Sworn in during Spring 2018, the DPS Community Response Unit (CRU) builds and strengthens relationships between the members of the NYU community and DPS. The CRU is responsible for leading crime prevention and community engagement initiatives, enhancing the response to calls for service and critical incidents, and providing operational support to Public Safety Officers in the field.
DPS partners with NYPD on encouraging NYU community members to register their valuable items as part of Operation ID. If registered and found by the NYPD, the items will be returned to the owner. Items registered include mobile devices, laptops, bicycles and other valuables.
DPS held more than 30 Operation ID events (at bottom left) throughout 2018-19 located in both residence halls and student life areas, and registered more than 1,000 items as part of the program, a record for an academic year.
DPS partnered with the NYPD for its first national Coffee with a Cop Day celebration in October 2018. The event allowed officials from both teams to be available to speak with members of the NYU community on an informal basis, all while enjoying coffee and doughnuts.
The informal setting allows the community to become more familiar with local law enforcement, learn how they interact and partner with DPS, and manage its expectations on the response it can receive from both organizations.
With more than 300 community members reached, the event will be expanded in 2019-20 to include a larger presence on the national holiday, as well as smaller events in residence halls throughout the year.
In an effort to reduce the number of larcenies and burglaries on campus, DPS launched the “Lock Your Door” campaign, in partnership with the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services.
The campaign is best known for its yellow door hangers (at bottom right), placed on the inside handles of residence hall suite doors, reminding students to lock their doors when they leave their rooms. The campaign has expanded to digital signage, and is now featuring stickers that are placed permanently above the handles in some residence halls.
The “Lock Your Door” campaign contributed to a 37 percent decrease in residence hall larcenies and burglaries from 2017-18 to 2018-19.
For the second consecutive year, DPS has participated in NYU’s Presidential Internship Program, which offers rising juniors meaningful work experience in an NYU Administrative Unit or School, structured leadership development opportunities, mentorship from a high-level NYU administrator, and a paid internship.
DPS Presidential Interns play a key role in increasing engagement with the student community at NYU, through focused projects like ‘Dig In with DPS,’ (at bottom center) where students are invited to have a meal with DPS leadership so they can learn from each other in a more relaxed setting. The ‘Dig In with DPS’ event welcomed more than 30 NYU students.
Launched in January 2019, the Women in Public Safety initiative provides an environment that encourages growth, wellness, professional development and success for women across public safety disciplines at NYU through education, volunteering, information sharing, and networking opportunities.
The initiative has grown throughout 2019, and now features a steering committee of seven DPS team members from across the Department, with executive sponsorship provided by Senior Vice President Marlon Lynch.
Women in Public Safety coordinates regular events both within the Department and in collaboration with external stakeholders, including panel discussions and other events geared toward leadership, professional development, and inclusion.
In an effort to create awareness around Public Safety services, DPS launched a "Did You Know?" campaign, aimed at targeting community members who could most benefit from increased communications.
The campaign includes social media posts, digital signage, and physical posters, detailing transportation services such as Safe Ride and Airport Shuttles, the Safe NYU app, safety tips including larceny prevention, the DPS 212.998.2222 emergency phone number, and the DPS mission, vision and core values, among others.
The digital signs and physical posters are distributed to campus partners who post the information in their locations to inform a wider array of community members about ways they can improve their safety and take advantage of DPS offerings.
With more than 10,000 total followers across all platforms, the DPS social media presence is a vital communications tool to alert the community to emerging and ongoing safety concerns, including safety alerts, safety tips, informational updates, and more. DPS launched its Instagram account during 2018-19, and it has quickly become the avenue to tell the stories of DPS and the personnel who work to improve the safety of the NYU community.
During the academic year, posts disseminated from the DPS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts earned more than 2.2 million views and 7 percent engagement across the platforms. The engagement achieved is more than 3 times the expected output across all platforms based on higher education benchmarks identified by third party assessors.
Successful campaigns included: Veterans’ Week, Women’s History Month, the You Matter! podcast and others.
Launched in August 2019, the You Matter! podcast informs the NYU community about resources that are available to victims, both on and off campus, and details first-hand experiences of victims and those in the community who assist them.
Hosted by Assistant Vice President, Field Operations, Karen Ortman, the weekly podcast goes in depth with survivors of incidents. A retired law enforcement professional, Ortman has been at NYU for five years, coordinating field operations, investigations, and special victims services within DPS. As part of her role, she meets with victims of incidents and assists them in obtaining resources and assistance from NYU offices and local law enforcement.
The podcast is a collaboration with students from many different schools across NYU’s campus, including co-host, and pre-med graduate student Sabah Fatima. The podcast is self-produced and new episodes are released weekly. Season 1 of the podcast includes conversations with survivors of domestic violence, attempted murder, and cyberstalking and bullying. It also details resources available to the NYU and New York City communities, including the Safe NYU app, Safe Horizon, and the Family Justice Center.
The You Matter! podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify.
Transportation Advisory Committee: The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) identifies service gaps and discusses possible enhancements to transportation services provided to the NYU community. The TAC is comprised of a diverse set of community members from all areas of NYU, including Washington Square, Brooklyn, and the medical corridor, and meets regularly during the academic year to assess community concerns and seek resolutions and improvements.
Emergency Management Advisory Council: The Emergency Management Advisory Council is made up of stakeholders and subject matter experts from across the university who provide strategic advice on the direction of the University’s Emergency Management and Continuity Program. The EMAC reviews and provides input on plans, policies and initiatives of the Emergency Management and Continuity Program.
Public Safety Advisory Committee: The Public Safety Advisory Committee is comprised of NYU community members from all levels and areas of the University who are dedicated to improving public safety services. The PSAC meets once each semester to learn about DPS initiatives and priorities and provide input and feedback on how DPS can serve the NYU community in a more effective manner.