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Safety for New Swatties

Important safety information, to-dos before arriving, and FAQs.

Picture of the front of the Ben West House/Visitors Center where Public Safety is located.

Public Safety Office/Ben West House

To-Dos Before Arriving | Campus Resources | FAQs

Swarthmore's Public Safety Departmetn operates 24/7/365 and is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy campus for the entire community. Located in the historic Benjamin West House, Public Safety is the first contact and the first responder for all campus emergencies.

Need to reach Public Safety?

  • In case of emergency, dial 610-328-8333 or ext. 8333 from a campus phone, or press any of the call boxes located in all campus buildings and the Blue Light Towers throughout campus.
  • For general business, dial 610-328-8281 or ext. 8281 from a campus phone. 

To-Dos Before Arriving at Swat

  1. Download the SwatSafe App. SwatSafe is Swarthmore's centralized, direct way to contact Public Safety in an emergency, access student resources, provide safety and emergency updates, and much more. SwatSafe is available to download for free in the Apple Store and Google Play- just search SwatSafe to get started!
  2. Save the Public Safety emergency number (610-328-8333) and general number (610-328-8281) on your phone.
  3. Complete emergency contact form.
  4. Complete the confidential contact form. 
  5. Complete an Emergency Evacuation Assistance Request form, if necessary.
  6. Identify your Residence Hall and closest Blue Light Emergency Phone using the interactive College map.

We also recommend you prepare a safety kit for your dorm room, including minor first aid equipment, flashlight, and other essential items you may need in an emergency!

Public Safety Campus Resources

Once you arrive on campus, we encourage you to take advantage of our resources. A few are highlighted below, but check out our Security Services web page and download our brochure to learn more about how we can help support your campus experience.

Garnet Shuttle

The College operates two wheelchair-accessible shuttles, which ferry students to and from campus to help make that early-morning trip to class quick and comfortable. The shuttles are operated by the Public Safety Department and run by professional drivers, some of whom build a great rapport with students. The evening shuttle makes returning home at the end of a long day of studying safe and convenient. For more information, see the Getting Around page. 

Walking and Medical Escorts

Our officers provide walking escorts between campus locations after dark upon request. Medical escorts are provided when a student is sick or injured and urgent transport to Worth Health Center is required. For more information see the Transportation for Sick and Injured Students page.  

Public Safety FAQ's

What should I do if I am the victim of a crime?

The College encourages students, faculty, and staff who have witnessed a crime or have been victimized to report the event to Public Safety or Swarthmore Borough Police as quickly as possible. 

  • To make a report to Public Safety, call 610-328-8333 or ext. 8333 from a campus phone, or press any of the call boxes located in all campus buildings and the Blue Light Towers throughout campus. You may also report directly to Public Safety by accessing this online reporting form (which may also be completed confidentially). 
  • To make a report with the Swarthmore Borough Police, call 911 and advise you are a Swarthmore College Community Member. Additionally, you may contact Public Safety as indicated above and they may arrange the connection and report with the Borough Police. 
  • Community members may report Title IX concerns directly to Title IX by accessing this online reporting form.
  • Community members may report bias incidents directly to the Bias Incident Response Team by accessing this online reporting form.

What is the difference between a Public Safety Officer and a Police Officer?

Swarthmore College Public Safety Officers are not the police. They monitor buildings and grounds, respond to emergencies, educate the community on crime prevention, run the campus shuttle, provide safety escorts, and complete incident reports where are forwarded to the Division of Student Affairs or other appropriate offices. Public Safety does not have arrest powers, and are not armed. Public Safety wears garnet colored polo shirts (with pataches and 'Public Safety' written on the back) with black pants, and carry radios, keys, and a flashlight.

Swarthmore Borough Police are sworn municipal police officers who have full arrest authority on campus as we are located wholly within their jurisdiction. Public Safety and the Swarthmore Police have a close working relationship, but are not the same entities. Swarthmore Police wear dark navy (almost black) shirts and pants, with an external ballistic vest. They carry everything a police officer would normally carry including a firearm, taser, handcuffs, and batons. 

What services does Public Safety provide?

Public Safety provides a number of services and various training courses which can be found in detail by visiting the Crime Prevention and Security Services page.

How are violations of the Student Handbook handled?

Public Safety will perform initial investigations and document all violations of the student handbook before completing a report. These reports are then forwarded to the Division of Student Affairs which handles all student conduct. Information about Public Safety's response to intoxicated subjects (including underage drinking) may be found here.