DPS News

Spring 2023: Important Campus Safety Communications

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

For those joining our community for the first time this semester, welcome! And to those returning students, faculty and staff, welcome back! As everyone settles in for the start of a new semester, I would like to take this opportunity to review the processes and protocols that guide when and how the Department of Public Safety (DPS) communicates about safety matters.

Communications Processes

The summary below explains how and why DPS uses emergency notification and public safety messages. This includes how, when and via what channels we issue safety communications. Regardless of the incident or situation, we will always prioritize the safety of our campus community.

When we issue broad communications:

  • When there is an active or imminent threat of physical danger to the campus community.
  • When there is an active crime scene on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need community members to avoid the area.
  • When a perpetrator is at large on or immediately adjacent to the campus and we need the community’s help locating the individual.

When we will not issue broad communications:

  • When initial investigation into an incident indicates there is no continuing threat.
  • When another law enforcement agency has jurisdiction or is the lead investigator on an active case, and we have been directed not to issue a notice. That agency may communicate to the broader public and direct us to inform our community.
  • When communicating broadly will impede or jeopardize an active investigation. Please note: Although it is our intention to communicate in a timely manner, we will always prioritize maintaining the integrity of an investigation, especially when we are following active leads.

Reporting a Crime or Bias Incident

To report an incident to DPS, please call us immediately at 315.443.2224, toll-free at 855.443.2224, by dialing 711 from a campus landline or via the Emergency Contacts button on the Orange Safe app. If you would like to anonymously report non-emergency information to DPS, you can use the Silent Witness tool.

To report a bias incident or to receive support, visit the STOP Bias website.

Bias Incidents

In 2020, we introduced a Bias Incident Reports webpage where we aggregate bias-related incidents. Bias-related incidents are posted to this page within 48 hours, unless posting will impede or jeopardize an active investigation. This protocol has been developed in partnership with the Syracuse Police Department, New York State Police, the FBI and district attorney’s office and is aligned with best practices of peer universities.

Public Safety Messages (Timely Warnings)

Public safety messages are distributed via email and posted on the DPS website and on DPS social media accounts. There are three types of messages:

  1. Public Safety Notice designates a timely warning related to an ongoing concern for violence.
  2. Public Safety Information designates a warning related to an ongoing property crime problem or about general safety-related information.
  3. Public Safety Update provides information regarding a threat that has passed or an update to a previously issued Public Safety Notice.

These messages promote safety and are intended to inform the community of suspects at large or an ongoing threat to campus community members and to seek the community’s help in identifying suspects and gathering pertinent details. Follow-up information will be disseminated when appropriate and all alerts are posted online.

Emergency Notification and Response (Orange Alert)

The Orange Alert system is designed to provide rapid notification and instructions to Syracuse University students, faculty and staff, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students in the event of a verified crisis where an immediate threat of serious physical harm exists.

Orange Alert uses email, text messaging, social media networks and cell/landline phone calls to send a brief notice about the incident and instructions about what actions to take. Additionally, sirens will sound on North and South Campus. After an Orange Alert message is broadcasted, more detailed follow-up information will be provided.

This system is also utilized in the event of extreme weather, so having your most up-to-date contact information inputted is critically important.

Sign Up in MySlice

To receive the aforementioned communications, all students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to log in to MySlice to ensure their contact information for Orange Alert is up to date. It is important to note that to receive text message notifications, your cell phone number must be designated as a mobile device.

My colleagues and I are always available to discuss our processes, protocols and how we collaborate with local, state and federal law enforcement to keep our campus community safe. Finally, remember that the Department of Public Safety is here for you 24/7 by calling 315.443.2224 or by connecting on the Orange Safe app.

Wishing you a productive semester!

Sincerely,

Craig A. Stone
Associate Vice President and Chief
Department of Public Safety

Public Safety Informational Notice: Secure Your Residence Before Leaving for the Winter Break

Final exams have arrived and over the next week many of you will depart our campus for the winter break. The Department of Public Safety is reminding the University community to take the necessary steps to protect your residences and belongings before you leave.

For those of you who live on campus, please take the following steps to secure your space:

• Secure doors and windows.
• Close all curtains/blinds.
• Make sure to lock your door.
• Unplug all electrical items, except refrigerators.
• Do not give your keys out.
• Mark/engrave all items of value and keep a record including serial numbers.
• Do not leave credit cards, checkbooks, cash or other valuables readily accessible; these can be taken and used by a thief before you know they are gone.

