The University of Southern Mississippi Police Department (UPD) encourages students and members of the faculty and staff to take time to examine the latest edition of the Security and Fire Safety Report, available at (http://www.usm.edu/sites/default/files/groups/university-police-department/pdf/annual_security_report_2012_13.pdf) and in hard copy form in the University Police Department lobby, located in Bond Hall on the north side of the Hattiesburg campus.
The focus of the report is to educate members of the Southern Miss community about the multiple services offered on campus that can help them ensure their own safety and that of others, thereby enhancing the overall quality of life at the university.
In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act, colleges and universities that participate in federal student financial aidprograms are required by law to produce a brochure addressing safety issues. That act is named for a Lehigh University student who was raped and killed in her dorm room in 1986.
“This document offers a wealth of information that can benefit not only those who are current students and employees, but also those considering becoming a student at Southern Miss or who are interested in employment with the university,” said UPD Captain Rusty Keyes.
The report includes the following:
*Crime statistics, including those committed the last three years in areas immediately surrounding the campus
*Campus police escort service
*Alcohol and firearm policies
*Telephone numbers for alcohol and drug-abuse issues
*Information about services available from the Rape Crisis Center, area medical clinics and counseling services
*University Police safety education programs, including the popular Rape Aggression Defense classes
The report includes information about the Eagle Alert system, through which students, faculty and staff are able to receive time-sensitive information via text and voice messages to cell phones and landlines, e-mail and the university’s Web page. Eagle Alerts are also sent to news outlets.
UPD Capt. Lisa Carter also advises those who witness a crime or suspicious activity not to hesitate to call campus police at 601.266.4986 immediately. “The sooner we get information, the sooner we can respond,” she said.
Faculty, staff and students confronting drug and alcohol issues are urged to check information in the brochure for referrals for assistance. Southern Miss students may take advantage of counseling services at the university’s Counseling Center, located on the second floor of Kennard-Washington Hall. For other health-related issues, contact Southern Miss Health Services at 601.266.5390 or online, visit http://www.usm.edu/student-health-services. Student Health Services is located north of Kennard-Washington Hall in the Bedie Smith Health Clinic
Information on how to access statistics about registered sex offenders on the Internet through the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry can be found in the brochure. To view these statistics, visit http://www.dps.state.ms.us.
The university also provides fire safety educational programs and resources for the campus community throughout the year. In September, the university conducts a fire safety seminar in conjunction with Fire Safety Awareness Month.
With assistance from the Hattiesburg Fire Department, the university conducts two fire drills per semester, one scheduled fire drill in every residence hall and one unannounced fire drill. The university also conducts a room inspection in each residence hall during the fall semester.
All fire/safety policies and rules are listed in detail in the resident handbook. Checklists and dorm safety guidelines are also posted on the safety web site at http://www.usm.edu/safety/residence-halls.
Additionally, the university conducts mandatory fire safety training for all hall directors and resident assistants. Fire safety classes, fire extinguisher classes and general safety classes are available upon request. For more information about the university’s fire safety initiatives, online visit http://www.usm.edu/safety/introduction-fire-safety.
For more information, contact the University Police Department at 601.266.4986 or the Southern Miss Office of Student Affairs at 601.266.4025.