Published: Nov. 15, 2022

When a life-threatening incident occurs off campus in heavily student-populated areas, and university police can confirm details with Boulder police, those registered to receive the university’s emergency notifications will get updates from campus as part of CU Boulder’s newly expanded alert zones. 

The expansion encompasses areas near campus that are outside the geography for which the university is required to send emergency notifications as defined by the Clery Act but dense with student populations. 

The expanded alert area, currently in a trial phase, includes the University Hill neighborhood, the Goss Grove neighborhood near Folsom Street and Canyon Boulevard, the Lower Chautauqua neighborhood and the residential area north of Williams Village called Baseline Sub.  

Map depicting the expanded emergency alert area

Click here to zoom in on the map (PDF), which shows the expanded alert area. 

Campus and Boulder community members can provide feedback on the trial expansion by contacting CU Boulder Emergency Management.

During an event, the decision to send alerts within the expanded notification boundaries will be made depending on the severity of the incident, as well as the location, distance from campus and student population density. University police will work in partnership with Boulder police to confirm and share details of off-campus incidents.

The expansion is in response to feedback from campus affiliates, who expressed the need for more information on life-threatening incidents that occur in nearby residential areas popular with students, such as University Hill. It’s also a practice that will evolve as CU Boulder police and Boulder police continue to work closely together during emergency situations that could impact the campus community.

“We hear our stakeholders’ desire for more information on life and safety issues not just on campus but also nearby, and we value their concerns,” said CU Boulder Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Safety and Chief of Police Doreen Jokerst. “We will evaluate each situation near campus and focus on those with impacts in high-saturation areas where our students live.”

Once CU Boulder police are aware of any life-threatening emergencies in the newly designated off-campus neighborhoods and have confirmed details with the lead investigating agency, anyone with a CU Boulder email address will receive CU Emergency Alerts via email. Additionally, mobile phone subscribers will receive texts. 

To ensure receipt of alerts by text, students are reminded to add or update their mobile phone numbers in the Buff Portal. Employees can review and update their contact info via MyCUInfo.

As a reminder, CU Boulder has three levels of emergency notifications. CU Emergency Alerts are the highest level of notification, sent when there is a confirmed, immediate threat to the safety of those on campus or in the expanded alert area, off campus, or a change to the university’s operating status due to weather or other issues. This is the only level of notification for which alerts will be sent in the expanded area off campus. 

The university sends CU Safety Alerts for certain crimes committed on or near campus, per Clery Act guidelines. The emailed safety alerts provide increased community awareness of ongoing or dangerous situations, as well as safety tips.

The university shares CU Advisories for incidents both on and off campus that could potentially impact campus operations or activities, including police activity for non-life threatening incidents near campus, traffic issues or extended power outages. Advisories are sent via social media, on the CU Boulder Police and CU Boulder Alerts Twitter accounts. 

All students, faculty, staff, community members, parents and other family members are encouraged to follow CU Boulder Alerts on Twitter and enable push notifications to receive emergency messages for all three levels of alerts. Boulder residents are also encouraged to follow the Boulder Police Department on Twitter and sign up for county-wide Everbridge alerts

CU Boulder alerts and advisories timeline graphic

Image showing the flow of information during incidents occurring off campus. When an incident is reported near campus, Boulder Police respond and CU Boulder Police assist. Boulder Police may alert the community via Twitter or Everbridge, while CU Boulder Police confirm information then send an advisory or emergency alert.