Safety Tips & Prevention

Following these safety precautions will decrease your chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Basic Street Sense

  • Do you know how to contact the TUPD? Program our number into your phone now: 410-704-4444.
  • Be aware that crime can occur at any time and any place. Stay alert and attuned to people and circumstances around you.
  • If on-campus, report any suspicious activity to TUPD by phone or by using any campus blue light phone. If off campus, dial 911.
  • Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going, even if you don’t.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
  • Know your neighborhood and campus; make note of buildings that are open late (or early) and where you can go to summon help if needed. Periodically make note of the street, intersection or landmarks near you.
  • If you are attacked or you feel an attack is imminent, do whatever it takes to draw the attention of bystanders: scream, yell for help, blow a whistle, fight back, etc.
  • Use lighted walkways at night. Criminals do not like lights! Avoid dark alleys, streets or secluded paths.
  • If someone seems to be following you, turn in the opposite direction or cross the street. If he/she persists, move quickly to the nearest open business or group of people and contact the TUPD.
  • Once you know your schedule, it is very important that you share that information with family, friends or roommates as part of your safety plan.

Safety on Foot 

  • Stay in well-lit, well-traveled areas. Walk halfway between curbs and buildings, away from alleys, doorway entries and bushes.
  • Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
  • Travel in pairs.
  • If you must walk alone and do not feel comfortable, utilize one of the campus escort programs by calling 410-704-SAFE(7233). Program this number into your phone now.
  • Avoid using cell phones, iPods, or other electronic devices in public. These items are a distraction to you and they are easily snatched by thieves.
  • Don’t flash money or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Carry a purse close to your body, not swinging freely. Put your wallet in your inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Don’t wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
  • Don’t carry too many items at once. It can slow you down, block your view or make you appear defenseless.
  • Plan the safest route to your destination and use it.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach your door.

Vehicle Safety

  • Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there’s enough gas to get where you’re going and back.
  • Have your keys ready before getting into your vehicle.
  • Lock the doors immediately upon entering your vehicle.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you’re coming right back. Check inside and out before getting inside.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in parking lots and underground parking garages. Park in well-lit areas and check the area thoroughly before exiting your vehicle.
  • If you do not feel comfortable walking to your car alone, utilize one of the campus escort programs by calling 410-704-SAFE(7233). Program this number into your phone now.
  • If you think someone is following you home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open business and call TUPD or 911.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, turn on your flashers and call for help on the cell phone. Lock all windows and doors and don’t open the vehicle for anyone until help arrives.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view. Lock valuables in the glove box or trunk.
  • Do not mark your key chain with your name, address, or license number. Lost keys can lead a thief to your car or home.
  • Do not leave your house and car keys together with an attendant at a public parking lot. Your house key can be quickly duplicated and your address obtained from your plate number.
  • Do not leave your garage door opener in your vehicle overnight. If your car is broken into, the thief may gain access to your house.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.
  • Use a mechanical or electronic anti-theft device such as “The Club”, alarm system, or vehicle tracking system.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.

Residence Hall Safety

  • Don’t let others “piggy back” when entering residence halls and report immediately anyone who you see helping others to “piggy back”.
  • Do not prop open any residence exterior door; this ensures safety of all residents.
  • When in the residence hall never leave your room unlocked, even while making a short trip down the hall, taking a shower, or sleeping.
  • Refrain from posting notes on your door informing others that no one is in the room.
  • Don’t leave valuables like your wallet, checkbook, or jewelry, in open view.
  • Register valuables in TUPD’s free personal property registration database. Items may be registered any time.
  • Engrave or mark property with a unique number or symbol so that it can be identified as yours later. Contact TUPD’s Community Policing Unit at 410-704-5622 to schedule engraving.
  • Keys should not be attached to university identification. Take care of your keys. Don’t give anyone a chance to duplicate them. If you lose your key, report it to the on duty RA immediately.
  • Be a good neighbor; look for suspicious activity or people in the residence hall and report them to the on duty RA or contact TUPD.
  • Try to avoid entering an elevator alone or with a single male rider. Stand near the control panel and note the location of the emergency alarm button. If attacked, hit the alarm button and as many floor buttons as you can. 

Think Before You Drink

  • A person who is intoxicated to the point of physical and mental impairment makes him or herself an easy target for a potential attacker.
  • An intoxicated person also makes a poor witness and is less able to provide an accurate suspect or vehicle description to law enforcement.
  • Alcohol impairs many of the faculties we depend on to make good decisions.
  • Impaired individuals may take chances a sober person would never consider.
  • When at clubs, bars, or drinking in groups be aware that someone could try to “spike” your drink with Rohypnol, GHB, or other incapacitating drug. If your drink has been left unattended, discard it. Only accept drinks directly from the bartender or people you know and trust.
  • Designate a friend to stay sober, just as you would establish a designated driver. This person’s job is to look out for others in the group to ensure their safety.

