Campus Police Department – Safety Tips for Walking at Night
Community members have often expressed concerns about walking on US 41 (Tamiami Trail) at night.
Here are some tips for walking at night:
- Call Campus Police for a safety escort in the evening at 941-487-4210.
- Let others know where you are going and when you will return. Give them a phone number if possible.
- Walk with a companion whenever possible. In doing so, plan ahead—choose the most well-lit and most populated route to your destination.
- Notify Campus Police immediately if you see suspicious activity on or off campus. In an emergency Dial 911. Remember: If you see something, say something!
- Trust your intuition. If you do not feel right or safe with a particular situation, place, or person; act immediately to get where you feel safer.
Campus Police Department – Safety Tips/Suspicious Persons and Vehicles
Suspicious people have approached students from their vehicles on campus or within close proximity for various reasons. Campus Police would like to ensure the safety of all by providing some simple safety tips:
- Simply being aware of one’s surroundings can reduce or eliminate the potential of becoming a victim of a crime; remember to always be vigilant of your surroundings. If off campus, do not wait until returning to report or call. Time is important. If on campus, use any campus phone, Blue Safety phones, or your cell phone to contact Campus Police at 941-487-4210 or 911.
- If a vehicle is acting suspiciously, call immediately and proceed to either a well-lit or populated area. If you see a suspicious person or vehicle, and it’s safe to do so, try to remember what the person looks like/ vehicle description. Example: Persons height, weight, complexion, what they are wearing; a vehicle’s color, make, model, license plate number, and direction of travel.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
- Do not travel alone at night. Call for an escort to accompany you. Stay on well-lit paths and avoid overgrown shrubbery.
- If you think you are being followed, change your course of travel. Cross the road or approach a home that looks occupied.
- Walk with confidence; keep your head up and pay attention to what is happening around you. Do not look down at your cellular phone to check messages or text. Perpetrators are looking for people who are easy targets and not paying attention.
- Park in well-lit areas. Look around before exiting. Always lock your vehicle and store all items of value out of plain sight.
- Never leave your vehicle engine running while you run into a store or home, for example, even for a moment.
- Take a photograph of your vehicle’s license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN) and store them on your phone in case you need to report your vehicle stolen.
- Never hesitate to call the police when witnessing suspicious behavior. Your call just may prevent someone from being a victim of a crime.
- Remember “If you see something, say something!”
Campus Police Department – Robbery Prevention Tips
* Always pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid becoming absorbed in listening to music, phone applications, or other distractions.
* Show confidence, don’t look like an easy target. Walk at a steady pace, keep your head up and avoid carrying lots of packages…It can make you look defenseless.
* Do not travel on foot alone..
* Avoid isolated locations. Stay in well lit, well populated areas. Criminals most often seek isolated persons to victimize.
* Report suspicious behavior and activities immediately to police. If you see something, say something.
If You Are Robbed:
* Remain calm.
* Make personal safety the number one priority. Money and property can be replaced.
* Carefully observe the physical characteristics of the robber. Be a good witness. Note as much detail about the suspect(s) as possible. (Age, race, height, facial hair, speech, clothing, odor, etc.)
* When it is safe, notify the police by calling 941-487-4210, 911 or use a Campus Blue Light telephone.
* Police dispatch will ask for the location of the robbery, whether anyone is injured, the exact time the robber(s) left and their direction of travel, the kind of weapon used, description of the vehicle, the robber(s) description, their clothing, appearance or unique features, money or items taken, and other information to assist responding officers.
* Protect the scene of the crime. Be careful not to touch anything to avoid destroying evidence.
* Ask any witnesses to stay until police arrive. If they cannot stay, get their name, address and phone number.
* Write down all suspect information immediately and do not discuss the robbery with others until questioned by the police. Comparing notes could cause memories to be skewed.