Safety Programs & Services
The College provides the following services and programs to improve safety on campus and to educate the community about security issues. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) also provides brochures and posters related to substance abuse, personal safety, motor vehicle and bicycle theft prevention, residence and office security and many other topics that are available at the DPS office.
Safe Walk (Escort)
Safe Walk is a campus accompaniment service designed as an alternative to walking alone, especially at night. Public Safety provides this escort service for people walking on campus or to and from a College-owned residence. Safe Walk escorts are free of charge and available to all members of the Dickinson College community.
To request Safe Walk service: Call 717-245-1349 or dial ext. 1349 from a campus phone. A uniformed officer will be dispatched to walk with you to your destination. Off campus escorts are limited to the requestor’s residence.
Students, staff, and faculty are asked to walk with others when possible and to choose paths that are well lit.
Personal Safety Tips For Where You Live, Work and Study.
No lock works unless you use it! Always lock the doors to your building, residence hall, or office when you leave and before you go to sleep. Never leave a door propped open - even for a friend. Lock windows that are accessible from the outside. Never leave keys hidden near your door. Keep house and car keys on separate chains, and when leaving your car for service or in a parking lot, leave only your ignition key. Do not attach your address to your key chain. Request that service people show proper credentials before you let them in. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, do not open your door. Instead, offer to call for emergency assistance for them. Report any unusual or suspicious activity near your home or room, or around neighbors' homes or apartments to the Department of Public Safety.
If You Live Alone: Use an initial for your first name for directories, all mailing addresses and on your mailbox. Report repeated harassing or suspicious or "wrong number" calls to police. Avoid using common laundry facilities if you will be alone in the room.
If You Are The Victim of a Break-In: Should you spot a burglar leaving your room, do not try to stop them. Get out of the building, or get out of their way. Avoid any face-to-face confrontation. Should you enter your room and find evidence of a break-in, do not touch anything. Leave everything as is until the police can inspect the area for evidence.
When Walking: Walk with someone else. Two is good, but three or more is better. Use Safe Walk, offered by the Department of Public Safety. Be alert, observant and aware of your surroundings and any other people on the street with you. Plan your route before you go out and know where to find the emergency telephones on campus, and avoid dark or deserted streets, alleys, parking lots, parks, or areas known to have crime problems. Conceal necklaces and other jewelry. If you carry a purse, briefcase, or backpack, keep only a small amount of cash in it. Carry your keys, your identification and anything else of value concealed on your person. The carrying of Mace or other chemicals for your protection is not recommended. Some sprays may not have a disabling affect, and as with any weapon, a spray could be used against you.
If You Must Walk Alone: Use a route where there will be lots of people. Walk purposefully, briskly and keep moving. Walk in the center of the sidewalk - away from buildings, doorways, hedges and parked cars. Walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic. You can see a suspicious car more readily, and the car will have to turn around to pursue you. Avoid travelling the same route every day, if possible. Should a stranger try to engage you in conversation, use good judgment before stopping to talk. Have your key (to your home or car) ready. Should you be dropped off by taxi or friend, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
If You Sense A Potential Threat: Activate one of the campus emergency telephones. Be aware of your surroundings. Think first, then take action. Join up with any group of people nearby. Cross the street and increase your pace. Go to a well-lit public place and call the Department of Public Safety immediately. Should you believe a threat is imminent and you see people nearby to help, yell, scream, or make a commotion to attract attention and run toward any crowd of people. Should you see someone else in trouble, call the Department of Public Safety immediately.
If You Are Facing An Armed Criminal: Should you be the victim of a street crime, how you react can affect whether or not you are physically harmed. You will have to make the decision, and it helps to think ahead about how you might react under a variety of circumstances. Should you resist a street crime, the likelihood of personal injury is greatly increased. The risk of injury is minimized by cooperation, avoidance of sudden moves and giving the criminal whatever is requested. Try to get an accurate and complete description of the assailant, their car or bicycle and the direction of their escape. Report the crime as soon as you can.
The bicycle registration program is a free service for students. A numbered decal will be affixed to your bike and the same number stamped into the bottom of the bike. A registration form will be completed containing these numbers and will be kept on file for four years. If the bike is stolen and recovered, the owner can be traced through the registered decal number.
To register your bike, contact the Department of Public Safety at ext. 1349 on campus or (717) 245-1349 off campus.
Bicycle Safety & "Rules of the Road"
- Keep to the right side of the road-ride with traffic, not against traffic. Ride single file, and never ride on business district sidewalks. Abide by traffic laws (stop signs, yield signs, one-way streets and traffic signals). Use hand signals for turning.
- Give pedestrians and motor vehicles the right of way. Use caution when passing parked cars—doors can open without warning. Never ride from between parked cars or weave in and out of traffic. Don't hitch onto moving vehicles. Watch out for potholes, broken glass and other hazards.
- Helmets are recommended. Equip your bike with front and rear lights; front lights must be visible from 150 yards; you must have a red rear reflector visible from 100 feet. Use spoke / wheel reflectors and pedal reflectors. Only ride one to a bike seat—no riders or large packages on handle bars.
- Preventing Bike Theft: Invest in a good quality lock. We do not recommend cables, chains or padlocks. Lock your bike by the frame, not the wheels. Use bike racks; do not lock bikes in stairwells, at parking meters, road signs or trees. Park your bike at a rack in a well-traveled well-lit area. If you have a quick release seat, take it with you, or use a seat lock.
- General Bike Safety: Check for worn or damaged parts before riding your bike. Regularly inspect your bike's saddle, reflectors, handlebars, pedals, brakes, spokes, wheels, chain, and tires. Wear light colored clothing at night. Don't confuse motorists with a pedal / coast ride style. This gives the impression you are stopping or turning. Keep a constant rhythm in a low gear (this conserves your energy and maintains a constant speed).
Dickinson College "Red Bike" Program
Dickinson College Department of Public Safety administers the College Red Bike Program, which supports the College’s sustainability efforts. The red bikes and equipment are for the use of Dickinson College students, their visiting family members, and Dickinson College faculty and staff and their family members. Family members of students, faculty or staff requesting use of a bicycle must be at least 18 years of age.
Review the Red Bike Program (PDF) for additional information on the program, bicycle locations and how to sign out a bike.
Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.)
The Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.) is a comprehensive self–defense system for women. The RAD program is available to employees and students. The program includes awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance strategies, as well as options available to women during a confrontation or attack. RAD is a hands on defense training program, not a martial arts course.
R.A.D. is taught by nationally certified DPS officers. The program focuses on developing self-defense as one of the options available to women. The system includes carefully selected, realistically employable defense tactics which utilize a woman's personal weapons (such as hands and feet). These tactics are easy to learn and easy to retain.
We also offer a free lifetime practice policy, which encourages students who have completed the course to return to any RAD class and practice with a certified instructor at absolutely no cost. If you have questions or if you are interested in taking part in the program, please contact the instructors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ID Safety / Identity Theft Prevention
IDSafety.org is a resource designed for consumers and law enforcement to combat identity theft. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States and people aged 18-29 make up the group most commonly victimized by it.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals personal identifying information and uses that information for personal gain. College students can be prime candidates for identify theft due to a lack of preventive measures taken. To learn more about identity theft and how to protect yourself review the Identity Theft Prevention Toolkit (PDF) and Identity Theft Resource Guide (PDF).
Emergency ResponseDickinson College Emergency Response Resources
Additional Campus Services and Programs
The Office of Campus Life offers many services and programs to students and student groups on campus, including Break Shuttles, Storage Facilities, Lost & Found.
For more information and the full list of services, visit Campus Life Services