Staying safe in the city

Be alert

Be aware of your surroundings and others around you. Don’t be distracted by your phone or by listening to headphones.

Plan ahead

Plan your route. Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return. Check in when you reach your destination. Choose well-lit and busy streets (avoid vacant lots / alleys).

Trust your instincts

Be alert to your surroundings. If you feel uncomfortable, leave or seek help. Do not walk while using your cell phone or wearing headphones. Avoid unnecessary contact with strangers. Consider carrying a whistle or body alarm. Do not carry large sums of money. Do not use ATMs at night or with few others nearby. 

Hide valuables

Put away your phone, headphones and other valuables; conceal expensive accessories such as bags, watches or jewelry. Don’t overburden yourself with bags or groceries.

Don’t fight to keep items

If someone tries to rob you, prioritize your safety. Don’t fight to keep valuable items, if asked. Try to observe the offender’s characteristics, but don’t stare. When it is safe, call 911.

If you witness a crime

Keep yourself out of harm’s way. If you are able, help others who may have been injured. Call for help as soon as possible. Tell the dispatcher your location, what happened, if anyone is injured, and any information you have about a suspect. Wait for the police to arrive and tell them what you witnessed.

Additional information and resources

  • This video provides an overview of the safety resources available to UChicago students. The safety of people on campus and in the surrounding community is a paramount priority for the University of Chicago. In this video you’ll find an overview of the robust safety resources available to you, as well as tips for staying safe in the city.

  • The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) has worked to keep our communities safe for more than 40 years.  The UCPD has primary responsibility for patrolling the University of Chicago campus and University property, and serves in a supportive role in the extended patrol area where the Chicago Police Department is the primary policing agency.

  • The Department of Safety & Security has expanded the Campus Safety Ambassador program within the University of Chicago Police Department’s (UCPD) extended patrol area. Like campus safety ambassadors, the new community safety ambassadors are trained, uniformed security officers who patrol certain residential and business areas in the communities UCPD serves. Some will patrol on foot, and others will monitor patrol areas using white hybrid safety and security cars.

    We encourage you to greet and become familiar with the safety ambassadors where you live or at places that you visit.

  • To request a safety presentation for your group, organization, or department, contact the UCPD's Community Relations Unit at 773.702.6008 or

  • The UCPD offers free home/apartment security inspections for members of the University community living off-campus within the UCPD patrol area.