Improving Your Safety On and Off Campus

AT HOME AND ON CAMPUS

  • Make sure entrance lights work; use them.
  • Be sure all doors/windows have locks; use them.
  • Check to see who is at the door before opening it.
  • Don’t hide extra keys in accessible places. Criminals will find them.
  • Don’t list your full name on your mailbox, in a telephone directory or on your home/cell message.
  • Don’t give personal information to phone solicitors.
  • Ask for photo ID from repair personnel. If you’re suspicious, call to verify their employment.
  • Don’t let strangers in to use the phone; offer to call for them.
  • Know which neighbors you can depend on in an emergency.
  • Be sure to lock the door of your room or apartment on campus.
  • Don’t leave personal items (laptops, cell phones, textbooks) unattended in the library, dining hall or any public areas.

WALKING

  • Walk with others if possible.
  • Avoid heavily wooded, poorly lit or secluded areas, and be cautious when walking by anything that could be used as a hiding place.
  • If you’re being followed, go to the nearest residence, open business or group of people.
  • Don’t wear headphones. Do wear brightly colored clothing.
  • Vary your route and pattern.
  • Carry your keys.
  • If walking on campus alone after dark and you feel uncomfortable, contact the University Police to arrange for an escort or call 607-777-7233 to use the Safe Ride program.
  • If you have an emergency on campus, use one of the emergency blue-light phones available throughout campus and wired directly to the University Police.

WHEN DRIVING

  • Be sure your car runs well and has at least half a tank of gas.
  • Park in visible, well-lit areas.
  • Use caution when approaching your parked car. Look for anyone suspicious and have your keys ready so you can get in the car fast.
  • Use underground parking garages with caution; try to avoid completely if you’re alone.
  • Don’t park near large trucks or vans if possible.
  • Keep doors locked and windows up while driving.
  • When stopped at traffic lights, leave space between you and the car in front so you can drive away if necessary.
  • Don’t open the door or roll down the window if someone approaches your car to ask for directions, the time, etc.
  • Always carry a flashlight, fix-a-flat, maps, warm clothing, a first-aid kit and an empty gas can.

WHEN USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • Tell someone about your travel route and expected arrival time. Call when you arrive.
  • Have exact fare ready so you don’t fumble for money or display extra cash.
  • Sit in an aisle seat so you can observe your surroundings and avoid getting boxed in.
  • Sit near the driver/operator, but not next to the door since a thief could take your belongings and quickly exit.
  • Don’t fall asleep or get too engrossed in your phone as this can make you an easy target.
  • Keep your belongings close; don’t leave them on an empty seat.
  • Be wary of anyone causing a commotion, since it could be staged to distract you while someone steals your belongings.
  • Observe others around you and change your seat or alert the driver if you’re uneasy.

WHEN AWAY FROM HOME

  • Use automatic timers to turn on/off lights, TVs and radios.
  • Set poles in tracks of sliding glass doors/windows.
  • Leave keys with a neighbor; never hide extra keys outside.
  • Ask neighbors to check your home and leave a number where you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Leave drapes/shades open so the house looks occupied.
  • Ask a neighbor to use your garbage cans, since empty ones look like you’re away.
  • Park a car in the driveway.
  • Call your local police to make a vacant-house report, and the police will check your house while you’re away.

INTERACTING WITH THE POLICE

If you’re approached by a police officer, there’s no need to feel anxious or alarmed. Here are some guidelines that should minimize your stress and anxiety when interacting with the police.

  • Tell the truth.
  • If the officer hasn’t told you why you’ve been approached or stopped, ask.
  • If you’re unwilling to respond to an officer’s question, the officer must respect your right not to answer. But your cooperation could be helpful in aiding a police
    investigation.
  • When police come to your residence, they should show ID and state their purpose.
  • If the officer has a warrant, you may ask to see a copy.
  • If you’re part of a crowd told by a police officer to disperse, obey the request. Failure to do so could result in your arrest.

WHILE DRIVING

  • When an officer signals you to stop, remain calm and safely pull over to the right side of the road, out of traffic.
  • Remain inside the vehicle unless an officer asks you to get out.
  • If you’re stopped at night, turn on you vehicle’s interior lights.
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them. Don’t make sudden movements, especially toward the floor, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle.
  • Wait for the officer to ask for your driver’s license, registration and insurance card. Don’t immediately reach for them. If these documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.
  • Encourage any passengers to be quiet and cooperative.
  • You may be issued a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, ask the officer for details.
  • You may be asked to sign the ticket. Do so, it isn’t an admission of guilt.
  • Don’t become argumentative. Arguing won’t change the officer’s mind. If you receive a ticket and contest it, you'll have the opportunity to address the matter in court.

WHERE STUDENTS SHOULD CALL FOR POLICE AND EMERGENCY HELP

For any emergency, students on or off campus should call 911. Note: the Broome County dispatcher answers all calls made to 911 from off campus as well as calls made from cell phones on campus. Those made from on-campus telephones are answered by University Police.

For non-emergency calls, students on campus should call 607-777-2393.
For ambulance emergencies, students on campus should call 911; for non-emergencies, they should call 607-777-3399.