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info.risd.edu

Public Safety

Phone Numbers

For routine calls, 24-7: 401 454-6376
For emergencies, 24-7: 401 454-6666

RISD's Department of Public Safety (DPS), works with the Providence Police and Brown University Police departments to maintain a safe campus environment and support the educational mission of the college. Patrolling the campus on foot, bicycle and in distinctively marked cruisers, we provide comprehensive safety, security, parking, shuttle and escort service to the RISD community.

Public Safety officers

DPS officers are diverse and well educated, and many have substantial law enforcement and military experience. All officers receive annual recertification in first aid and CPR, and many officers are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Several officers are also certified instructors in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program, Defensive Tactics, Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and CPR, First Aid and AED. In addition, many are trained in Domestic Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction prevention and preparedness.

Reporting a crime

Members of the RISD community should immediately report all observed or suspected criminal activity to DPS promptly. DPS officers do not have authority to arrest but may investigate incidents and detain individuals until Providence police officers arrive.

Emergency resources on campus

Code Blue emergency phones
The Code Blue Emergency Phone system gives RISD community members a quick and reliable way to inform DPS of emergency situations on campus. These electronic, interactive voice communication and lighting units are prominently deployed throughout campus and can be used to request services, report suspicious activity or people, or alert DPS to crimes in progress. The phones are blue in color and the blue strobe lights atop them are engineered to be visible at a great distance. Their prominent placement on campus alerts would-be criminals that the area is well secured.

Location of phones

  • 48 Waterman - East Hall
  • 55 Angel - Refectory
  • 55 Canal - ISB
  • 161 South Main
  • 231 South Main - BEB
  • 296 Benefit - Carriage House
  • Benefit at College - College Building
  • Benefit at Meeting - Colonial Apartments
  • Benefit at Waterman - RISD Beach
  • College at South Main
  • Mason/Fletcher Building
  • Prospect at Olive Street
  • Woods-Gerry Lot - DeFoe Place

Automated external defibrillator
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device that can check a person’s heart rhythm. It recognizes and advises a rescuer if a heart rhythm requires a shock. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to provide the rescuer with step-by-step instructions. AEDs are a valuable tool that first responders use to provide valuable medical treatment to patients in advance of them being able to reach an emergency medical facility. DPS has deployed AED units at four locations throughout campus. DPS Emergency Medical Technicians carry a portable unit with them at all times. You may read about how to use an AED on the National Institute of Health's website.

AED locations

  • 15 Westminster Street (Public Safety booth)
  • 20 Washington Place (1st floor outside auditorium)
  • 41 Meeting Street (main entrance)
  • 123 Dyer street (1st floor lobby)
  • 130 Point Street (1st floor studio space)
  • 161 South Main Street (2nd floor lobby)
  • 187 Benefit Street Garage Studio
  • 189 Canal Street (1st floor lobby)
  • Bayard Ewing Building (1st floor lobby)
  • Benson Hall (1st floor)
  • Carr Haus (1st floor Benefit Street side)
  • Chace Center (main entrance coat room)
  • CIT Building (1st floor)
  • College Building (stairwell between 2nd and 3rd floors)
  • College Building (stairwell between 4th and 5th floors)
  • Continuing Education (main lobby)
  • Design Center (1st floor near Color Lab)
  • Facilities Boiler Plant
  • Fletcher Building (6th floor near elevator)
  • Health Services
  • Illustration Studies Building (1st floor near elevator)
  • Memorial Hall (2nd floor near elevator)
  • Met Dining Hall
  • RISD Auditorium (main lobby)
  • RISD Museum (Farago coat room)
  • Student Fitness Center
  • What Cheer Garage (carpenter shop)
  • What Cheer Studios (1st floor lobby)
  • Woods–Gerry Building (1st floor near restroom)
  • Public Safety EMS vehicle

Emergency call-back procedure

  • Call Public Safety 401-454-6376 to report a problem. (Sending an email, text or leaving a voice mail could delay the response time.)
  • If the officer determines action is needed by Facilities, they will contact the on-call facilities administrator to assess the situation and advise the officer to contact one of the facilities on-call staff member(s) to return to campus.
  • The responding on-call staff member will notify Public Safety when they arrive on campus and will review the status of the problem with Public Safety before leaving campus.
  • If additional staff are required to address a problem, the responding on-call staff member will contact the facilities administrator for authorization to call in additional staff.