Dating Safety

Perpetrators of sexual assault are not always strangers. When someone you know—a date, steady, acquaintance or casual friend—engages you in a sexual act without your consent it is a crime. When dating you should:

  • Always tell someone where you are going with your date, with whom, and when you expect to return.
  • Check out a first date or a blind date with friends. Meet at a public place. Carry your cell phone and money for a taxi or take your own car in case you need to cut the date short.
  • Pay attention to what your date says about him or herself. Look the person up on social media sites and if you detect discrepancies this should raise a flag.
  • Trust your instincts. If a place or the way your date acts makes you nervous or uneasy, remove yourself from the situation.
  • When out with friends, stay together and try not to get separated. Do not leave a social event with someone you just met or do not know well.
  • Declare your sexual limits before drinking, doing drugs or getting into sexual situations.
  • Be careful not to let alcohol or drugs decrease your ability to take care of yourself and make sensible decisions.
  • Use common sense. Realize that you do not have the right to force or pressure a date to have sex just because you paid for dinner or drinks.
  • Accept a person’s decision when he/she says, “No!” Do not interpret it as a challenge.
  • Avoid clouding your judgment and understanding of what another person wants by using alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not assume that a person wants to have sex just because of the amount he/she drinks, how he/she dresses, or if he/she agrees to go home with you.
  • Never have sex with anyone who is passed out.
  • Do not assume that just because a person has had sex with you previously he or she is willing to have sex with you again.
  • Do not assume that if a person consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies he or she is willing to have sexual intercourse.
  • Realize that forcing a person to have sex against his/her will is rape, a violent crime with serious consequences.
  • If you see a person pressuring another person who appears to be uncomfortable, unwilling or intoxicated, do not be afraid to intervene. Your intervention may prevent a friend from the trauma of sexual assault or prevent a friend from the ordeal of criminal repercussions.

Robbery

If someone tries to rob you: 

  • Don’t resist. Give up your property; don’t give up your life.
  • Do not volunteer any information or do anything other than what the robber asks. Pay attention to the robber's appearance and demeanor. One of the most important things to do if you are being robbed is to do as you are told and try to observe.
  • Try to avoid sudden moves. The robber(s) are just as nervous as you.
  • Call 911 or TUPD at 410-704-4444 as soon as it is safe to do so. The first minutes after a crime occurs are critical to law enforcement.
  • Describe exactly what occurred with as many details as possible. Give complete descriptions such as sex, race, age, height, weight, hair color, scars, tattoos and clothing. If a vehicle was involved try to get the make, color, and license plate.

ATM User Safety Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you notice anything suspicious such as someone loitering nearby, consider coming back later.
  • Only use ATM machines in well-lit or populated areas.
  • If using the ATM at night, take someone with you.
  • If using an ATM machine in a vestibule area, ensure the door is securely closed and do not open it for others.
  • If you withdraw cash, put it away promptly, don’t count your money in public.
  • Put your ATM card and receipt away promptly. Never leave your receipt at the ATM.
  • Keep your PIN secret. Don’t write it on your card.
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN to keep it from being observed.
  • Take a good look at the ATM machine to ensure there is no external scanning device or “skimmer” attached to record your card or pin numbers.
  • Don’t argue or attempt to fight with a robber, give up your cash.

Jogging and Outdoor Activities

  • Jog with a known companion and never alone, especially after dark. Do not jog in a heavily wooded, poorly-lit or secluded area.
  • Jog in a familiar area and avoid shortcuts through deserted parks, vacant lots or alleys.
  • Stay away from shrubbery, trees or doorways which can provide concealment to criminals.
  • Vary your times and route to prevent criminals from knowing your routine.
  • Stay alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings.
  • The wearing of headphones while jogging can reduce your level of alertness and make you a target for thieves.
  • If carried, cell phones, iPods, etc. should be concealed.
  • Wear bright colored clothing to improve visibility.
  • If you are accosted or feel threatened, do whatever it takes to draw the attention of bystanders: scream, yell for help, blow a whistle, fight back, etc.
  • If followed, go to the nearest residence, open business or group of people. Call TUPD or 911 as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Carry some form of identification.

Identity Theft

  • An identity thief may pick through your trash to capture your personal information. Tear or shred your charge receipts, pre-approved credit offers, checks and bank statements, expired credit cards, etc. A personal shredder can be purchased for as little as $20.
  • Don’t carry your SSN card; leave it in a secure place.
  • Carry only the identification information and the number of credit or debit cards that you’ll actually need.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles and review all charges on your monthly statement. A missing credit card bill could be an indicator that your identity has been compromised.
  • Don’t let mail pile up in your mailbox. If out of town, either have the post office hold your mail or ask a trusted person to retrieve it for you.
  • Be wary of promotional scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Place passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts.
  • Order your credit report at least once a year. Reports should be obtained from all three major sources: Equifax at 800-685-1111; Experian at 888-397-3742; and TransUnion at 800-916-8800. Correct all mistakes on your credit report and retain copies of all related documents.
  • If your identity or credit is compromised, place a fraud alert on your accounts and credit report immediately.
  • File a report with TUPD, or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Keep a copy of the police report or report number.

Workplace Security

  • Keep your office and filing cabinets locked when unattended.
  • Purses, wallets, cell phones, etc. should be locked in a drawer or file cabinet when your work space is unattended.
  • Communicate with co-workers to ensure the last person out of the office always locks the door.
  • Be sure to password-protect your computer and place it in sleep mode when leaving your desk.
  • Engrave your TU ID# or other unique identifier on personal items brought to work. Contact TUPD’s Community Policing Unit at 410-704-5622 to schedule engraving.
  • Workers in areas with expensive, specialized equipment should engrave and secure all items in locked areas.
  • Individuals working late should lock the door to their office after the majority of people have left.
  • When leaving the office after dark, use one of the campus escort programs by calling 410-704-SAFE(7233).
  • Unattended laptops, tablets, cell phones and book bags top the list of items stolen on TU’s campus. Never leave your valuables unattended, even if just for a second.
  • If you see suspicious activity or an unfamiliar person in an area not normally open to the public or TU community, report it immediately to TUPD. Be prepared to provide a physical description of the person(s). If a vehicle is observed, obtain the vehicle description and tag number.