Crime Prevention and Safety Tips
Often people contribute to crimes of opportunity by needlessly placing themselves or their property at risk. Prevention efforts can be effective in reducing the opportunities for criminal activity. The following list is a compilation of tips devoted to crime prevention:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking around while using electronic devices (e.g. cell phone, I-Pod, etc.). Electronic devices may distract you from things going on around you.
- Walk with a friend. Especially if walking around Campus. If possible, ask a friend to accompany you if you are "going for a walk". Once again, try not to use electronic devices when walking.
- Know your campus! Explore the campus in daylight so you are more aware of your surroundings when walking at night.
- When crossing campus after sundown, walk in areas that are well lighted.
- Keep your phone in your hand and have Campus Safety or 911 on "speed dial" for unexpected emergency situations. Wear a backpack for books or carry them in a bag that you can drop or throw if necessary.
- If walking to your car, have your keys in your hand and ready to use when you enter the parking lot or street.
- If you feel you are being followed, walk or run to an occupied residence or facility, or to an area where people are present. Be prepared to call Campus Safety, emergency services or to yell or scream if necessary
- If you observe something that looks suspicious, contact Campus Safety and explain the situation. If you are not sure it is suspicious, but it doesn't "feel right," then it is probably suspicious. Trust your instincts.
Residence Hall Rooms
- Lock your doors when you leave the room. Never loan your key to anyone.
- Use caution when admitting strangers.
- Contact Residential Life staff and/or Campus Safety if you observe anything you feel is suspicious.
- Do not leave valuables unsecured in your room Lock up valuable items in a secure cabinet, desk or other area within your room.
- Secure all valuables.Keep personal valuables locked in your desk and/or work area.Lock your office door (if applicable). This includes when you leave your work space for only a few minutes. It only takes a second for someone to enter that area and "swipe" valuable items.
- Remind yourself frequently of important locations.For example, the location of fire extinguishers, emergency exits, severe weather shelter areas, etc.
- Be prepared to contact Campus Safety in the event a customer becomes angry or violent.Ensure your desk phone or cell phone is programmed with the Campus Safety number on "speed dial." Contact 911 directly if the event involves danger to your life or that of someone else's.
- Always keep a list of important phone numbers with you in case you are in an accident and emergency personnel need to contact someone. Examples might be the Campus Safety number, spouse's work number, doctor's office number, child's school number, etc.
- If you suffer from a medical problem that causes medical issues on a frequent basis, it is important you carry or wear an item that identifies that medical problem. For example, if you suffer from diabetes, wear a bracelet or medallion that explains your problem and provides emergency information.
- When off campus, try to stay with a group of people. Avoid "risky areas" such as dark places or deserted areas.
- Never take drinks from other people and don't leave your drink unattended. Be alert for "date rape drugs." Those drugs can cause drowsiness, loss of coordination, dizziness and memory loss. Have a friend with you and watch out for each other. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS!
A high percentage of campus crimes are incidents of opportunity. Often students contribute to situational crimes by needlessly placing themselves or their property at risk. Crime will occur whenever there is opportunity, but prevention efforts can be effective in reducing these opportunities. You play an essential role in crime prevention efforts. Be cautious, careful, and alert to your own safety; protect your possessions and college property.
Campus Facility Access
At Columbia College most buildings are open only when classes are in session or during regular business hours. Residence halls are always locked and residents must have their card access key to enter. Guests may enter only when accompanied by a resident.
Employees who have a key to a campus building and desire to work after hours are encouraged to contact Campus Safety to let the officers know where they are. Persons who do not have a key and need access must have an after hours pass signed by the department head or director as well as their student or employee ID card.
An authorized individual entering or leaving a locked building will not allow any unauthorized individual to enter the building. Authorized personnel may have guests with them as long as the guest stays near faculty and staff members who have an assigned key and the authorized individual assumes full responsibility for their presence. An individual entering or leaving a secured building shall be responsible for checking the door to ensure that it is latched behind them.
The theft or loss of assigned keys should be reported immediately to the person who issued you the keys. Do not lend your keys to anyone. You are solely responsible for the keys.