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Ohio State University Emergency Response

The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety has many systems in place to help provide a safe and secure learning environment for the OSU community and to respond to emergency events on campus. The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors is our highest priority. The strategy for public safety involves a combination of police officers, security officers, emergency management personnel, technology and community engagement. Our campus community can be confident in the security levels and emergency management plans for The Ohio State University campus.

Ohio State University Police

The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) is an accredited law enforcement agency and a leader among our peers in prevention, preparedness and response to crime. Officers are armed and fully certified with law enforcement arrest authority.


University Police are well prepared with training, equipment, and technology to respond appropriately and effectively to an emergency situation. Ohio State University Police are one of the few campus police agencies in the country with a Special Response Team (SRT), commonly referred to as SWAT. Officers assigned to SRT have additional equipment and expertise and train monthly on responding to various emergencies.


With a focus on prevention, OSUPD has partnered with Counseling and Consultation Services and the Student Conduct office on a program for faculty and staff titled, "Dealing with Disturbed and Disruptive Individuals." This groundbreaking program assists faculty and staff with identifying potential threats and instructs them on how best to respond. University Police work in concert with Student Affairs, Student Conduct, Human Resources and others to identify any individuals that may pose a threat to themselves or others in the university community.


The Student Safety Service program within the Police Division provides students with safe transportation in the general campus area during evening and early morning hours. These trained, uniformed students walk or drive students to and from their destination within the service area and carry radios for direct contact with University Police. These students also assist in identifying and advising police of observed criminal or suspicious activity and/or potential campus safety issues.


Finally we have a close partnership with other law enforcement agencies; the Columbus Police Division, Franklin County Sheriff and Ohio Highway Patrol. Should the need arise, these agencies will immediately respond if called to assist.

Central Campus Security Division and Public Safety Communications Division

The OSU Central Campus Security Division work with OSU Police, Student Life, OSU Libraries and many others to provide a trained security force in many buildings throughout campus. This trained security force helps supplement our Police Division by providing security services to various residence halls, academic buildings and other OSU buildings. OSU Public Safety Communications plays an important part in campus safety by monitoring all of the security cameras on campus, monitoring the fire and security alarms, answering all 9-1-1 and calls from our emergency "blue light" phones, then dispatching Police, Fire & EMS whenever an emergency exists on campus.

OSU Emergency Management & Fire Prevention

OSU Emergency Management is responsible for writing, testing and reviewing emergency preparedness plans for all hazards on campus. One of our priorities is to work with other university departments and create a detailed emergency notification plan. Working with University Communications, Office of the CIO, University Police and many others, we have developed a comprehensive plan to communicate to our students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency.


The backbone of this plan is the Buckeye Alert System. Buckeye Alert is a tool that can notify thousands of people in minutes via text messages on their cell phones. Emergency messages will only be sent to the campus community if Public Safety officials determine that our campus community needs to take immediate action to preserve their personal safety.


The Buckeye Alert System includes over two dozen different methods which Public Safety can utilize to communicate to the campus community. A list of all communication methods, as well as information on how to register for text message alerts, can be found at www.buckeyealert.osu.edu.