Off-Campus Safety

The University has a close working relationship with the many police jurisdictions that serve our community off-campus. Please contact the USCPD at 803-777-4215 if you need assistance identifying the police agency with primary jurisdiction in the area in which you live. University of South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement and Safety provides a number of online resources to increase student, faculty and staff safety. USC is located in an urban environment in the heart of downtown Columbia. You can reduce the likelihood that you will be a crime victim by taking basic steps to protect yourself and your belongings.

Valuable Safety Resources:

  • USC partners with Community Crime Map to provide students, faculty and staff with an online crime-mapping tool showing crime activity in the surrounding area. We encourage you to view the local Community Crime Map online crime map to learn more about the crime in the area that you currently live or are considering living.
  • Download the RAVE Guardian Safety app, which can be used as a tool to alert USCPD or 911. It also allows you to provide the police anonymous tips, set a safety timer for yourself that will alert the authorities if you fail to arrive at your destination, and establish guardians to monitor your safety, all at the push of a button.
  • Sign up to receive Carolina ALERTS, the University’s Emergency Notification System at
  • The Division of Law Enforcement & Safety provides assistance to victims and witnesses of crime. Information and resources can be found at the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety Victim Services website.

Live Safe Tips:

If you see something suspicious or are the victim of a crime, immediately report it to the police through by calling 911 or using the RAVE Guardian App.

Inside your property

  • Test smoke detectors every month.
  • Purchase renter’s insurance. It is not that expensive and may save you money in the event of an accident or burglary. For more information on coverage, requirements, and more, visit’s Renter’s Insurance Guide.
  • Know your roommate’s habits – you can only be as safe as they allow you to be.
  • Entrances

    • Keep your doors locked at all times – even when you are at home during the day.
    • Ask anyone you don’t know to see an ID before entering your home.
    • Keep the blinds or drapes closed when you are gone.
    • Use a peephole to determine who is knocking before you open the door. If you are still not sure, question the stranger through the door.

    Outside the rental

    • Have someone check on your place when you are out of town.
    • Get to know your neighbors in case of an emergency.
    • Never leave your key outside under a mat or in a place accessible to a stranger.
    • Never leave notes on your door that indicate you are away.
    • Lock your car, and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.
    • Secure your bike, moped or scooter.
    • Don’t give money to people begging or hire people for door-to-door odd jobs.
    • Don’t walk alone at night. Travel in well-lit, heavily traveled areas in groups of three or more people.

    For more information about safety, please visit:
    USC Division of Law Enforcement & Safety
    On and Off-Campus Emergency Contacts
    Crime Prevention & Safety Resources