Overview of Campus Safety & Security Initiatives

Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic the Division of Safety & Compliance, together with a host of on and off campus partners is working in several areas to modernize our campus safety and security strategy. Our work is in three distinct but overlapping areas of focus - teams, tools & technology, and training. Below you will find details about some of the initiatives - the teams, tools and technology, and training - that make up the fabric of our campus safety systems.


CATcard Service Center (Access Controls)

CATcard Service Center

The CATcard Service Center provides digital enterprise-wide identity management, access control, and stored value transaction processing for on and off-campus functions that support University operations. CATcard is also responsible for the management of the campus-wide video surveillance system.

Compliance & Privacy Services

The Office of Compliance & Privacy Services

The Office of Compliance & Privacy Services oversees the University’s Compliance, Privacy, Enterprise Risk Management, Conflict of Interest, and Public Records programs. Compliance and Privacy Services works closely with the University community to promote an institutional culture of compliance and thus prevent and effectively address violations of law, regulations and University policy and protocols.

Emergency Management

Department of Emergency Management

The UVM Department of Emergency Management is responsible for preparing for, mitigating against, responding to, and recovering from disasters and emergencies, through planning, training, exercising and incident management. Emergency Management manages CATAlert, LiveSafe safety app, Automated External Defibrillators, UAS (drones), Fire Safety, and Continuity of Operations Planning.

Emergency Operations Group

The Emergency Operations Group (EOG) serves as the University’s Emergency Management Response Team.  The EOG staffs the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during times of crisis, and provides guidance and support for large University events, emergencies, and disasters.  The team is trained in the Incident Command System and EOC operations.  The group meets on a regular basis and as needed for emergencies.

When a campus emergency exceeds the capacity of the on-scene Incident Commander, or the nature of the emergency requires a broader University response, the Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Operations Group will be activated under the direction of the Chief Safety & Compliance Officer or designee.  The Emergency Operations Group coordinates with Vermont Emergency Management and other state and local entities.

Environmental Health & Safety

Department of Environmental Health & Safety

At UVM, safety is a partnership and a shared responsibility, requiring the active involvement of people in all departments and positions. Whether you work in or use a laboratory, art studio, or an outdoor location off-site - our goal is to help you be as safe as possible. Key areas of intersection with the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) include updating lab registry, disposing of lab waste, safety training, reporting a safety concern, and leading a field trip safety guidance.

Off Campus Partners

UVM's work in emergency operations and management and risk mitigation also involves a large number of off campus partners. A small sample of those partners include: the VT Department of Public Safety, VT Emergency Management, Burlington Fire & Police Departments, South Burlington Fire & Police Departments, Winooski and Colchester Fire & Police Departments, occupational safety and health teams at the State of Vermont, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, and many others.

On Campus Partners

Everyone on campus is a partner and plays a role in campus safety, security, and health. Some partners with a direct and regular role in campus safety efforts include: the Center for Health & Well Being, Facilities teams, Physical Plant, Residential Life, UVM's Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, the Student Government Association, Student Life, the Title IX and AAEO teams, and UVM Rescue.

Police Services

UVM Police Services

UVM Police Services is a nationally accredited full-time sworn police agency with statewide authority, whose primary role is public safety. As a progressive leader in Police Services, UVM Police provides a full array of public educational services, as well as a collaborative approach with community partners to define and address community needs and deepen trust in our safety systems.

Risk Management

Department of Risk Management

The Department of Risk Management provides effective risk financing (through insurance and self-insurance), sound claims management, health and safety support, best practice advice, contract review and regulatory compliance assistance. Key areas of intersection with Risk Management include Reporting an injury or accident, Obtaining a Certificate of Insurance, Driver Certification and Training, travel safety, protection of minors policy and ergonomic office set-up guidance.

Safety Training Coordinator

The Training Coordinator role is a critical resource for the Division of Safety and Compliance, responsible for developing and enhancing knowledge transfer activities for members of the Division and campus wide. The coordinator plays a central role in leading enterprise-wide Safety and Compliance efforts. This includes developing a unified calendar of training events, utilizing our websites and LiveSafe app for the delivery of training assets, and exploring enterprise-level tracking and delivery technologies through a Learning Management System.

By leveraging their expertise in training and development, the coordinator works closely with stakeholders across the Division to identify training needs, design and deliver effective training programs, and measure the impact of these initiatives. Additionally, the Coordinator works closely with other departments and teams to ensure that Safety and Compliance efforts are aligned with overall organizational goals and objectives.

