Call PennComm 24/7/365: 215-573-3333
Matthew Corcoran joined the Division of Public Safety in August, 2012. Matt serves as the Director of the PennComm Emergency Communications Center, overseeing the day to day operations of the Division’s Emergency Communication Center, a 24/7/365 operation.
PennComm is the heart of Public Safety. Our highly trained dispatchers provide critical communications for a vast array of situations and conditions. The team provides emergency communications and response between all members of the Penn and University City communities and police, fire and medical emergency responders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
AR-1 & Philadelphia Fire Department
PennComm dispatchers directly connect to our partners in the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) for response from our on-campus AR-1 (LINK) unit and PFD medics and firefighters in medical, fire, and other emergency situations.
PennComm operators, like the police officers assigned to various sectors for active walking, bike, and vehicle patrol, are trained to view the Penn Patrol Zone using the CCTV cameras through virtual patrol on a 24/7 basis for the purposes of crime prevention and abatement.
Calls for Service and City Integration
Over 106,000 calls for service are processed directly by the PennComm Center annually, including calls for Walking Escort services. The dispatching center utilizes a state-of-the-art Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) System to record all requests for service from the Penn Community, and is responsible for monitoring all alarms throughout campus, including burglar alarms, duress alarms and fire alarm systems. The Dispatchers can also see the City of Philadelphia’s 911 calls and respond quickly to any calls within the Penn Patrol Zone.
The process of designing and maintaining a system of Closed Circuit Television Cameras within the Penn Patrol Zone for the purposes of crime prevention and crime abatement was developed through a collaborative process between the Division of Public Safety, the University of Pennsylvania and West Philadelphia community leaders and residents.
An eight-person CCTV Monitoring Panel, comprising Penn faculty, students and staff, was established in 1999 before any cameras were installed in order to ensure compliance with the CCTV policy by the Division of Public Safety. This panel continues (with rotating membership) to coordinate and approve the locations for all installations of CCTV cameras in public spaces on and off campus.
Currently there are over 145 pan-tilt-zoom CCTV cameras and over 1200 hundred fixed cameras on Penn’s campus and the city’s streets – all feeding back to the PennComm Center. Our CCTV cameras are proactively used by our dispatchers to deter crime, identify safety hazards, and support our personnel when responding to an incident. These cameras assist DPS in enhancing the quality of life for the Penn and University City community through virtual CCTV patrols.