Your safety is our first priority.

In preparation for the UCI Road World Championships and the thousands of visitors coming to Richmond from outside the area, here are some reminders and tips for keeping the VCU community safe. For more information about safety, visit VCU Police online.

The peloton trying to catch the leader The leader maintaining distance on the peloton

Be aware

Pedestrian awareness

During the Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships it will be imperative for students, faculty, staff and guests at VCU to respect road barriers along the race route and to cross streets at designated crossing areas.

Depending on the race schedule, it may be necessary for pedestrians to wait for a brief period of time before being allowed to cross city streets. The VCU Police Department encourages everyone to follow crossing restrictions for the safety of both pedestrians and race participants.

Robbery prevention

Although violent crime at VCU is rare, the campus is not immune from such incidents. Quick arrests normally reduce citizen anxieties; however, we encourage the community and guests to follow the safety tips below and consider what you can do to enhance personal safety.

  • Travel well-lit, busy routes. Avoid walking or parking in shadowed areas. Have keys in your hand as you approach your door, and look under your car, around it and in the back seat as you get in.
  • Be alert and aware. Pay full attention to who (and what) is around you when you are in public. Avoid text messaging and talking on the phone if you do not absolutely need to use the phone.
  • Beware of “Apple picking.” Be alert when using or carrying your smart phone – including iPhones and Android phones – especially after dark. Unfortunately there is a market for stolen smart phones. If you do not need to use the phone, keep it safely secured and out of sight.
  • Avoid displaying and carrying large sums of money in public. Only carry the credit cards you need. At VCU, use the debit account feature on your VCUCard for bookstore, dining and parking transactions.
  • Be careful with purses or wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, but do not loop or wrap straps around you. Keep wallets in an inside pocket.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Don’t make yourself an easy target. If you must be out at night, arrange to be with one or more friends.
  • If you are confronted, COOPERATE! Give the criminal what he/she asks for – wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards and electronics. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions. Don’t make sudden moves or try to apprehend the criminal yourself. Concentrate on remembering a description and call police immediately.

If a robbery should occur

  • Your safety is most important. Above all, don’t be heroic.
  • Do what the robber says and don’t stall.
  • Don’t make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a concealed weapon.
  • If the suspect claims he has a gun, knife, razor or other weapon in his pocket, never try to force his bluff.
  • Afterward, call the police immediately. If you are on the university campus, call (804) 828-1234. Off campus, call 911.
  • Ask all witnesses to stay at the scene until the police arrive.
  • If a witness must leave, write down his or her name, address and telephone number.
  • Write down a complete description of the suspect, weapon and vehicle used, if any.

Vehicle theft prevention

  • Lock your vehicle: 80 percent of stolen vehicles are unlocked.
  • Never leave valuables, such as GPS devices, cell phones, etc., inside the vehicle in plain sight; consider locking valuables in the trunk.
  • Consider an antitheft device. Auto alarms, steering column covers, second ignition switches, bar locks, etc., are not foolproof, but may discourage or delay a thief.
  • Keep spare car keys at home and not hidden in your car. They can be found.
  • Park in well-lit, busy areas.
  • Never leave your car running, especially at a convenience store.

Tools to help you stay safe

LiveSafe

LiveSafe is a free app for Android and iOS smart phones. Users can send the VCU Police tips about crimes or ongoing incidents, including photos or video evidence. The LiveSafe system is monitored 24/7 by the VCU Police Emergency Communications Center. Users can also submit tips anonymously and text with a dispatcher.

To begin using LiveSafe:

  1. Find and install “LiveSafe” from your iOS or Android app store.
  2. Select VCU as your local agency.
  3. Enter your profile information and emergency contacts.

RamSafe

Access RamSafe (ramsafe.vcu.edu) via desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or call 828-SAFE (7233). RAMSafe will continue under normal operations 5 p.m.-8 a.m. each day, except for Friday, Sept. 25. On Friday. Sept. 25, during to the Conquer the Cobbles event scheduled from 7-10 p.m., the area that will be covered by RAMSafe will be the area within these boundaries:

  • Lombardy Street, to Grace Street, to Laurel Street, to Broad Street, to Goshen Street, to Leigh Street, to Lombardy Street.
  • Some portions of VCU Health MCV Campus beginning at 7 p.m.

Emergency phones

Emergency Reporting Telephone System phones, located throughout the Monroe Park and MCV campuses, provide a direct connection to the Emergency Communications Center and identify the location from which you are calling to the answering communications officer. There are currently more than 350 ERTS phones located throughout the VCU campus and satellite properties.

Outdoor ERTS phones are yellow call boxes labeled “VCU Police,” while indoor ERTS phones are red dial-less wall phones. Simply push the button or lift the receiver to connect with VCU Police.

Text a tip

Cell phone users can text a tip to VCU Police by dialing 274-637 and typing “VCUtip.”

Call the VCU Police

If you are on campus and have an emergency, call (804) 828-1234 (or ext. 8-1234 from a campus line). If you are off campus and have an emergency, call 911. In non-emergency situations, call (804) 828-1196.

Alert communications

VCU uses a variety of communication methods to alert the campus community about emergency situations and safety threats. Web alerts are posted to alert.vcu.edu.

Alertus

These small yellow devices are strategically installed in classrooms, residence halls and other high-traffic areas throughout campus. They are designed to provide an auditory and visual alert when a threat has occurred or is imminent.

Much like text messages, a protective action statement will scroll on the screen during a threatening event.

Digital signage

Digital signage includes large television monitors located in high-travel areas throughout campus such as major academic buildings, the University Student Commons and all residential housing facilities on both campuses. During an emergency, these devices will display emergency warning information, with additional information available at alert.vcu.edu.

Mass email

During an emergency, all VCU email account holders will receive an email containing the safety recommendations related to the event.

Outdoor sirens

In a real emergency, the 10 sirens on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will sound for four minutes with a wail (up-and-down tone) to signal that an immediate, life-threatening emergency has occurred or may be imminent.

The purpose of the siren is to alert people outside of campus buildings to immediately seek secure shelter and to receive additional information. No all-clear siren is used. We encourage you to listen to a sample warning siren so that you will recognize the sound should an emergency occur.

Social media

Alerting information will be posted to the @VCU News Center Twitter account and the VCU Facebook page.

Text messages

All students are given the opportunity to enroll in the text messaging system to receive emergency alerts. Other community members may manually register to receive notifications. These messages are short, protective action statements that contain a link to alert.vcu.edu, where additional information will be located.

The majority of these text alerts are about crimes that occur off campus, but because many students, faculty and staff live in these neighborhoods, VCU feels it is important to inform the community of existing threats so that proper safety measures can be taken.

Building access

What should I do if a non-VCU person enters a restricted building?

All suspicious activity should be reported to VCU Police, 828-1234. For safety purposes, avoid letting people in behind you. Remember, you can send texts, photos and videos directly to VCU Police by using the free LiveSafe app for Apple and Android devices. LiveSafe is monitored 24/7.

Are there any safety precautions that should be taken during the time period of Sept. 19-27?

If you are planning to leave campus during the bike race, be sure to keep your offices and homes secure while you are away. Take valuable personal property home with you. If you leave anything of value in your home or office, secure it in a locked closet or cabinet. Lock the doors and windows to your home and office and take all keys with you.

A spinning bicycle wheel.