Threat Assessment Team

When a significant concern or threat is uncovered the immediate response may be from law enforcement or a member of the health or wellness teams, depending on the nature and severity. If more robust initial assessment of the facts and circumstances or more detailed response and safety planning is needed the campus Threat Assessment Team (TAT), a multi-disciplinary team of professionals with background and training in assessing, intervening, and responding to threats or similar concerns, will meet to actively plan and implement a course of action.


Blue Light System (being replaced by the LiveSafe mobile app and virtual blue light)

For more than two decades UVM has maintained a hardwired system of blue lights on campus. These "call box" systems, originally based on telegraph technology, were commonplace in municipalities and campuses for decades, often predating telephone technology in large cities.

Our experience, mirrored by the City of Burlington when they operated a call box system, shows that they are rarely used in an emergency or to intervene in a suspicious circumstance. They are old technology that is difficult to maintain, get parts for, and ensure the reliability of in our harsh New England climate. Over the next few years, the aging blue light system will slowly sunset. Each year, beginning in the summer of 2023, approximately 20% of the blue lights will be removed from service.

Most importantly, this system has been replaced with more reliable, always accessible, mobile technology in the form of the LiveSafe app – which now features a virtual blue light “in your pocket” and the SafeWalk feature. See the LiveSafe App Page for more details.

Additional background on the blue light system and the transition to mobile safety technology is below.

While the system remains in service, a cross section of our blue lights are tested weekly and repaired as we are able to obtain parts. Despite a weekly effort to identify and repair broken lights, there are typically 5% to 10% of blue lights out of service on any given day.

The campus blue light system was originally installed about 20 years ago, prior to widespread use of cell phones and current messaging and communication technologies. As we look at comprehensive, contemporary campus safety and security strategies there are a number of tools and technologies that are central to the effort. The blue light system, which is difficult to maintain due to age, availability of parts, and susceptibility to environmental impacts and damage, is no longer central to our strategy. Today, the LiveSafe app coupled with a large and growing security camera system and access control technology (CATcard) create the core toolset for campus safety.

Our data shows that blue lights are rarely used in emergencies. In Vermont, over 76% of emergency calls are generated from cell phone voice connections while an increasing number of emergency calls are fielded by the 911 system via text and the remainder come from land lines – often in office settings and areas of the state where cellular service is more limited.

In recent years during discussions of the future of safety technologies on campus our students requested a more modern approach to safety. That request yielded deployment of the LiveSafe app. LiveSafe enables a “blue light in your pocket” with the ability not only to communicate with emergency services and others but to utilize the SafeWalk feature, which allows users to select a contact (who doesn’t need to have the app) to do a peer-to-peer virtual escort to safely reach a destination. The app can be used anywhere (not just at UVM). LiveSafe puts campus safety resources (emergency help, mental health resources, bias/hate reporting, and victim advocate information) in one location – in your hand and always available. It offers the option to message UVM Police, send a concern anonymously or include pictures and video with a report. It has the benefit of being with the student anywhere, including many places where blue lights are not located within res halls, labs, and off campus locations. For more information about the LiveSafe app, please visit the Emergency Management Webpage.

Calling for assistance via cell phone enables a more comprehensive approach than trying to locate and make your way to a relatively small number of stationary locations to call for help.  Additionally, if a caller uses a phone or app to contact UVM Police in an emergency via 911 their GPS position will be automatically shared. Moreover, using your phone to call for assistance enables you to stay mobile if the situation requires it. Staying stationary on a fixed base phone in some emergencies such as active threats is not ideal and runs contrary to contemporary training such as "run, hide, fight."

Due to the challenges in maintaining an aging system and ensuring it is available and working in the rare instance that it is needed for an emergency call, in alignment with best practices, we are actively pivoting to use of the virtual blue light by way of the LiveSafe app and new technologies including ongoing expansion of both camera security systems and CATcard access controls. In addition to actively sunsetting a cross section of lights each summer for the next 4-5 years, we are assessing each light as it fails with Police Services, telecom, CATcard, and Physical Plant to determine the best steps forward for that light on a rolling basis.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the LiveSafe & Blue Light FAQ Page.

