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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where is The Department of Public Safety located?

DPS is located at 200 Elm Drive, on the southern end of main campus.

If you are driving: Upon arriving on main campus through Faculty Road, proceed north on Elm Drive through both traffic circles and come to a stop at the officer Kiosk. The Kiosk at the south end of campus is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The officer will direct you to continue north approximately 500 feet and turn left into the second driveway.

When are you open?       

DPS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Communications Center on the first floor at 200 Elm Drive is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Administrative offices of DPS are located on both the first and second floor of 200 Elm Drive and operate under normal University hours 8:45am-5:00pm and 8:30am-4:30am in the summer.

How do I contact DPS?

For non-emergencies dial (609) 258-1000 and for all immediate emergencies please call (609) 258-3333.
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If I am on campus and dial 911 who responds?

Dialing 9-1-1 from any University landline phone connects you to the Department of Public Safety’s emergency line.  If you are on campus and dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone you will automatically be routed through the state approved 9-1-1 Switched Telephone Network and be connected to the appropriate state approved Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP) which would in most situations be the Princeton Police Department.  If you want to reach DPS quickly and easily we suggest you program your cell phone with (609) 258-3333.

If I am off-campus what number should I call to report an emergency?

Should you be involved in an emergency off-campus, DPS encourages you to dial 9-1-1.  If you are using a cell phone or are off campus and want to report an emergency on campus to DPS you can dial DPS’s emergency line directly at (609) 258-3333. Please program your phone with the DPS emergency line.

Can I report things anonymously?

Absolutely, you may report incidents anonymously. You may either report the incident by dialing (609) 258-1000 and telling the dispatcher you wish to remain anonymous, or by submitting information via the Anonymous Tip Line. Please keep in mind the tip line is NOT reviewed daily, so for an incident that is in progress; meaning happening “now,” please call DPS as soon as possible at (609) 258-3333.
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What should I do if my friend is intoxicated and in need of medical help?

Call DPS at (609) 258-3333 from a cell phone or 9-1-1 from a University landline phone immediately and provide the dispatcher with the exact location of the person who needs our assistance. You will be asked provide the victim’s name and age (if known). Stay with your friend until aid arrives. Rights, Rules, Responsibilities states:  “It is the immediate obligation of those in the presence of a severely intoxicated person to contact appropriate University or local medical or safety personnel (such as Public Safety officers, deans, University Health Services (UHS) staff, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro staff, or local police or members of the rescue squad). Neither intoxication nor admission to UHS for intoxication will be grounds for disciplinary action. Contacting the Department of Public Safety for assistance in transporting a student in need of medical attention will not, in itself, lead to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action will occur only if other circumstances indicating a violation of University policy are observed. In such an instance, failure to call for assistance will be considered an especially serious violation of policy.”

If a crime is committed on campus, I assume DPS handles it. Are there any times when the Princeton Police would get involved?

The Department of Public Safety has the primary jurisdiction over most crimes occurring on our property, with the exception to specific crimes of violence or crimes in progress when we would call the Princeton Police Department for assistance. DPS maintains a good working relationship with local municipal police and will coordinate efforts with them to ensure the most appropriate response.

Is P-Safe a real police department?

DPS includes Sworn University Police Officers and non-sworn public safety security officers. Sworn University Police Officers have the authority of commissioned police officers with full power of arrest deriving their law enforcement authority from New Jersey statutes (Title 18A, Sections 6-4.2 and 6-4.5) and the Trustees of Princeton University. Title 18A, Section 6-4.5 provides that the Sworn University Police Officers “shall possess all the powers of policemen and constables in criminal cases and offenses against the law anywhere in the State of New Jersey [including the powers of arrest], pursuant to any limitations as may be imposed by the governing body of the institution which appointed and commissioned the person.”

Our Sworn University Police Officers are required to complete the same police academies and annual training as their municipal counterparts.  This training has been approved and authorized by the State of New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Police Training Commission.  Our campus police are unarmed. Officers are also required to attend man­datory in-service training throughout the year to enable them to perform more efficiently and more safely.
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What is the most common crime that happens on campus?

The number one crime on campus is theft and unlocked bicycles are the most common item stolen on campus.  The majority of property taken is left unattended in public areas or in unlocked rooms or offices.  DPS recommends that you never leave your property unattended, always lock your room or office door, and properly secure your bicycle.  For more information please visit our Unattended Theft page or learn how to register your bike or electronics.

How can I keep my bike from getting stolen?

The Department of Public Safety recommends that you register your bicycle with the Department of Transportation and Parking Services. Registration is free and easy! Complete and submit the online Bike Registration Form. Bike registration provides a record of ownership and aids Public Safety in locating the owner of a lost or stolen bike.

Always lock your bicycle! Bicycles should be locked around the frames to an object such as a telephone pole, sign or lamppost, bicycle rack, etc.
DPS also recommends the use of U-Locks to lock your bicycle. They are available for purchase at the Office of Transportation and Parking Services in New South.

If I am walking alone at night and feel concerned for my safety what should I do?

