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Crime fair Credit: Mirela Zaneva , Mirela Zaneva

The Division of Public Safety hosted a Safety Fair at the Upper Quad, Hill Field and High Rise Field on Wednesday afternoon. In addition to educating students about public safety issues such as emergency preparedness, theft awareness and fire safety, the fair also aimed to increase participation and awareness about DPS programs and initiatives, in part because the division saw low freshman enrollment in several of these programs during New Student Orientation, according to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush.

UPennAlert System

Part of the PennReady Program, the UPennAlert System communicates with students in times of emergency or danger via email or text message. The “goal of the alert system is not making an FYI to students” or to “cause panic,” Rush said. The alert gives students information to help them protect themselves and stay safe. When an alert is issued from DPS, it typically takes three to seven minutes to reach students’ phones.

The system has the capability of alerting the over 50,000 students, faculty and workers at Penn. Currently, 30,795 people receive UPenn Alerts, 53 percent of which are students.

*Penn Guardian System *

Implemented two years ago, the Penn Guardian System allows Penn Police and security officers to respond quicker to emergencies by using the GPS in students’ phones. Students must register their devices on Penn InTouch and can also include a photo, medical information and an emergency contact. When registered students call the DPS emergency number at 215-573-3333, dispatchers can view this information to better respond to each student’s emergency.

Currently, only 4,314 people have registered for Penn Guardian, 67 percent of which are students.

Alcohol Initiatives

DPS is working with the Vice Provost for University Life to identify off-campus houses and fraternities that are “problematic” during the weekends, according to Rush. “Parties that are overflowing [onto the porch and sidewalk], they’re loud, not necessarily cooperating with the police, possibly serving underage people.” DPS and VPUL are trying to be proactive and bring these homeowners in, giving them information to ensure people are safe and the neighborhood is not disturbed, Rush added.

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