LiveSafe mobile app

Public Safety encourages all RISD community members to use LiveSafe, a mobile app that provides several emergency and safety services, including:

  • one-touch emergency/crime reporting to Public Safety or 911
  • anonymous messaging for reporting suspicious activity, crimes in progress and other safety concerns
  • monitoring services for family/friends to track your location
  • customized directory of RISD and local emergency information
  • health and wellness resources
  • directory of on-campus automated external defibrillator (AED) locations

LiveSafe is available for download from the Apple App Store, Google Play and the MyRISD app, or via direct download.

RISDRides

RISDRides enhances the safety of our community by providing on-call, door-to-door evening and late-night shuttle service. Using the RISDRides app (available at MyRISD), students, faculty and staff can request a ride from a RISD building to any location within the service area and vice versa (RISDRides Service Area Map). RISDRides operates seven days a week from 5 pm–3 am during the academic year. A wheelchair-accessible shuttle is available upon request.

The RISDRides program is sponsored by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and operated by First Transit of Rhode Island. RISDRides drivers are professionally trained and licensed and undergo regular driving and criminal history records checks. For easy recognition, RISDRides operates distinctly marked vans that are cleaned and maintained in accordance with current State of Rhode Island COVID-19 regulations. RISDRides drivers wear First Transit uniforms as well as a photo badge that they must present to passengers upon request. Please direct any questions or feedback about RISDRides to DPS at 401 454-6666.

In accordance with COVID-19 regulations, all passengers and drivers will wear facial coverings and all vehicles will be properly cleaned and maintained. Students, staff or faculty who are feeling sick and/or who suspect they may have COVID-19 symptoms shall not use RISDRides. RISDRides shall not be utilized for transport to COVID testing sites or for transporting sick students, faculty or staff. Students should contact Health Services and staff or faculty should contact their own health care provider for medical advice or instructions. For medical emergencies, please contact DPS at 401-454-6666.

Passengers must show a valid RISD ID when boarding and are responsible for their guests. Passengers will be treated with courtesy and respect and be transported in a safe manner. As members of the RISD community, all passengers and their guests are expected to treat drivers in the same manner. RISDRides reserves the right to deny transport to any passenger if the driver deems their behavior to be dangerous to the operation of the vehicle, the driver or other passengers.

Passengers shall wear seatbelts in accordance with Rhode Island law. Pets, except service animals, are not allowed in RISDRides vehicles. Smoking and the transportation of alcohol (in closed or open containers) on board RISDRides vehicles is strictly prohibited.

Learn how to access and request RISDRides.

Safety tips

Personal safety and security
Learn the location of Code Blue phones: whenever someone activates a Code Blue phone, DPS Dispatch immediately sends an officer to that location, even if the person does not speak into the phone. The officer will search the area. If you cannot stay at the phone, contact DPS with your location as soon as possible.

Program DPS’ emergency number in your cell phone: the DPS emergency number is 401 454-6666. DPS is reachable any time and from anywhere, and will dispatch officers if appropriate. If you are far from campus, DPS will contact area law enforcement to help you.

Travel in groups: Avoid walking alone after dark whenever possible. Find friends or coworkers to walk with, and if you must travel alone, ensure your cell phone is on and easily reachable. Travel in familiar, well-lit, high-traffic areas.

Pay attention to your surroundings: cell phones, headphones and other devices cause potentially harmful distractions. DPS advises storing electronic devices out of view after dark.

Find a safe place: If you are being followed or harassed, call for help and enter a safe building as soon as possible. Taking refuge in a place with witnesses is more likely to deter suspected assailants.

Get a personal alarm from DPS: visit the DPS Office of Crime Prevention to obtain a free personal alarm for use in emergency situations.

Residence safety and security
Be prepared to call for help: make sure your cell phone is charged and accessible at all times. If you do maintain a landline, place it in a visible, unobstructed location in your living space. If you are off-campus and in immediate danger call 911 and then contact DPS as soon as possible to inform us of your situation.

Schedule a crime prevention office security inspection: For more information about on- or off-campus home security inspections, contact DPS at 401 454-6376.

Don’t prop doors open: this practice creates serious security vulnerability. If you come across a door that has been propped open, securely close the door and contact DPS. Officers will search the area to ensure that no unauthorized individuals have gained access to the building.