If you are on campus, we recommend you use Tiger Transit after dark. After the shuttle buses have stopped running, call Transportation and Parking Services at 8-RIDE (258-7433) for a ride.  Their on-demand service is available from 9pm-3am, 7 days a week. After 3:00am call Public Safety at (609) 258-1000 if you would like an escort home.

If it is an immediate emergency and you are on campus you can dial DPS’s emergency line directly at (609) 258-3333 or by using any Blue Light Emergency Phone located throughout campus. If you are off-campus DPS encourages you to dial 9-1-1.
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Where can I find information about weather-related or emergency closings/delays?

You can dial the emergency information hotline directly at (609) 258-SNOW (8-7669). Our website’s Alert page will provide weather alerts for the area. In addition, the Princeton home page will contain appropriate and timely information.

I’ve locked myself out of University housing or misplaced my Prox, what should I do?

During normal business hours you should contact the Housing & Real Estate Services Office at (609) 258-3460, or stop by their main office located on the 5th Floor of New South. You will be permitted to borrow a temporary prox card for your residence which must be returned within 24 hours.

If you have lost your Tiger Card please go to the TigerCard Office at “A” Floor, New South during normal business hours (8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday) to get a new card or call (609) 258-8300 to suspend your card until you can come to the office to get your new card.

After normal business hours you may contact the Department of Public Safety. Students requiring re-entry after business hours can go to Public Safety (200 Elm Drive) to obtain a loaner card. Please note that in the event of critical campus situations, delays in the issuance of a loaner card may occur.

There will be no charge if the loaner card is returned within 24 hours at one of the following drop-off locations:

  • Housing & Real Estate Services (5th Floor New South)
  • TigerCard Office (A Floor New South)
  • Frist Campus Center Welcome Desk (100 Level)
  • Public Safety (200 Elm Drive)
  • If the loaner card is not returned within 24 hours, a $75 non-returned card fee will apply.
  • For more information about lockouts, visit our Lockouts page.

How do I get a classroom or building unlocked for an event or meeting?    

In order to make a building and/or room unlock/lock request, you must fill out a Lock/Unlock Request Form. You may submit the form digitally, fax the form to (609) 258-9773 or email the form to dpsfax@princeton.edu. All requests must be received 24 hours in advance of your event date to accommodate processing time for card access and manual opening of buildings and rooms.
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I need to get fingerprints taken for a summer internship. Does the Department of Public Safety take fingerprints?

Yes. Students, faculty, and staff may get their fingerprints taken Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm Please contact the Detective Bureau at (609) 258-3705 to make an appointment. There is no cost for fingerprinting. When you come for your appointment you must bring one form of identification: a driver’s license or passport is preferred.

How do I hire a DPS officer to work an event?

In order to register your event with Public Safety and request Special Event Security, please fill out an events registration form. We must receive the completed form 10 days in advance of your event. For more information about requesting a DPS officer to work an event, please visit our Events page.

How can I sign up for a Campus Tour?

If you are interested in taking a tour of our beautiful and historical campus check out Princeton University’s Orange Key tours, provided by the Undergraduate Admissions Department. You may also call them at (609) 258-3060 for more information.
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What do I do if I find someone’s Princeton I.D. card or a backpack?

If you find a student’s Tiger Card or any other valuable items, please turn them into the Lost and Found at 200 Elm Drive. The DPS Lost and Found is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information please call (609) 258-1000.

I’m visiting campus and I’m lost. How do I get to _________________?

Princeton’s campus can be very confusing for first time visitors (or even those familiar with the campus). The Princeton University homepage has a very helpful interactive map to help navigate around campus. You can find a particular area by using the drop box to choose from Buildings, Departments (Academic and Administrative), Organizations, Facilities, Libraries, Colleges, Athletic Fields and Parking Lots. You can also choose your exact location in the drop down box and be shown that location on the map.

Where can I park for an event on campus?

Visitor parking is allowed in designated areas or by special permit only. Visitors may park in Lot 21 (East) and 23 (West). View the parking map for more information.
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Can students drive on campus?

Generally driving through main campus is restricted. Students and visitors may request authorization in writing through the Office of Transportation and Parking Services. Students may also request a 15 minute booth pass from either kiosk on Elm Drive for the purpose of drop-offs and pick-ups between 7:00am and 4:00pm. After 4:00pm, passes may be obtained at the kiosk at the south end of campus. You can learn more about parking regulations by visiting the Parking Regulations website.

How can I get this parking ticket resolved?

DPS does not issue parking tickets on campus. If you have a question about a parking citation please visit the Department of Transportation & Parking Services in New South or call (609) 258-7655 for more information.  

Who do I speak with about Compliments and Complaints for DPS officers?

We are proud of our profession, our colleagues, our department and Princeton University. We recognize that individual and team contributions are essential to a high-performing department. If you have a compliment for an officer that went above and beyond their duties of service you can fill out a Compliment form. We also would like to know if you have any complaints or concerns about the way an incident was handled by one of our officers. You can submit this information to us via our complaint form. Both forms may be submitted anonymously.

I am interested in becoming a member of the Department of Public Safety. What should I do?

You should regularly visit the University’s employment website at HR Employment to determine if there is an open position with DPS. View our Employment Opportunities page for more information about working at DPS.
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