Crime Prevention Education

Safety Tips

Safety is a shared responsibility. As members of the campus community, everyone should help to make the campus a safer place. Using some simple safety precautions will greatly reduce your chance of becoming a victim of crime.

 

Personal Safety

  • Walk or jog with a friend, not alone.
  • Avoid isolated areas.
  • Use campus escort services.
  • Know your limits on dates and communicate them to your partner.
  • Know your limits with alcohol and do not accept drinks from others.
  • Tell a friend where you are going and when you will return.
  • Carry a whistle or noise maker. Do not be afraid to scream if you need help.
  • Use a help phone or raise the hood and stay in your car if it breaks down. If people stop to assist, ask them to call the police.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

 

Protection from Date Rape Drugs

  • Never leave your drink unattended. Because they are colorless and odorless, date rape drugs can be slipped into any type of beverage.
  • Do not accept drinks from anyone but a bartender or server.
  • Try to attend bars or parties with a group of friends, arranging beforehand to watch each other’s

drinks.

  • If you think your drink has been tampered with, seek medical attention immediately and request the hospital conduct toxicology testing.

 

Residential Safety

  • Lock your dorm room or apartment whenever you leave and when you are sleeping.
  • Do not prop card reader doors.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you see someone in the building who does not belong.
  • Do not allow strangers to follow you into the building

 

Workplace Safety

  • Keep personal items (purses, book bags) locked up.
  • Secure the work area when no one is in it.
  • Report suspicious people to the police.

 

Protecting Your Property

  • Record the serial numbers of your valuables.
  • Engrave valuables with your license number.
  • Register your bike with Parking Management.
  • Keep your vehicle locked when it is parked and when you drive.
  • Make sure all valuables inside the vehicle are either in the trunk or well hidden.
  • Do not leave textbooks, purses, or book bags unattended
  • Do not leave laptop computers unattended.

Helpful Hints Regarding Police Procedures

The purpose of this information is to inform the public of our expectations regarding stops, pullovers, and filing reports of complaints. Our staff is highly trained and exists to serve all people within its jurisdiction with respect, fairness, and compassion.

If an officer stops you in your vehicle, you should do the following:

  • stay in the car unless instructed otherwise
  • establish eye contact with the officer to better communicate
  • if dark, turn on interior lights
  • listen and remain calm
  • be cooperative
  • keep hands on steering wheel
  • provide license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration (if asked)
  • answer truthfully
  • don’t resist
  • don’t yell, curse, or threaten the officer
  • ask questions (if desired)
  • you have the right to contest a ticket before the judge

If you are pulled over, the police will do the following:

  • ASK for you identification. You know who you are but the officer may not.
  • USE his or her flashlight to illuminate the interior the interior of the vehicle as a safety precaution. As the officer approaches your car, he or she is not sneaking up on the driver. The officer is minimizing his exposure to traffic and to unknown danger from inside the vehicle.
  • BACK UP each other or support another officer’s calls. Therefore, several officers may appear on the scene. Do not feel threatened or intimated by this. Service and protection are our primary goals.
  • REMAIN in his or her car for a period of time while checking your registration and driving status.
  • MAINTAIN a professional demeanor and may not be as talkative or friendly as you expect. Know that the officer may be dealing with other pressing matters and you are not being mistreated.
  • ASK observers who gather around to move back or disperse. This is a safety precaution and is standard procedure. The officer is not attempting to hide, “cover-up”, or violate citizens’ rights. He or she is simply trying to maintain control and prevent further problems. Remember that interfering with the police in these situations is a crime.

The officer has a reason for stopping you. He or she may have reason to suspect that you are in violation of the law, a code of student conduct, or may be aware of a crime/emergency in a nearby area. Traffic and equipment violations are the most frequent reasons for stopping vehicles, as well as vehicle matches in crime investigations.

The officer is to follow police/safety procedures during vehicle stops. His or her focus is on the protection of the motorist and his/hers safety since officers are sometimes injured or killed in the line of duty.

If you are issued a ticket, detained, or arrested and you disagree or have objections, questions, or protests, DON”T ARGUE AT THE SCENE.

UPD Expectations

If an officer appoaches you while you are on foot, you should do the following:

  • don’t run
  • be calm
  • present a good attitude
  • establish eye contact with the officer to better communicate
  • listen
  • give identification (if asked)
  • be cooperative
  • follow directions
  • answer truthfully
  • ask questions (if desired)
  • don’t yell, curse or threaten the officer

Call The University of Southern Mississippi Police Department at 266-4986 and ask to speak to the chief or a supervisor, if you:

  • OBSERVE or witness questionable police action
  • WISH to speak with a supervisor or Chief Bob Hopkins
  • WISH to know police procedures
  • DESIRE an explanation of UPD procedure and policy
  • WISH to obtain a copy of the department compliance report, crime log, or other compliance reports.

Identity Theft

Identity theft costs society billions of dollars in loss each year. A single instance of identity theft can take years of effort to remove from your credit records and can hurt your credit rating. Identity theft has been connected to terrorist funding and to the aquisition of documents for illegal purposes.

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft contact the University Police. The Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Website has resources for identity theft victims.