Secure windows and doors before leaving your home: if a window or door in your on-campus home does not secure properly, submit a work order online to have the situation rectified.

Secure valuables in your home: valuable items should not be left unsecured or in plain sight. When you are not home, store laptops and other portable electronics in a cabinet or drawer—preferably one that locks.

Install extra locks in off-campus apartments: main doors that open into a common area in your building should be lockable. If your apartment doors do not have functioning locks, request proper locks from your landlord.

Check window security: ensure that all windows are fully functional and in good condition. If you live off campus, speak with your landlord about issues with window security. If you live on campus, submit a work order.

Office/studio safety and security
Do not prop open office or studio doors: propped doors create serious security vulnerabilities for our buildings, property and people. DO NOT prop doors, and if you come across a propped door, close it, secure it and contact DPS.

Notify DPS of suspicious persons: if you encounter someone who you believe does not belong in one of our buildings, contact DPS immediately with a location and description. Officers will be sent to investigate.

Call DPS for all safety or security issues: prompt reporting allows us to act and ensure community safety.

Event safety

Anyone planning a RISD event on or in the vicinity of campus must advise DPS. The following rules generally apply to all events:

  • At least one staff or faculty member must attend.
  • A Public Safety officer may need to be present at the discretion of the Director of Public Safety.
  • Large events (especially those held in the RISD Auditorium) may require the presence of a Providence police officer(s) or Providence firefighter(s) at the discretion of the Director of Public Safety. The sponsoring department or organization will incur the costs for outside agency details.
  • All events including the service of alcohol require that a RISD Public Safety officer be present. The event must also be staffed by a bartender hired by Dining + Catering. Event planners must complete an Alcohol Use Regulations Form and submit it to Public Safety and Dining + Catering at least two weeks prior to the event.

For questions about your event, please contact DPS at 401 454-6376.

Identity theft

Protect yourself against identity theft
Perpetrators of identity theft use various methods to obtain key pieces of their victim’s identity, frequently targeting credit card, driver’s license, Social Security and ATM card numbers in order to impersonate their victim. The perpetrator’s intent often is to spend large amounts of a victim’s financial resources in a short period of time.

Take the following steps to reduce access to your personal data

  • Keep original documents in a secure place (do not carry them unless needed)
  • Do not offer personal information via telephone unless you initiate contact
  • Avoid obvious passwords or PINs (birthdates, names, last four Social Security digits, etc.)
  • Pay close attention to billing cycles and statements
  • Destroy old billing statements
  • If you have other means of monitoring accounts, decline to receive printed statements
  • Review credit reports regularly for unsolicited inquiries or discrepancies
  • Be wary of free promotions; thieves create phony gifts to obtain information

Protect your social security number (SSN)

  • Release only when absolutely necessary (taxes, employment, banking transactions)
  • If a business requests to identify you by SSN, request an alternate number be used
  • If a business insists on using your SSN, you should consider—and ask:

Why is my SSN needed?
How will my SSN be used?
How will my SSN be protected from theft?
Is there another business that provides the same service without requiring SSN disclosure?

Resources for combating identity theft
Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Hotline

877 IDTHEFT
consumer.gov/idtheft

Rhode Island Attorney General
Consumer Protection Unit
401 274-4400
contactus@riag.state.ri.us

Major credit bureaus:
Equifax: 800 525-6285
Experian: 800 749-7576
Transunion: 800 680-7289

Public Safety daily crime and fire log

DPS maintains a daily crime and fire safety log that meets all Clery Act requirements. A log covering the past 60 days is available for public inspection upon request and during normal business hours at the DPS administrative office. DPS will make any portion of the log that is older than 60 days available for inspection within three business days of any request.

Crime prevention and safety documents

Bicycle registration
To deter theft, DPS encourages students to register bikes and scooters at the Public Safety office. U-Locks are available for purchase at the RISD Store.

National Crime Prevention Council
The NCPC offers monthly programs that are posted in the RISD Public Safety Newsletter and through campus-wide announcements.

Personal alarms
This is a wearable safety tool that emits a 120 dB siren upon activation. Personal Alarms are available to students, staff and faculty free of charge.

First aid, AED and CPR training
DPS offers first aid, AED and CPR classes, monthly and free of charge, to students, staff and faculty.

Lost and found

If you have misplaced something on campus, Public Safety houses RISD's Lost and Found.