Columbia Public Safety is deeply committed to our values of Pride, Professionalism and Service. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for the Columbia community by maintaining a secure and open environment where the safety of all is balanced with the rights of the individual.

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff are our top priorities. Columbia’s campuses and the surrounding areas are safe and have an extremely low crime rate for an urban university. We achieve this by engaging everyone in the business of public safety. We value our partnership with the community, and welcome and value your input and ask for your support.

Training is an important component of our mission. All uniformed public safety personnel receive comprehensive training. Officers and supervisors complete eight hours (8) mandated New York State security officer training. All newly hired officers and supervisors receive an additional 80 - 120 hours of classroom training on University policy and Public Safety procedures followed by another 240 hours of on the job campus orientation training among the three Columbia campuses. During the classroom training, stakeholders from various University departments present lectures on equal employment and affirmative action, diversity, multicultural and gender sensitivity, sexual violence and Tile IX.  We are in the process of developing an additional training series for managers on leadership, initiative and integrity.

Uniformed supervisors and managers also engage in professional development training throughout the year. Seminars and webinars on job-related topics are attended by both managers and supervisors on and off site. Mock drills that simulate realistic scenarios are conducted in order to assess the Department’s emergency response capabilities. Supervisors also have the opportunity to participate in a merit incentive program, where monthly e-learning courses on topics such as management, leadership, mentoring, and emergency response are offered.

All officers and supervisors also receive the following training during their initial hiring and during their NYS required eight hour in-service annual training.

  • Interpersonal communications
  • Customer service and professionalism
  • Emergency response 
  • Patrol techniques 
  • Diversity
  • Bias motivated incidents
  • Multicultural affairs, gender identity and sensitivity
  • Racial profiling prohibition
  • Gender based misconduct/Title IX
  • Sexual violence response 
  • EOAA 
  • Clery Act 
  • Ethics 
  • Crime prevention  
  • Access control 
  • Nonviolent crisis intervention
  • University and public safety policies and procedures
  • Active shooter/situation awareness
  • CPR/AED and Stop the Bleed 
  • Narcan opiate overdose response for supervisors
  • Arrest and use of force policy
  • Report writing

To enhance communication, respect, and trust between Public Safety officers and our community, we have developed the Your Rights & Responsibilities When Interacting with Public Safety Personnel at Columbia brochure. It is designed to increase your understanding of how best to respond if you are stopped by a Public Safety or Police Officer, whether on campus or elsewhere, and to enhance communication between the Department of Public Safety and the community we serve.

There is no contract between Columbia and NYPD for police services. A memorandum recognizes that our Department of Public Safety will work with the NYPD in specified circumstances, including to investigate reports of missing students and criminal offenses involving violent felonies. All colleges and universities in New York are required by state law to enter this agreement.

The Department of Public Safety welcomes your comments concerning our service.

Morningside: 212-854-2797 / Medical Center: 212-305-8100 / Manhattanville: 212-853-3301

Columbia University Department of Public Safety
535 W 116 Street
Room 101 Low Library
New York, New York 10027
Mail Code 4301


In Person
Morningside: Low Library, Room 101
Medical Center: Black Building, Room 109