Personal Protection

No one can consistently predict when and where crime will occur or who its victims will be. Because crimes against individuals can and do take place, even in broad daylight, students are urged to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. By being alert, one is more likely to avoid impending danger. In addition, the HUPD offers rape prevention workshops entitled Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). The objective of RAD is to develop and enhance the self-defense options for women. Additional information can be found at

Residential Security

Students are reminded to always lock their doors even if leaving their room for a moment, never prop open doors, never allow visitors to "piggyback" with them when entering their residence hall, request that visitors identify themselves prior to opening the door, and never leave notes indicating one’s absence. Additional crime prevention tips can be found at the HUPD Website. Students are encouraged to call the HUPD at 617-495-1212 if they observe someone acting in a suspicious manner.

Blue Light Emergency Phones

Police assistance phones have blue lights above them for easy identification, and can be found in outdoor locations across the entire campus. They should be used to report suspicious activity, a crime in progress, or any emergency. When a call comes in from one of these phones, the dispatcher will identify the location of the phone being used and dispatch police and other security personnel as necessary.

In addition, university Centrex phones (gray) placed at outdoor locations can be used to contact HUPD at (617-49)5-1212. If you have any questions about accessibility to these phones, please contact the University Disability Coordinator at 617-495-1859.

Traveling at Night

The HUPD strongly encourages all students to be vigilant at all times and take appropriate precautions, such as walking with others, utilizing the designated well-lit pathways as noted in the student telephone directory, and utilizing the shuttle buses, evening van service, and walking escorts (the Harvard University Campus Escort Program/HUCEP) whenever possible. Information on shuttle buses, vans, and the overnight shuttle/van extended service can be found on the University’s Transportation Services Website or by calling 617-495-0400. A HUCEP walking escort can be requested at 617-384-8237. The hours of operation for HUCEP are 10:30 pm–2 am, Sunday through Wednesday, and 10:30 pm–3 am, Thursday through Saturday.

Your Emergency Contact Information

The HUPD recommends that all students, faculty, and staff take a moment to enter at least two emergency contacts into their cell phone address book under the acronym ICE (In Case of Emergency). ICE contacts should include a first name and specific relationship, for example: ICE - Sondra (mom) and ICE – Eileen (wife).

In the event of an emergency, this would assist public safety officials in contacting the appropriate person immediately. These entries would also make it easier to return lost or stolen phones to their proper owner.

Whistles and Shrill Alarms

Safety whistles are available for FREE at HUPD headquarters (1033 Massachusetts Avenue, Sixth Floor). Shrill alarms can be purchased at 1033 Massachusetts Avenue for $10.

Emergency Communication

In the event of an emergency, the University and HUPD have at their disposal a wide variety of communication tools in order to reach out rapidly and efficient.  These include: email, 617-496-6397 (NEWS), a call-in emergency line available in the event of an emergency, school and university web pages, text and voice messaging, and a special Emergency Website which is activated at the time of major emergencies.

MessageMe Emergency Text Notifications

MessageMe is a communications system designed to send text messages to the cell phones of students, faculty and staff in the event of a life-threatening, campus-wide emergency. It is a system that complements the other emergency communications capabilities the University have in place which include emergency Websites, broadcast email, phone conference bridges, and voice messaging systems

Any person with a Harvard ID is eligible to sign up for the MessaageMe service. They must have a cell phone that is equipped to receive text mail messages. Users of the service are required to update their contact information annually at the start of the academic year by logging on to Members of the Harvard community are not required to sign up for the MessageMe service.

Community Advisory/Crime Alerts

The HUPD disseminates community advisories and crime alerts after a serious or violent crime that may pose a continuing public safety threat is reported to either the HUPD or local police departments. Community advisories are distributed to the entire University community, whereas crime alerts are disseminated only to the relevant population of students, faculty, and staff. The community advisories and crime alerts are disseminated directly to Harvard College students in an effort to notify the community as quickly as possible, should a potential threat to public safety arise.