Crime Prevention Creating a Safer Community
This document contains a large amount of information. It is all relevant. By reviewing this document, regularly, the information within will make it familiar to you so that as things happen you will automatically remember what actions to take. If you have any question concerning any of the information contained in this document please feel free to contact our office.
Crime Prevention: The Citadel campus community rates campus law enforcement performance based on three criteria:
- Response time to calls for service
- Officer/complainant interaction
- Satisfaction with the way an officer handles a call
The success or failure of any campus police department is the increase or decrease of crime trends. With that in mind we use every available resource to its fullest extent. Students, faculty, staff, residents and guests are our greatest resource. The customer only sees the highly visible portion of these resources such as the officer on patrol whether in or out of his or her vehicle.
This is where crime prevention comes into play. The purpose of the crime prevention program is to reduce the opportunity for crimes to be committed. Crime Prevention is multi-faceted and includes security hardware (such as computerized access systems to buildings / alarm systems / camera surveillance (and the list goes on and on) as well as providing workshops, public speaking engagements, and presentations to make the community aware of crime and what they can do to lessen the chances of becoming a victim.
What types of programs work?
- Mandatory wear of security badges by employees
- Project identification
- Articles printed in the institution’s newspaper making everyone aware that crime does and will occur where you live, learn, work and play.
Each year student’s faculty and staff must participate in awareness programs such as “Darkness to Light” training. This is because The Citadel has on campus housing as well as providing venues for hosting programs catering to children.
What’s the bottom line? The success of any program depends on involvement of the citizenry it is designated to serve. Crime Prevention provides a safe and secure environment for the students, faculty/staff, and visitors to live, work and play.
Crime Prevention is: Stopping an action or activity that is prohibited by law or a failure to act as required by law.
In general, what are some of the things we can do to protect ourselves from becoming a victim of crime?
We all MUST be aware and recognize our vulnerability:
- Reporting all suspicious persons, vehicles, and activities to Campus Law Enforcement immediately.
- Law Enforcement is battling complacency of its citizenry every day. For some reason we just don’t want to become involved. This is called “Bystander Mentality.”
- As big and bad as you are, no one is superman. When you go out go with a buddy or a neighbor.
- While on your walk take note of situations that could be considered a security threat to you and your community.
Report things such as:
- Street Lights that are out
- Over grown bushes and shrubs
- Holes in the campus fence line
- Anything that would indicate a secluded area is being used for entry and exit other than the main gate(s) to the campus.
When you find yourself alone always keep the doors locked and drapes / curtains drawn on the ground level of your home. Take these same precautions when working alone in a campus facility.
When getting ready to go to your car, whether from home, at work or shopping take the following precautions:
- Look around to ensure you are not being followed.
- When approaching the vehicle, take a look under it to insure no one is hiding.
Story: A few years ago, a nurse who worked at a local hospital in Charleston, going home after shift, was fumbling with her keys to unlock her car when her ankles were grabbed from underneath the vehicle. Her head hit the ground at which time she was knocked out. When she came around her clothes were being removed by the attacker. Her screams attracted the attention of a police officer working the garage area. He was able to apprehend the perpetrator. You’ve got to be prepared to react.
- If in your car keep the doors locked and the windows up until you’ve scanned the parking lot for anything unusual, out of place, or out of the ordinary. This would be a good time to have your cell phone in your hand for 911 (Off Campus) or (811) from any phone on The Citadel Campus.
If you are on foot and find or suspect that you are being followed some common-sense things to remember are:
- Cross the street. If you’re being followed your stalker will more than likely do the same. They are stalkers they are not very bright. Do this many times if necessary until you can get to a safe location. This action has been known to confuse stalkers and cause them to abandon their pursuit.
- If pursuit continues:
- Go to the nearest lighted home or business
- Flag down a passing motorist
- Enlist the aid of a passerby
- If need be pull a fire alarm
If you find yourself confronted by an assailant what are some key things to remember?
- Keep your head as best you can.
- Decide your course of action based on the situation
- Was your life threatened?
- Is the person armed? (knife/gun/club) If threatened you need to remember that personal weapons are hands, feet, elbows, knees and even the head as a last resort.
- From the moment you realize there may be an attack conducted against you begin formulating a plan of action (fight or flight).
If you find yourself confronted by an assailant you must remember that while screaming and struggling may, in some instances frighten off the assailant, while in other instances you may further antagonize them.
Most colleges and universities offer an escort service so you don’t have to walk alone at night. Call 953-5114 a direct number to the campus police dispatcher.
