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Off-campus students encouraged to use Public Safety services

University Police and the Columbus Division of Police work closely together to ensure safety on and off campus. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

As Ohio State second-years prepare to move out of the dorms and into off-campus housing, the Department of Public Safety and Office of Student Life advises students to continue utilizing safety programs around campus.

Dan Hedman, a spokesman for The Ohio State University Police Division, said University Police and the Columbus Division of Police work to continuously provide safety education, programming, training and notices to students, faculty and staff.

Public Safety offers a Safe Ride program, which provides safe transportation across campus to students, faculty and staff members from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Service boundaries include north to Hudson Street, south to Fifth Avenue, east to Conrail railroad tracks and west to North Star Road. The north boundary west of Olentangy River Road is Ackerman Road.

To request a ride, download the TapRide app or call Safe Ride at 614-292-3322.

Hedman reminded students to use public transportation, such as the CABS bus service. Schedules and routes can be found on its website.

In addition to safe transportation, Ohio State recently released a free safety app called Rave Guardian. Hedman said the app allows users to receive Buckeye Alerts and safety notices more quickly. Users can also share their GPS location with friends or family to ensure their safety when they travel on and around campus.

However, Hedman said “the app does not replace your own instincts.”

Kellie Uhrig, chief of staff and senior director of communications at the Office of Student Life, said Ohio State also offers free safety equipment to off-campus students.

“Student Life’s Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services team offers free window and door alarms as well as safety [light] timers. Students can pick these up in their office at 3106 Ohio Union,” Uhrig said.

Public Safety also uses a combination of sworn police officers, nonsworn security, student safety security officers, video surveillance and technology to enhance safety on campus, Hedman said.

“As a university police agency, servicing a college campus that is home to more than 100,000 students, faculty, staff and visitors, we have a uniquely-tailored approach focusing on both safety and education,” he said.

The campus area is routinely patrolled by sworn police and nonsworn campus security. Security officers perform a dedicated security patrol for the residence halls seven days a week, which includes perimeter and front desk safety checks, Hedman said.

For off-campus residents, Hedman said University Police works closely with Columbus Police, where they share crime-related information.

Hedman encouraged students to call University Police at 614-292-2121, Columbus Police at 614-645-4545 or dial 911 in an emergency if suspicious activity occurs near campus.

“We encourage everyone to walk with friends or co-workers and always be aware of their surroundings, especially at night,” Hedman said.

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