Being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for unexpected situations go hand in hand with city life. The University of Chicago encourages you to incorporate safety practices into your daily routine. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when you are at home or out and about in the city, as well as some resources to help get you around the area.

Tips When Walking

  • Plan your way in advance. Choose well-traveled routes. Use discretion when talking or walking with any unknown persons, even if they are offering you help. Walk with purpose.
  • When possible, try to travel with friends, whether it is during the day or at night.
  • Avoid deserted areas. Do not cut through parks, alleys, or vacant lots at night.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the street, change direction, or go to a well-lit public place where others are present.
  • If a person confronts you and demands your money or possessions, give what is demanded and create a safe distance.
  • Keep alert. Don't let a conversation on your cell phone or the use of headphones make you unaware of your surroundings.
  • Use caution when using automated teller machines (ATMs). Select one located in a busy, well-lit area.

Emergency Phones

There are approximately 380 emergency phones located throughout the campus community (see Emergency Phone Locations). Emergency phones can be identified by the blue lights atop a white pole, and each contains a red button you can push in case of emergency. To use the emergency phones, press the red button and you will be immediately connected to the UCPD Emergency Communications Center. The specific location of a phone is transmitted to the UCPD as soon as it is activated. If you must keep moving to protect yourself, you do not need to say anything; pressing the red button will allow police to follow your course as you continue to use emergency phones along the way. An officer or patrol car will respond immediately.

Police Contact Information

  • For non-emergencies, the University of Chicago Police can be reached at 773.702.8181.
  • If you have an emergency or need immediate assistance, locate an emergency phone or dial 911 from your cell phone or 123 from a campus phone.