Safety Resources On and Off Campus

UC Emergency Services vehicle

Emergency Services at UC are always available when you need them, on or off campus.

Campus life can keep you busy day and night. Whether you’re leaving a night class, working late in the lab or studying at home, you should know about the strategies UC and the city of Cincinnati have implemented to keep you safe. The past few years have brought more officers patrolling campus, improved street lighting around campus and safety technology to help with reporting crimes. Although the crime rates for UC and the surrounding Clifton area have been declining, it’s still important to stay aware of the available safety resources.

NightRide & shuttle services

During the day, the UC shuttle has you covered for transportation between campuses and throughout the surrounding areas. When you need to get around at night, take advantage of the NightRide service run by students. There are ten shuttles available for transportation within a one-mile radius of campus. Make sure to have your valid UC ID card, and remember you can bring one non-UC person with you as a guest. Follow NightRide on Twitter for updates on availability and scheduling.

Safety ambassadors

Volunteering to provide greater visibility and discourage crime on campus, public safety ambassadors can help you feel more secure on a dark walk across campus. Just call 513-446-2968 between 1:30 and 10 p.m. for a safety ambassador escort, and you won’t have to walk alone. Use this service next time you’re leaving the library at night or staying late for class.

Icon for Bearcat Guardian app, also known as Rave Guardian app.

"Bearcat Guardian" app

If you need to report an incident around campus, use the Bearcat Guardian app to do so quickly and effectively. You can contact UC police with one touch by phone or through a message, anonymously if needed, with built-in GPS technology that lets emergency personnel know where you are. 

Bearcat Guardian is a state-of-the-art safety app that allows you to turn your cell phone into a safety device. It works on any mobile phone running on any US-based mobile carrier network. The app also allows you to select "guardians" (such as friends and family members) to check in on you when you are alone or in an unfamiliar place; set-up a safety timer with a location and expected arrival time; and receive emergency notifications from UC Public Safety. You can download the Bearcat Guardian app for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Search for “Rave Guardian.” After installing, ensure location and notification service has been enabled and register with your cell phone number and university email address.

Please keep in mind, though, that safety technology devices are not a substitute for services like NightRide and the UC shuttle.

Public Safety

UC’s Department of Public Safety is your ultimate resource for vital safety services. Stay up-to-date on the latest reports with their incidence reports and crime statistics. Check out personal safety resources like Be Street Smart and Precautions for Hostile Situations. Public Safety’s mission is to facilitate a safe campus environment for everyone, so be sure to take full advantage of the many resources they offer.

Blue help phones

You’ve probably seen those blue telephone posts that are scattered around campus—with 280 strategically placed around UC, they’re difficult to miss. Pay attention to the location of these phones along your normal route, just in case you ever need to make an unexpected call. The blue help phones connect directly to dispatchers in UC’s 911 Communications Center. You can also use them to make non-emergency calls.

Off-campus fire safety

September and October are peak months for fires in college housing. Make sure you take every precaution to prevent a fire with the Cincinnati Safe Student Housing Program. Created in 2013 in the memory of four Cincinnati college students who lost their lives in off-campus house fires, this program offers a list of houses and apartments approved by the Cincinnati Fire Department. Residents or landlords can also request a free inspection of their residence through the fire department. If you want to be sure your house or apartment satisfies the fire code, fill out this form to schedule a free inspection. Your landlord must remedy any inconsistencies with the fire code within 30 days after the inspection is completed.

When you’re trying to keep up with a busy schedule, it can be easy to push safety precautions to the back of your mind. However, always remember that crimes, fires and other safety hazards do happen. UC and the city of Cincinnati are constantly developing new services and resources to keep you safe, both on and off campus. Be sure to make use of these tools during your time at UC.

Important Numbers

  • Emergency: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 513-556-1111 (West Campus); 513-558-1111 (medical campus)
  • NightRide: 513-556-4927
  • Off-Campus Housing Fire Inspection: 513-357-7585
  • Safety Ambassadors: 513-446-2968
Blue help phone

There are 280 blue help phones on UC's campus, available for both emergency and non-emergency calls.