What’s the key thing to remember in determining your course of action? SURVIVAL!
Athletic Facilities: Campus athletic facilities have posted hours. Only use the facilities during the designated times. Never go alone: What system do you use – The Buddy System. Workout with a friend and make sure he/she understands you should leave at the same time. This accomplishes two things:
- Makes your environment safe and
- It’s a better way to work out anyway. If you get hurt there’s someone there to get you medical assistance.
For all of you “health nuts” who enjoy running, as much as possible:
- Confine your running to daylight hours
- Run in open and well-traveled areas
- For safety reasons please, if you don’t have one, purchase a reflective vest / belt or some reflective tape to apply to your shirt/pants/hat or shoes so motorists can see you.
- After you exercise and you just have to shower before going home
- Avoid showering alone in the locker room.
- In the athletic facility you are using, become familiar with the location of phones you can have access to.
- If there is another woman in the locker room ask her to wait for you to get done.
- If with a male companion ask him to wait outside of the locker room door for you.
- If you encounter an intruder in the locker room:
- Call for help
- Keep out of the intruder’s way and more importantly do not attempt to keep him from leaving
- Formulate a description of the intruder in your mind
- Notify Campus Law Enforcement as soon as possible to facilitate a better chance of apprehending the intruder
- It’s important to report all instances of voyeurism to Campus Law Enforcement as soon as possible. Armed with this information Law Enforcement can through analysis, determine a pattern and possible MO facilitating stepped up patrols in affected areas and ultimately apprehension and prosecution.
Note: Faculty and Staff members are the eyes and ears of Campus Law Enforcement. Our patrols cannot be everywhere. We can respond to any campus location within three to five minutes.
Elevator Safety: Just a few words before moving on:
- If, while waiting for an elevator, you find yourself alone with a stranger, let him take the elevator and wait for its return or another where this option available.
- If you’re on an elevator with someone who makes you feel uneasy, get off at the next floor.
- Always stand by the control panel where you have access to the alarm button and floor buttons.
- Emergency phones are installed in all passenger elevators. When you push the button voice communication is normally established with your Campus Police department. These communications devices are tested regularly by contract maintenance and documented for functionality. On the Campus police end the dispatcher hears a nice voice announce the elevator location then allows you to speak with an officer.
Note: Carry your car keys in your strong hand with the pointed end of a key sticking out between your fingers and the remainder of your keys in your clinched. This makes a perfect self-defense weapon. You probably will not kill anyone but you will do some damage.
Do’s and Don’ts While Driving:
- Do not pick up hitch hikers
- As in walking make it a habit to travel well-lit and well-traveled roads
- Do keep your windows up and the doors locked
- At traffic lights or stop signs
- Keep your vehicle in gear
- If threatened sound the horn and drive away as soon as possible
- If your car is not equipped with an alarm system there are aftermarket brands that can be installed with a panic button option. This is highly recommended.
- Avoid having to make stops at out-of-the-way places or in places that are poorly lit.
- If you are stranded because your vehicle broke down:
- Raise the hood of your car
- Tie a white handkerchief to the antenna or door handle
- Stay inside your vehicle with windows closed and doors locked
- If a roadside Samaritan stops, roll down your window just enough to talk and ask that he/she call the police.
- Note: If the person appears to be a threat, sound the horn and flash your lights.
- If you believe you are being followed
- Keep out of isolated areas. Drive to a place where there are people, stop and let the vehicle pass you
- If the vehicle continues to follow drive to the nearest location where you can get help (Shopping mall, gas station, police station or fire department).
- If you are followed to your home or apartment building stay locked inside your car until you can identify the occupants. If threatened sound the horn until you attract attention or the individual leaves.
- When parking at night, choose well-lit areas. Before getting out of your car check for people who are loitering.
- Always take your keys from the ignition and lock the car when you will be away from it. The reverse of this is to check the interior of your vehicle before getting into it paying particular attention to floor and rear seat area.
- Remember earlier I talked about noticing the underside of your care while approaching it. Notice never fixate on any one area. Continue scanning as your senses will alert you to something out of the ordinary.
Note: For escort to your car at night call The Citadel Police furnishing your name and location to be picked up as well as the location of your car. One of our officers will pick you up and deliver you to your car making sure all is well with your vehicle before allowing you to enter it.
Rape and Sexual Assault:
- The Citadel has established a prescribed procedure to assist and support victims of rape or sexual assaults. The Campus Police Department will assist you in obtaining medical, counseling, and police services.