If you live off campus, please:

• Make your residence appear occupied; consider buying a timer that automatically turns on interior and exterior lights at a predetermined time, or when there is motion.
• Be sure your outdoor lighting is working and sufficient.
• Lock sliding glass doors and place a wooden dowel or metal bar in the track of the door.
• Take anything valuable home with you, i.e. laptop computer, video game console, jewelry, etc.
• Do not leave any valuable items near windows. Take pictures of anything valuable and ensure that you have installed tracking software and documented the serial numbers of all electronic devices.
• Unplug all electrical items, except your refrigerator and timers.
• If you have a security alarm, make sure you turn it on when leaving.
• If you see anything suspicious, for on-campus, please call DPS at 315.443.2224 or use the Orange Safe app or for off-campus, call the Syracuse Police Department at 315.442.5111.

Even during the winter break, the Department of Public Safety is always working and available to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 315.443.2224 if you observe anything concerning. As always, our recommended safety strategies can be found on our website.

Wishing you all safe travels, a happy holiday season and a restful winter break.

November 2022 Updates From the Department of Public Safety

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

This will be the final message from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the Fall 2022 semester. It has been an honor to become fully immersed in the Syracuse University community throughout the past year. I am already looking forward to the work ahead as we wind down the year and begin our preparation for the spring semester. With that being said, I wish for you all to have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

In today’s message, I will address the following topics:

  • Orange Safe Downloads and Giveaway
  • Preparing Residences for Break
  • Winter Weather Preparedness
  • Final DPS Game Night
  • Monthly Bias Update

Orange Safe Downloads and Giveaway

Our new campus safety app, Orange Safe, has reached a milestone of 5,000 downloads. In just a few months we have more than doubled the number of users that were registered on our previous campus safety app. On behalf of DPS, we appreciate the cooperation and engagement that has led to the early success of Orange Safe.

To recognize this milestone, DPS is running an “Orange Safe Giveaway” that is currently underway and will conclude on Friday, Dec. 9. For information on how to enter the giveaway you should download the Orange Safe app or visit our Instagram page: @SyracuseDPS.

Preparing Residences for Break

As many of you plan to depart campus for the winter break, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to take necessary action to protect your residences, offices, cubicle spaces and belongings. Please review our latest informational notice about how to secure your spaces.

While many members of our community will be heading elsewhere after finals, many will remain around campus. As a reminder, the Department of Public Safety is always working and available to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 315.443.2224 if you observe anything concerning.

Winter Weather Preparedness

As we head into December, I want to stress the importance of being prepared for winter weather. I urge you to review our recent winter weather preparedness message. It is helpful to know how the University makes decisions during severe winter weather and how you can best stay informed. For additional winter weather resources, please visit the National Weather Service’s website.

Final DPS Game Night

Our DPS team has enjoyed interacting with members of our campus community in an informal setting thanks to our DPS game nights. With the end of the semester in sight, we have one more game night left. As always, we will have a PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Oculus Quest available for use. Our final game night will be held at the Schine Student Center on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Participation and feedback from our campus community is vital. We welcome your suggestions on other events we can host that allow our officers and our community to get to know each other better. Be sure to follow us on social media for more information on future game nights and other DPS events: @SyracuseDPS.

Monthly Bias Update

Nov. 10: A student reported discovering antisemitic graffiti on a desk in Watson Theater.

Update: Interviews were conducted with several individuals who were in Watson Theater, but DPS has yet to identify any leads or additional information. We ask that anyone who may have information about this incident contact us immediately.

Nov. 30: An employee reported the discovery of racist graffiti that was found written on a men’s bathroom wall in Slocum Hall.

Update: DPS met with the employee who discovered the racist graffiti and inspected the impacted space in Slocum Hall. Due to the incident occurring in a restroom, there is no reliable video footage or direct witness accounts. We ask that anyone who may have information about this incident contact us immediately.

It is also never too late to come forward with information. You can call DPS at 315.443.2224 or submit information anonymously via the Silent Witness tool. In addition, to report a bias incident or to receive support, visit the STOP Bias and Hate website.

Best of luck to our students on final exams, projects and performances. And to all members of our community: on behalf of our DPS team, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and restful winter break.

Sincerely,

Chief Craig A. Stone
Department of Public Safety

Important Winter Weather Information

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As Central New York begins to experience winter weather, we are writing to you today to provide you important information regarding how the University navigates and communicates about extreme weather conditions. We ask that you please review the enclosed information carefully.

In general, Syracuse University will remain open for business. However, we will always prioritize the safety and well-being of our community members when determining operating status. The University works with an independent weather service, Precision Weather Service, to inform our decisions about weather delays, closings or other operational changes. Input is also provided by Academic Affairs; Campus Facilities; Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services; and the Student Experience.

