Be Prepared

Columbia University takes campus safety very seriously. We are committed to making your campus and surrounding environs as safe and secure as they can possibly be. Our Department of Public Safety takes pride in its demographic diversity and strong focus on promoting an equitable and inclusive campus culture. The Department of Public Safety publishes an annual report that includes crime definitions and statistics to keep the community informed of incidents on and around campus. Visit the Public Safety website to learn about all of the services that Columbia University provides. We’ve highlighted a few of these for you below.

On-Demand Evening Shuttle

We provide an On-Demand Evening Shuttle as a free and safe alternative to walking alone at night. This ride-share service can take you anywhere within the coverage area, seven nights a week until 3 am.

Emergency Notifications

Be prepared for any on-campus or other emergency relevant to the Columbia community by making sure you are registered for the University's emergency text messages by logging into Vergil. As a default provision, students are auto-enrolled into the system using the number they used to set up their profile (you may add up to three numbers so family members can stay informed). You may toggle this setting off to opt-out of one or all numbers.

Text message alerts will only be used in rare cases where ongoing events pose an immediate threat or have a significant impact. Possible scenarios include severe weather conditions, emergency campus closures, crimes in progress that may endanger the community, and major transit interruptions.

Visit the Preparedness website for further instructions and additional details on just-in-case emergency preparedness.

Lion Safe App

All the resources of Columbia University Public Safety are available at your fingertips through Lion Safe, a user-friendly app available for your smartphone or tablet that allows the user to request emergency services at the touch of a button along with other useful quick links including maps, shuttle schedules, crime alerts, emergency protocols, campus safety notifications, and non-emergency numbers for each campus.

Blue Light Emergency Call Boxes

Columbia University Public Safety maintains several emergency call boxes with blue lights on top throughout the greater Columbia University campus area that provide an immediate response to you if you need help or if you feel threatened in any way.

Walking Safety Escort Program

Safety escorts trained by Public Safety are available at Morningside seven days a week to walk affiliates to their doors at night. Every campus has specific service areas and hours of operation.

Safe Havens

Occasionally, Columbia students, faculty or staff may feel uneasy about walking home, waiting for a bus or walking to a car. If that ever happens to you, just look for the Red Lion at participating neighborhood merchants that are part of the Safe Haven program. At businesses featuring the Red Lion in their windows, you can ask the merchant to phone Columbia University Public Safety or the police and wait for security personnel to respond.

Lost and Found

The Department of Public Safety maintains a Lost and Found desk at the Morningside, Manhattanville and Medical Center campuses and also a lost item database. If you find property, please turn it in to any Public Safety officer or to your nearest Public Safety Operations desk.

Device Engraving

Public Safety can engrave your laptop, mobile devices or other property with a unique code to make it easy to identify your property if it is stolen. To schedule an appointment to have your device(s) engraved, please contact [email protected].

Safety Trainings

Public Safety hosts several safety events throughout the year including a personal safety seminar and self-defense trainings. Review Public Safety’s event calendar to register for these valuable sessions.