- Victims of this type of crime are more likely not to report. You are encouraged to report either as a victim or as someone who knows of the crime. The Citadel has Emergency Blue Light Radio communications systems located at various locations around the campus, an 811-emergency number to be called from any campus telephone or a direct line into the dispatcher (843-953-5114). I’m sure other universities have similar notification systems too. Keep in mind that an assailant who is allowed to go free is a potential future danger, not only to you but also to other members of the community.
- All information you give will be held in the strictest confidence in accordance with our own policy as well as by the Laws of South Carolina.
- If you wish to report information concerning rape or sexual assault anonymously, you may do so.
- If and when you have occasion to report rape or sexual assault you may choose to through your Campus Police Department, Local Municipality or District Attorney’s office. No matter how you report Campus Police will support you throughout the process fairly, impartially with dignity and respect.
- Every situation is different. There are no specific rules to be provided to you to follow as to what to do or not to do if you are faced with a threat. Only you can choose your course of action based on circumstances.
If being followed:
- Call out for assistance.
- Run to a lighted building or residence.
- Enlist the aid of a passerby or flag down a passing vehicle.
- Break a window in a building or residence.
- Pull a fire alarm.
Bottom Line: Do anything that will attract the attention and bring help to you.
If you find yourself confronted by an assailant you must remember that, while screaming and struggling may, in some instances, frighten off an assailant, in other instances such action may further antagonize an assailant and bring forth a more violent action.
There are many services available to victims of rape and sexual assault, and you are encouraged to familiar yourself and use all support services for yourself or for those you know who may need them.
Protecting your Property: The Most Popular of Crime Prevention Topics
- More crimes of burglary/larceny are committed on The Citadel campus than any other crime. Larcenies are crimes of opportunity and occur primarily when property is left in unlocked or in unattended areas. In an attempt to lessen this problem your Campus Police Department makes the following suggestions:
- In Residence Halls and Private Residences:
- Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
- Report defective locks (door/window) to F&E.
- Never sleep in an unlocked room or house.
- Do not put your name or address on key ring.
- Do not keep your room, residence or vehicle keys on the same key ring.
- If you lose your keys to your residence/room have the locks changed. For on campus residences initiate a work order with Facilities Management.
- Women living alone should not use prefixes “Ms.”/”Miss” or “Mrs” on their doors or mailboxes. Instead, use the first initial and last name. This is also advisable for telephone directory listings.
- Do not study in poorly lit or secluded areas
- Require callers to identify themselves before opening your door. Campus and non-campus residents should require official identification from all repair or service personnel.
- If you find that your room or residence has been entered, “Do Not Go Inside!!” Go to a neighbor’s home and call Campus Police. If you are already inside “Do Not Touch Anything.” You might disturb e evidence that is important to the police investigation.
- If an intruder awakens you in your room or home, do not try to apprehend him, he may be armed or could easily arm himself. If an immediate threat is detected attempt to get away immediately.
- If you see a suspicious person or vehicle on campus or in your neighborhood, immediately contact Campus Police or the local municipal police. Use the 811-phone number from on campus phones or 953-5114 directly to the dispatcher. Dial 911 and the operator will route your call to Citadel Police Department. Our officer’s will find, challenge, identify and find out the person’s reasons for being in the area.
- Students in private residences should consider installing “peep holes” and intruder chains on outside doors. Also, if returning after dark, leave a light on at the entrance to your residence.
- Students living in the barracks are not allowed to block open doors to their room or other buildings or use fire exit doors. This is a violation of fire code.
- Do not allow anyone to follow you into barracks.
- Be cautious when using bathroom facilities when there is no one else around, particularly at night.
Office and Labs: The Workspace
- Keep the doors and windows locked when not in use.
- Make sure all locking devices are in proper working order
- Use a key control system. Make sure they are signed out and collected when not in use. Keys should be issued only when absolutely necessary.
- Do not label keys with their use. Use a code system instead.
- Keep desks, cabinets, etc., locked when not in use.
- Computers and other portable office equipment should be locked down or locked away. Smaller items, such as calculators, tape/DVD/IPAD’s etc. should be kept locked up when not in use with serial numbers/model numbers recorded in a separate location.
- Avoid bringing personal items to work with you.
- Keep purses locked up, and do not hang up coats or jackets with wallets or other valuables in the pockets.
- Before leaving, check to make sure that no one is hiding and that your area is properly secure.
- Watch out for your neighbor. If someone forgets to secure his/her area or property, keep an eye on it.
- Report all suspicious persons or improperly secured areas to Campus Police.
- Avoid taking cash, wallets, watches, electronics or other valuables to the athletic facilities.
