Security and Safety

The Department of Campus Safety and Security is committed to working with the PAFA community to maintain excellence in public safety services and to promote an atmosphere that is beneficial to all.

Please find the most up to date information here.


All students, faculty, staff, and guests are expected to immediately report unusual or suspicious incidents to Campus Safety and Security. The department will dispatch an officer to evaluate the situation. If necessary, the appropriate PAFA officials or external authorities will be contacted.

Campus Safety and Security enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department, which has the primary police jurisdiction for the campus. All matters brought to the attention of Campus Safety and Security will be investigated to determine the appropriate action, and victims of crime are given the opportunity to report the incident to the police department. Campus Safety & Security operates on three elements: prevention, education, and response.

How to Report

All students, faculty, staff, and guests are expected to report unusual or suspicious incidents immediately to Campus Safety & Security. The department will dispatch an officer to evaluate the situation. If necessary, we will contact the appropriate authorities.

General Guidelines for Safety

Campus Security urges everyone at PAFA to take an active role in ensuring personal safety and the protection of property by following four simple steps: LOCK, OBSERVE, CAUTION, CALL.

1. LOCK – limit the opportunity for property crimes

  • Keep studio doors locked whenever you're out.
  • Don't open locked elevator lobby doors for strangers or unauthorized people.
  • Keep track of keys to your studios.
  • Use locks on lockers.
  • Do not leave valuables in your studio in plain view.

2. OBSERVE – be aware of your surroundings

  • Keep track of personal belongings and don't leave them unattended, even for a short time.
  • Take note of any suspicious activity or persons in your vicinity.

3. CAUTION – don’t put yourself in danger

  • Avoid situations that put you at greater risk (such as walking alone after dark or in high crime areas).
  • Don't physically engage a suspect. Stay at a safe distance, note suspect's description, and seek help as soon as possible.

4. CALL – immediately report a crime (or suspicious activity) to Campus Security

  • Campus Security is on patrol, radio-dispatched 24/7, and can respond to emergencies on very quickly.
  • If you are near a Emergency Call Box in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, use the phone there. It will connect you directly to the Security Dispatcher.
  • Program this number into the speed dial on your cell phone: PAFA Security: 215-972-2083

Inclement Weather & Emergency Closing Procedures

The closure, delayed opening, or early dismissal of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will be determined by the Dean of the School and the Museum Director, with the approval of the President. Any closing or delay would include the school, galleries, and administrative offices. Decisions regarding the cancellation of special events and evening classes may be made later.

Where to find closing or delay information:

  • – messages will be updated on the homepage
  • KYW-AM (1060 AM) / KYW-TV (CBS3)  – Lists the school by name
  • WPVI-TV (6ABC) – Lists the school by name
  • WCAU-TV (NBC 10) – Lists the school by name

An outgoing message advising of a closure or delay will also be recorded on PAFA’s main number (215-972-7600) by 6:30 a.m. We ask that you refrain from checking your PAFA voice mail during this time to free all lines.

Shelter-In-Place Procedures

PAFA’s Security & Operations Department have developed a shelter-in-place plan in the event of a natural or man-made disaster that may prohibit students, staff and visitors from leaving the building.

This plan is the official guide on how to respond in the event that a Shelter-In-Place command is given. The main objective is to move students and staff to designated safe locations until the disaster is declared over.  The plan is implemented when directed by the police and/or fire department or another federal, state or local agency.

PAFA Shelter-In-Place Procedures (PDF)

Crime Prevention and Education

PAFA is continually developing new safety programs and resources, which focus on creating a safe and secure campus environment. Some of the services available through Campus Safety & Security include:

  • Emergency telephones are provided throughout the campus. Red emergency phones and security cameras are also located strategically across campus. All equipment is monitored 24 hours a day by security.
  • Crime alerts are issued when deemed necessary through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Students are officially notified via email and/or voicemail.
  • A shuttle service provides transportation to specific locations around Philadelphia. The service, which is administered by Campus Safety and Security, operates 5 days a week when classes are scheduled. Call (215) 972-2100 for information on times, cancellation and routes.

During Orientation, the Director of Campus Safety & Security reviews with all incoming students the security procedures and services, including emergency evacuations, incident reporting procedures, building access and safety guidelines. The Student Handbook, given to every student, and the Annual Security Report further outline the services and policies around safety and security. Every student has quick access to important safety phone numbers, campus crime statistics, community support services, and hotlines, and incident procedures. 

Office Hours of Operation

The Campus Safety & Security Office is open for general business Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM. in the Historic Landmark Building.

To contact an officer after business hours, community members should dial (215) 972-2073 or (215) 972-2074 or use extension 2073/2074 from on-campus locations.