Campus Security Camera System

In the 21st century, security camera systems in public areas have become an expectation as a component of comprehensive safety technology systems. The University maintains an expanding system of closed-circuit cameras designed to enhance safety and security, provide some deterrence, and enable investigations of incidents that occur. They are not used for live surveillance unless information exists to believe that an incident or event will occur or there is ongoing criminal conduct (e.g., surveilling the security of the bike storage facility on main campus). These systems are funded through general fund expenditures, as well as homeland security grants available to public institutions.

CCTV Camera Info 7.6.23 (PDF)

CatAlert Mass Notification System

CatAlert System

CatAlert is UVM's rapid emergency notification system using the RAVE platform.  CatAlert's goal is to help keep UVM's community informed and updated during emergency situations by providing timely actionable information through a variety of modes. The UVM Department of Emergency Management maintains the system which can be activated by UVM Dispatch or by UVM's Emergency Operations Group from both on and off campus.

CATcard Access Control System

The CATcard access control system is the contemporary security system that forms the backbone of our building security framework. Modernizing our approach to access controls with an initial focus on expanding CATcard use in key areas, beginning with residential buildings and those with sensitive material or critical infrastructure, is one of our core safety and security strategies.

Emergency Medical Response Tools & CAT ECare - Automatic External Defibrillators, Stop the Bleed Kits, & Naloxone

Cat ECare Webpage

Cat ECare is a collaboration among UVM Emergency Management, Initiative for Rural Emergency Medical Services (IREMS) and student interns in the College of Nurshing and Health Sciences.  The goal is to provide lifesaving equipment and training for the UVM community.


Sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED. AEDs are a vital part of the chain of survival for patients experiencing cardiac arrest, as is bystander CPR.

AED Initiative Information 6.30.23 (PDF)


Narcan®(Naloxone) is a potentially lifesaving medication designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes. It is designed for bystander ease of use. On average, a person dies every five and a half minutes in the United States from opioid overdose.

Stop the Bleed

Stop the Bleed is a program initiated by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and the White House National Security Council Staff, with a common goal of increasing awareness and preparedness for life-threatening bleeding emergencies. Since its launch in 2017, it has trained 2.4 million people in basic techniques to prevent death due to severe bleeding.


Incapacitating Drug Screening Initiative

Beginning in late April 2023 UVM, in partnership with the UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) Emergency Department, will begin a program to lower the barrier to testing for incapacitating or “date rape” drugs in instances where sexual assault is not suspected, but students have a reasonable belief that they have been given an incapacitating drug without their consent. Screening for these substances generally occurs without barriers in instances where sexual assault is suspected but has been more difficult to find non-insurance payment options for historically.  The Incapacitating Drug Screening Initiative works to remedy that.

LiveSafe Mobile Safety App

LiveSafe is a versatile mobile two-way safety communications platform and safety tool. It provides campus community members the ability to share information with campus safety partners, including calling or messaging Police for emergency help from anywhere. It's like having a Blue Light in your pocket!  The SafeWalk feature provides a 24/7 virtual escort tool for walking, biking, or riding.

LiveSafe also allows anonymous reporting and sharing of photos or videos, and one place to connect with departments other than Police, including Campus Victim's Advocate, mental health resources, bias and harassment reporting, and reporting concern for another student.

It can be downloaded from your device's app store — UVM LiveSafe Download Instructions — or directly from your phone by selecting one of the following options:

UVM Student | UVM Employee | UVM Visitor

For app questions, feedback, or tech help, email emergency@uvm.edu. When registering the app with UVM, please use your full UVM email address (not your 'netID@uvm.edu' address).

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the LiveSafe & Blue Light FAQ Page.

Threat Recognition and Assessment Toolkit (web-based)

Recognizing warning signs and intervening early when behavior of concern arises is essential to campus safety. Each of us plays a role in that recognition, but none more important that students. To aid in equipping our students, and all affiliates, with the knowledge necessary to recognize and report concerning behavior, threats, or other issues we have created a web based toolkit available on the Threat Recognition & Reporting Page.

Unified Reporting Portal

Concerns about a wide range of issues ranging from bias incidents to threats to student or employee conduct occur on campus. UVM has a wide array of places to report anomalies and concerns and has historically had a variety of web forms and phone numbers to make various reports. This can create a confusing landscape and inhibit reporting. To remedy this and ensure that we are making reports of all kinds easily accessible in the Summer of 2023 UVM is launching a new "Unified Reporting Portal". There you will find a more easily accessible and navigable way to make reports, even if you do not know how to label or characterize your concern.