- Avoid storing valuable sports equipment in your locker.
- Keep your locker locked whenever unattended. This includes those times when your leave briefly to shower, visit trainer’s office or the equipment room, etc. Most of the thefts at the athletic facilities are from unlocked lockers.
- Report suspicious persons and incidents of theft to the Campus Police Department.
- Report all suspicious persons or vehicles around parking areas to the Campus Police immediately.
- Keep your vehicle locked and the windows rolled up tightly.
- Never leave your vehicle running when unattended.
- When parking, choose a well-lit, heavily traveled area.
- Packages, luggage, and other valuables should be locked in the trunk.
- Entertainment systems and communications devices should be mounted out of sight or with brackets allowing for their removal. This allows for taking devices with you or storing them out of sight.
- Mark devices with identification and registered with the Campus Police Department.
- Consider having your vehicle doors, trunk and ignition keyed differently.
- Keep spare keys in your wallet purse not inside your vehicle where a thief can easily find and use them.
- Consider the installation of anti-theft devices such as alarm systems, hidden ignition or fuel “kill” switches steering column ignition switch protectors, steering wheel to brake pedal bar caps, mag wheels, spare tires, etc.
- Keep a record of your vehicle identification number (VIN), registration plate number, and title certificate number.
Bicycles: High Theft Item
- Invest in a good U-Bar bicycle lock. Locks are available in local stores.
- Always lock your bicycle. Bicycles around the frames in provided bicycle racks located around The Citadel Campus. Bicycles are not authorized to be affixed (locked) to lamp posts, sign post and the like.
- Whenever possible, keep your bicycle in a secure location at the dorm or locked to one of many bike racks conveniently located around the campus. Fire code prohibits storage in any other area.
- If you leave your bicycle outside unsecured you do so at your own risk. In a case like this the only common-sense thing to do is look for a well-lighted and well-traveled location.
- Students should find out if their bicycle is covered under their parent’s home owner’s insurance policy. If not, it would be a good idea to get it insured.
- Students and campus residents should register their bicycles with Charleston City Police.
Operation Identification: record your valuables with police
Operation Identification is a nationwide crime prevention program. The program involves the permanent marking of valuables with your Campus Wide Identification Number or (CWID), recording of property identification information, and affixing a decal to the exterior of the residence warning potential thieves that the property within is registered with Campus Police. This program is available to all members of The Citadel Community. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate. The program works as follows:
- Come to Campus Police during business hours and you will be provided with the following:
- An electric engraver
- A property inventory sheet, on which to record identification information for each item of value.
Take the Following Steps:
- Engrave your CWID number on all movable items of value. This number is given to you upon enrollment at The Citadel or during orientation upon being hired.
- Methodically inventory the contents of each room and record the pertinent Identification information on the property inventory sheet.
- Return the electric engraver along with your completed property inventory sheet to The Citadel Police Department. The property inventory sheet will be kept on file for your future reference in case of loss.
What Can You Do:
Your involvement is essential to the prevention of crime on campus. Disinterest and complacency are the prime contributors to the success of crime. The burden of crime prevention rests not only with the campus police department but also with each member of The College Community.
The Citadel Police Department cannot be everywhere at once and therefore, dependent upon you to recognize and report incident of suspicious and criminal activity. The extent of your cooperation will greatly influence your campus police department’s effectiveness in combating crime.
Doing Your Part Means:
- Being aware of your vulnerability and following the suggestions outlined throughout this presentation to protect yourself and your property.
- Being alert for suspicious or criminal activity and conditions that may represent a hazard to the community.
- Getting involved by becoming more security conscious and by reporting all incidents of suspicious or criminal activity, no matter how insignificant, to Campus Police immediately.
- Remember that unreported crimes cannot be solved and that, by not reporting crimes, you allow the perpetrators to commit additional and perhaps more serious crimes. Many times, crime solving depends upon how accurately and promptly the incident is reported.
- It’s important that you be able to provide as much information as possible concerning an incident.
- The nature of the incident
- When and where the incident occurred
- Number of people involved (names, sex, race, age, height, hair style/color, complexion, distinctive characteristics, i.e. facial features, scars, physical defects, glasses, clothing, and in today’s society, tattoos, etc.
- Direction and method of travel
- Vehicles involved (color, type, make, model, license plate number and state from which it was issued, distinctive characteristics, i.e., decals, bumper stickers, damage, number of occupants, etc.)
- Description of stolen property (item, manufacturer, model number, serial number, value, color, dimensions, etc.)
- Any other applicable information.