Message from the Vice President of Public Safety

April 20, 2023

Dear members of the Columbia community,

I am writing to share important safety information. The local police precinct has communicated to us that they are monitoring the area and deploying special patrols to deter criminal activity in and around Morningside Park due to a recent increase in criminal activity. While NYPD and Park Police maintain a focused presence in and around Morningside Park – and Columbia Public Safety supplements that presence with mobile patrol units – I ask that you use caution and care when deciding to travel in and around Morningside Park – particularly during the night hours – and always remain aware of your surroundings. 

Related to this information, an incident took place this weekend when at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, a GSAPP student was walking with two friends on Morningside Avenue along the east side of Morningside Park near West 121st Street when three masked individuals attacked and robbed them, rendering the GSAPP student temporarily unconscious. The student is on the way to recovery. As a University community, we are sending our thoughts for a speedy recovery.

In reviewing crime data over the decades, by any measure, New York City and the communities around Columbia’s campuses are safe – the safest big city in America. But safety does not mean absence or immunity from potentially dangerous situations. Be vigilant with your personal safety, and partner with Public Safety to help keep you and your fellow university community members safe. 

As reminder, the University provides several safety resources to you, including the On-Demand Evening Shuttle, the Safety Escort program, and the Lion Safe smart phone safety app.  These services and recommended precautions are centered around the realities of crime and safety in New York City like that of any major urban area.

The dedicated members of the Columbia University Department of Public Safety remain committed to providing the safest environment in which to learn, live and work.