UVM Unified Reporting Portal



Please visit the Division of Safety & Complaince Training Webpage to request a training or view current trainings.

Access Controls

Training staff, faculty, and students about the need to share responsibility for access control, including ensuring ongoing controls of brass keys, reducing door propping and “tail gate” entries to residential facilities and other sensitive, non-public locations on campus, is ongoing, important work.  Familiarize yourself with our current policies and procedures around access controls:

CATcard and Identification Card Policy (PDF)

Key and Electronic Access Policy (PDF)

Digital Access Strategy and Request Process (PDF)

CAT ECare & HeartSafe Campus

HeartSafe Campuses “promote and support rapid response by CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) trained first responders, rapid public access to defibrillation, early access to advanced care, public CPR and AED training for the community, and engagement in preventative cardiovascular healthcare activities.” (NCEMSF, 2022.) 

Catamount Emergency Care or CAT ECare is a new health and safety project that is being rolled out on the UVM campus. The CAT ECare program consists of lifesaving equipment at stations distributed around campus. CAT ECare emergency stations will include Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), bleeding control kits, and Narcan®. These life-saving tools and associated training add another level of preparedness to the systems already in place and are part of UVM Emergency Management's continuing mission to create the safest environment possible for all those who utilize our university facilities and services. The second part of the CAT ECare program is ongoing training opportunities for UVM students, faculty, and staff. Training events will include CPR and AED training, bleeding control training, and instruction on how to use Narcan®.

With relatively little additional time, training participants can be trained in Stop the Bleed and Naloxone (overdose recognition and rapid treatment.)

Visit the the CAT ECare webpage to learn more.

Code of Conduct

The UVM Code of Conduct (PDF) training is available on the Compliance Training Library page. This should also be part of any on-boarding or new employee orientation program. The training goes beyond the HelpLine but the HelpLine is one of the predominant focal points.

UVM also has a variety of other trainings available on the UVM website related to privacy and conflict of interest. None of these are mandatory but are available on demand to all members of the University community.

UVM will soon have live virtual training available related to new and substantially updated policies and procedures.

Driver Safety

Please refer to the UVM Driver Safety Policy (PDF) and visit the Deparment of Risk Management's Driver Training and Certification page to learn more.

Emergency Management / Emergency Operations Group

The Department of Emergency Management provides a full time Emergency Management Director and the University Fire Marshal available to coordinate emergency and disaster responses on and off campus with UVM response personnel as well as local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Emergency Management is responsible for monitoring weather conditions, activity, operations, events and emergencies to provide the Emergency Operations Group with situational awareness and direction. Emergency Management plans for emergencies in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines and based on best practices in emergency management.

The Emergency Operations Group training is aided by the use of an annual training calendar; testing training by micro-geographies – buildings and complexes; enabling consistent annual access to a range of safety related training including but not limited to fire safety, active threats, threat recognition, reporting concerns, CPR – AED - & Stop the Bleed, continuity of operations planning and others.

Personal Safety

Please refer to the Division of Safety & Compliance Safety & Secuirty Tips Page to find a variety of personal safety tips and information.

Suspicious Package Recognition

For a primer on suspicious package recognition, the Department of Homeland Security has created this information video. If you suspect a package or object (or person) is suspicious, please contact Police Services immediately at 802-656-3473 or dial 911 in an emergency.

What to Do: Suspicious or Unattended Item

Threat Recognition & Response

Recognizing warning signs and intervening early when behavior of concern arises is essential to campus safety. Each of us plays a role in that recognition, but none more important than students. To aid in equipping our students, and all affiliates, with the knowledge necessary to recognize and report concerning behavior, threats, or other issues we have created a web based toolkit available on the Threat Recognition & Reporting Page.


Our Strategy is Always Evolving

UVM teams are working to innovate and modernize the University's approach, our partnerships, tools and training for campus safety every day. Feedback regarding campus safety strategy is always welcome. Please contact the Division of Safety & Compliance (safetycompliance@uvm.edu) if you would like to provide thoughts or feedback on any related topic.


UVM Police Services

284 East Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405-3401

Phone Numbers

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is free 24/7 support for anyone in crisis in VT or nationally.

Just text VT to 741741 from anywhere in Vermont.

Submit an Anonymous Tip