. The University Police Department does all they can to assist in appropriate investigations by other agencies.

This year, University Police Services debuted its new outdoor notification system capable of signaling an audible alert in an emergency situation. This audible alert can be heard throughout campus, would be used in combination with other emergency communication including an SMS text message; campus-wide email; posting to Twitter and Facebook; the department's new AM information radio station 1670 KHz and a scrolling banner on campus public computers..

University Police Services can be reached by calling 775-784-4013 or going to Reno Police Department can be reached at 775-334-COPS (2677).

To improve safety, the University Police Department offers a student cadet program and a Reserve Officer program.

The cadet program employs students to patrol campus and provide escort services to fellow students walking to and from University buildings after dark. The cadets work in pairs or small groups, and are on duty from 6 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, during the semester. Cadets are recognizable by police services jackets and they offer free golf-cart rides to students in need of an escort.

University Police Reserve Officers must complete a Reserve Academy and be sworn as law enforcement personnel. Those who have no police education undergo more than 150 hours of training, including instruction in patrol procedures and firearms. Reserve Officers work with full-time officers to provide extra security at large events, such as football games, and other special assignments.

Campus Escort Service ( provides safe transportation via van to any location on or within a 2-mile radius of the main campus in Reno. The service provides rides during fall starting Thursday, Aug. 22. Hours of operation are 7 p.m. - 1 a.m., seven days a week. For more information or to request the service, contact Campus Escort Services at 775-742-6808. 

Walking Escorts are available during high-call volume times and may not be available all times of the school year. However, no distance is too short, and accommodations will be made if you need to walk somewhere on campus with the extra security of an escort.

A team of professional counselors is committed to promoting student safety and empowerment through training, education and support in personal safety and sexual assault prevention. For concerns or questions about your safety or the safety of others, contact Counseling Services at 775-784-4648 or the Crisis Call Center at 775-784-8090 or 800-992-5757.

Safety information is distributed to all students living in the residence halls during Welcome Week and throughout the year.

  • Each residence hall has 24-hour security desk operations with full-time staff who conduct regular building rounds.
  • The halls have live-in staff who receive training on safety and security issues, as well as provide educational programs on personal and property safety.
  • The halls are locked 24 hours a day, and access is controlled by sophisticated perimeter security and door-locking systems.
  • In response to annual satisfaction surveys, more than 90 percent of residents consistently agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe and secure in their residence halls.

One of the top 10 safety tips is to carry a device to make noise, thus alarming an attacker, alerting others to your situation and summoning help. Whistles are available, for free, at University Police Services, first floor of the Fitzgerald Student Services Building. They can be attached to a key ring.

The University's network of emergency "blue light" phones include a total of 107 phones in the University's parking garages, across the main campus Reno and in the Redfield Campus parking lot. Each phone allows quick access to "911" emergency assistance with the push of a button.

All of the phones have a button that, when pushed, sets off a highly visible blue strobe light and places an immediate call to the regional 911 dispatch center. Additionally, at the request of the student government, the tower-style phones on the main campus in Reno include a second button that places a call to the ASUN Campus Escort Service. This allows a convenient way to schedule a safe ride during the services' hours of operation. The Campus Escort Service offers walking and driving escort services during the fall and spring semesters.

All area law enforcement agencies, including University Police Services, participate in the regional 911 system. Calls placed to regional 911 are dispatched for response by the nearest officer, which means a University police officer would respond when the call is placed from campus. When the emergency button is pushed, the blue light flashes to alert others in the area that something is happening, intending to potentially deter or stop criminal activity. If you see a blue light flashing, University Police Services advises that you assess the situation and use common sense in determining how or if to respond. In many instances, it may be best to not become involved in the situation, and instead place an additional call to 911.

The University's Emergency Messaging System is available to students, faculty and staff who enroll in the system. Messages are sent to all enrolled cell phones in the event of an emergency or unexpected closing at the University. The message alert will often supplement communication and University closure information available through other means, such as the website. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for this service. Users who elect this option and provide contact information may be assured that all of the information provided is private and will not be shared. Find out more and sign up at

Police Services began offering a new quick-tip, crime-reporting option. Students, faculty and staff can text UNRTIP and a message to 50911. UNRTIP must be first, and all reports are confidential.

Safety starts with personal choices and practices. The best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. University Police Services has produced a short video reviewing 10 safety tips you can easily and immediately put to use. The video - and additional safety-related information - is available online at

Safety presentations are given to students, faculty and staff that include practical information they can use to protect themselves. In addition to public, scheduled training sessions, sessions are conducted at the request of campus organizations and associations. For example, training sessions are offered and presented to members of sororities.

Free safety classes hosted by the University for students, faculty and staff include rape defense, self-defense and personal safety-awareness instruction.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Class: Certified instructors with University Police Services teach a four-day, three-hour evening course. Participants must register in advance by emailing It is also offered for credit and not for credit through the University's Campus Recreation and Wellness office. Additional classes may be scheduled if warranted. Participants should pre-register at the front desk in the Lombardi Recreation Center. For details, call 775-784-1225. This class will be offered under PEX 199 for credit during the fall semester.

Personal-Safety Training: Training sessions and personal safety seminars are offered to groups and individuals on an on-demand basis. 

For more information about these safety training opportunities, please visit

The University provides the following tips to be used on a daily basis to help you take control and be safe.

  1. Make personal safety your number one priority. Awareness, avoidance and risk reduction are the best ways to avoid being a victim.
  2. Travel in groups of two or more in well-lit, high-traffic areas.
  3. Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  4. Carry a whistle or noisemaker. This can remind you to exercise caution and can be used to alert someone if you need help.
  5. Be alert! Look around you; observe who is in the area and make it difficult for anyone to take you by surprise.
  6. If listening to an iPod, keep the volume low so you can hear what is going on around you.
  7. If you exercise at night, do so with a friend and wear bright reflective clothing.
  8. Follow your intuition... trust your feelings.
  9. If you will be studying or working late, plan ahead and make arrangements to get home safely.
  10. ALWAYS lock your doors and windows each time you leave your residence and keep them locked while at home.


For more news on the University of Nevada, Reno, follow @unevadareno on Twitter.

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