From the Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety

Welcome to Boston University

Boston is a unique city. It offers a wide array of cultural, historical, and academic opportunities for Boston University students, faculty members, and employees. Nevertheless, as in any metropolitan area, the issues of crime, crime prevention, and personal safety must be addressed explicitly.

Although our crime rate is far lower than the national average, Boston University is not free of crime. Crimes against property, such as theft of personal property, represent the largest percentage of crime reported to the University’s police department. Wallets, book bags, backpacks, laptops, MP3 players, smartphones, and bicycles constitute the bulk of the thefts.

The Boston University Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of students, faculty, staff, and guests to enhance their experience within our community. Our approach to crime prevention and personal safety is highly regarded by our university and law enforcement peers. Boston University has also received the prestigious Jeanne Clery National Safe Campus Award. However, even the best safety system will fall short without your continued cooperation and commitment to your own safety and the safety of others.

Boston University’s unique approach to crime prevention brings each of the University’s main operating departments into an integrated safety network. This website describes the components of our comprehensive crime prevention and personal safety structure.

Your personal safety at Boston University, and the safety of each member of the community and visitors, is a primary concern and treated very seriously. Thus, the University provides an array of protective measures for you.

  • Boston University is patrolled and served by armed, professional, sworn, state-certified, and academy-trained officers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The Boston University Police Department meets weekly with University officials as well as with surrounding police agencies to share intelligence and discuss safety concerns for our community.
  • The campus has over 100 “blue-light” emergency call boxes on both the Charles River and Medical Campuses, and has an extensive video surveillance and security network system.
  • The residences have automatically locking outer doors or security/ID stations.
  • The University strictly enforces its visitor and overnight guest policy and rules of conduct.

Boston University’s crime prevention and personal safety structure combines professional police patrol and investigative personnel, crime prevention initiatives, and the regular dissemination of safety information to members of the Boston University community. We are all responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and secure environment for every member of our community. Each one of us can improve our community’s welfare by paying attention to our own safety, by reporting crime and unsafe conditions, and by helping others.

There are five important things you can do and abide by to avoid being a victim of theft or a more serious crime:

  1. Lock your room door when you are asleep or out of the room, even for a few minutes.
  2. Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere that has public access, such as offices, libraries, cafeterias, classrooms, and the like.
  3. Always be aware of your surroundings, whether on or off campus.
  4. If possible, walk with friends when out at night; otherwise, use the Escort Security Service (617-353-4877).
  5. Report any suspicious activity or persons immediately to the Boston University Police Department. Do not assume they are harmless; trust your feelings. The Police Emergency Number is 617-353-2121 and is located on the back of your Terrier ID card.

In our continuing effort to foster a safe and secure environment, Boston University has improved its emergency response plan and communication systems with the development of an on-demand alert and response system known as BU Alert. In the event of a crisis, such as a building fire, chemical leak, bomb threat, weather-related hazard, or other potential violence from individuals, the University’s Incident Command Team has the ability to simultaneously notify students, faculty, and employees of an incident through a variety of electronic means and take appropriate actions in response.

The University takes pride in maintaining an effective public safety program. Our goal is to minimize the incidence of crime and injury. Please help us by reporting anything—however trivial it may appear—that doesn’t seem right. If you see something, say something. Let this be a year in which we all work together to make our campus the safest it can be.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Chief Thomas G. Robbins
Boston University Police Department