To read the full article, visit news.syr.edu.

Public Safety Informational Notice: Burglaries on South Campus

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, at approximately 5:30 a.m., the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) responded to an occupied burglary in progress complaint at Small Road.

Upon arrival, DPS and SPD officers encountered two perpetrators, who were subsequently taken into custody without incident. There were no reported injuries. SPD is the lead agency on this case.

DPS asks that community members that are staying in the Syracuse area during the holiday break, particularly those living on South Campus and in adjacent off-campus neighborhoods, to remain alert for suspicious activity. Burglars are looking for open/unlocked windows and doors as a mean to enter properties to steal items. So please, always secure your belongings and residence before you leave or before you go to sleep at night.

In addition to locking your doors and windows, we encourage you to:

• Avoid leaving your keys out in the open.
• Mark/engrave all items of value and keep a record of them, including serial numbers.
• Not to leave credit cards, blank checks, or other valuables readily accessible; these can be taken and used by a thief before you know they are gone.
• Make your house look occupied; buy a timer that automatically turns on interior and exterior lights at a predetermined time, or when there is motion.
• Ensure your outdoor lighting is working and sufficiently bright.
• Lock sliding glass doors and place a wooden dowel or metal bar in the track of the door.
• Not to leave any valuable items near windows. Take pictures of anything valuable and ensure that you have installed tracking software and documented the serial numbers of all electronic devices.

If you observe anything suspicious while on-campus, please call DPS at 315.443.2224 or use the Orange Safe app. For individuals off-campus, please contact the Syracuse Police Department at 315.442.5111. In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.

Public Safety Informational Notice: Secure Your Residence Before Leaving for the Holiday

With the holiday break quick approaching, the Department of Public Safety is reminding the University community to take necessary action to protect your residences, offices, cubicle spaces and belongings.

For those of you who live and work on campus, please take the following steps to secure your space:
• Secure doors and windows.
• Close all curtains/blinds.
• Make sure to lock your door.
• Unplug all electrical items, except refrigerators.
• Do not give your keys out.
• Mark/engrave all items of value and keep a record including serial numbers.
• Do not leave credit cards, checkbooks, cash or other valuables readily accessible; these can be taken and used by a thief before you know they are gone.

If you live off campus, please:
• Make your residence look occupied; consider buying a timer that automatically turns on interior and exterior lights at a predetermined time, or when there is motion.
• Be sure your outdoor lighting is working and sufficient.
• Lock sliding glass doors and place a wooden dowel or metal bar in the track of the door.
• Take anything valuable home with you, i.e. laptop computer, video game console, jewelry, etc.
• Do not leave any valuable items near windows. Take pictures of anything valuable and ensure that you have installed tracking software and documented the serial numbers of all electronic devices.
• Unplug all electrical items, except your refrigerator and timers.
• If you have a security alarm, make sure you turn it on when leaving.
• If you see anything suspicious, for on-campus, please call DPS at 315.443.2224 or use the Orange Safe app or for off-campus, call the Syracuse Police Department at 315.442.5111.

While many members of our community will be traveling during the break, many will remain here on campus. As a reminder, the Department of Public Safety is always working and available to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 315.443.2224 if you observe anything concerning. As always, our recommended safety strategies can be found on our website.

Wishing you a safe, happy and restful holiday.

Donation From Student’s Family Provides Electric Bikes to Department of Public Safety, Helps Boost Safety and Security on Campus

A generous donation made by a student’s family is helping strengthen the work of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide a safe and secure campus environment. The gift from Jay and Sandra Gelb, parents of College of Law students Matthew, Nicole and Robert, has allowed DPS to purchase two state-of-the-art electric bicycles, with a third expected to be purchased soon.

“Campus safety should be a priority. As parents we entrust that our most valuable asset—our children—is safeguarded while away from home,” says Jay Gelb. “It is so important to make sure that those protecting our loved ones have the best resources at their disposal.”

To read the full article, visit news.syr.edu.

Inaugural Community Police Academy Graduates

On Oct. 26, 18 members of the campus community graduated from the first Department of Public Safety (DPS) community police academy. The academy is a free four-week program designed to give students, faculty and staff an idea of what it is like to protect and serve the campus community. During their time, participants learned from guest presenters, including representatives from DPS, Fire and Life Safety Services, Residential Safety Program and Syracuse University Ambulance. The presentations included tours, lectures and hands-on practical trainings.

To read the full article, visit news.syr.edu.