Campus safety tips from the experts

By UM News

Campus safety tips from the experts

By UM News
University of Miami Police and the Department of Parking and Transportation provide various services and programs to safeguard the campus community.

Across the country, colleges and universities recognize September as National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Unanimously approved by Congress in 2008, the awareness month encourages conversation surrounding violence prevention and campus safety on college campuses.

The University of Miami Police Department (UMPD) – through its own officers as well as partnerships with Coral Gables Police Department, South Miami Police Department, Miami-Dade County Police Department and other local, state and federal agencies – provides educational seminars, a 24-hour safety escort service, orientation programs, self-defense classes and various specialty activities to safeguard the campus community. Additionally, UM’s Department of Parking and Transportation is committed to providing safe and reliable parking and transportation options for the University community, including access to public transit.

Here are some reminders and resources available to the campus community, provided by UMPD and the Department of Parking and Transportation:


Pedestrian Safety

When driving, walking, or bicycling: read posted signage and adhere to pedestrian and traffic rules.

Stay attentive: Keep your eyes on the road, sidewalk, or bicycling lane and avoid distractions such as cell phones and electronic devices.

Bicycle Safety

In the state of Florida, bicycles are legally defined as vehicles. Cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other drivers. Pedestrians must be given the right of way. At night, always wear light-colored clothing and make sure you have an illuminated headlight and taillight—it’s state law. Ride with traffic. Don’t ride against the flow of traffic.

Safety Escorts             

Available 24/7, a UM Police or security officer will walk with or transport any member of the University community safely to their on-campus destination.


UGuardian app

The UGuardian smartphone safety app allows the user to pre-register emergency information, utilize virtual trip safety escort and offers a one-touch call button to UMPD. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Blue Light Phones

The Blue Light Phone Program helps to keep ’Canes safe by providing access to UMPD and emergency services from many locations on campus. The Coral Gables campus has over 100 Blue Light Phones.

Bike Theft Prevention

All bicycles used, kept, or otherwise on the Coral Gables campus are required by University policy to be officially registered with UMPD and secured whenever not in use at a designated bicycle rack with a UMPD issued U-lock. UMPD bicycle registration and U-locks are free of charge.

S.A.F.E. and R.A.D.

S.A.F.E. (Self-defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange) is a two-hour self-defense against sexual assault class for women. UMPD also offers sexual assault prevention classes for men, and has created a R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) self-defense coalition with Village of Palmetto Bay Police, CGPD and Florida International University to offer a 12-hour course through shared instructors and campus resources. S.A.F.E. classes will be offered from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Eaton Residential College room 148 on the following dates: Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Nov. 28. Registration is available online.

Community Policing

The University is dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the University community who study, research, live and work at any of its campuses. The Coral Gables campus is served by UMPD, while the Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campuses utilize professional security teams managed and supervised by the University. City of Miami Police and Miami-Dade County Police, respectively, provide police services to those campuses.

UMPD’s Friendly Interaction (FI) Program has helped to increase community policing efforts. When UMPD officers capture their conversations with members of the UM community using FI Cards, the department is able to follow up with additional information and resources, depending on the nature of the request. 

The community policing approach allows University police and security officers to spend time outside of their patrol cars and interact with members of the community. Through safety-related educational programming, officers empower members of the University community to prevent crime and keep themselves safe.

Interested in learning more about campus safety and resources available? Save the date for these upcoming events:

  • Coffee with a Cop: October 3 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Hurricane Food Court Vicky Café
  • Law School Wellness Fair: October 11 from 12 to 1:50 p.m. at the Law School Bass Bricks
  • UM Safety Fair: October 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Center Rock Plaza
  • Night with a First Responder: October 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Hecht-Stanford Bridge

To report security or safety-related matters, call:

Coral Gables                                                    305-284-6666 (8-6666 from a campus phone)

Miller School of Medicine Campus                   305-243-6000 (6-6000 from a campus phone)

RSMAS Campus                                                305-421-4766 (5-4766 from a campus phone)