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Crime Prevention Programs

The American University Police Department maintains comprehensive crime prevention and campus safety awareness programs. Working with the Office of Campus Life and other units, the crime prevention coordinator develops and monitors procedures and programs to promote safety, security, and crime prevention. A common theme of all safety awareness programs is to encourage students and employees to be aware of their responsibility for their own security and the security of others.

While it is the responsibility of each member of AUPD to promote crime prevention throughout the university community, the coordinator is specifically responsible for implementing AUPD's proactive stance on crime prevention as part of its basic philosophy. This includes, but is not limited to, conducting programs, answering questions about safety and security, responding to inquiries about AUPD's role on campus, and encouraging residents to become actively safety-conscious. To help students and employees protect themselves and their property, this unit develops and makes available to the university community a variety of educational programs and materials.


AUPD offers free self-defense classes each semester. Courses are available in gender-specific or gender-neutral formats, with full course and short course options. Any member of the American University community is eligible for the class, and no prerequisites, past experience or physical fitness level are required.

Self-Defense provides information, tactics, and considerations which may be useful for various types of dangerous encounters. The course is taught by certified Self-Defense instructors who work for the AUPD.

Interested in holding a private class? We are happy to hold classes for groups that are unable to make the pre-scheduled classes. Community members can sign up for classes online at:

One Call Away

If a student finds themselves stranded in DC for any reason, they can call a cab and have it take them to the Public Safety Building. The student should notify AUPD that they are on their way by calling 202-885-2527. AUPD will pay for the cab and place the charge on the student's account, ensuring that even without money or a ride, students can always return safely to campus. This service can be utilized within a 10-mile radius of the main campus.

Request a Police Escort

AUPD provides escorts, whether on foot or vehicle, to any member of the community who feels unsafe. These escorts are only from university property to university property. Safety escorts may be arranged by calling 202-885-2527 or using an emergency telephone.

Campus Safety App

The Rave Guardian Campus Safety App transforms mobile phones on your campus into personal safety devices.

Guardian enhances safety on campus through a virtual safety network of friends, family, and campus safety.

  1. Panic Button: Direct immediate connection to campus safety with GPS location and personal profile information.
  2. Tip Texting: Enables anonymous crime tip reporting and 2-way communication via SMS or mobile app.
  3. Personal Guardians: Students can identify friends, roommates, and family as 'Guardians' along with Campus Safety. Students can set a Rave Guardian Timer. During a Timer session Guardians and Campus Safety can check status of student. If the Rave Guardian timer is not deactivated before it expires, campus safety is automatically provided with the user's Rave Guardian profile to proactively identify and check-in on the individual.

Click here to download the Android app from the Google Play Store
Click here to download the iOS app from the Apple App Store

Once the app installs on your mobile device complete your registration, make sure you use your official university email address as your registration email.

Absolute LoJack

American University is taking a proactive stance against laptop theft on campus. Students can purchase Absolute LoJack for their device at a significantly discounted price (starting at $13.95 for a one-year subscription). The patented technology can survive a factory reset or hard wipe, allowing the Absolute Investigations team to locate and retrieve the device safely. Absolute LoJack is available for both PC and Mac.

Safety Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your room door at all times, whether the room is occupied or not.
  • Use lighted walkways and thoroughfares, even if it means going out of your way.
  • Lock your bicycle with a high-security lock.