Welcome back to the fast paced, busy Emory that most of you are used to seeing. Did you know that the average daily population of our community--faculty, staff, students, medical center patients and visitors--is typically 30,000 to 35,000 people a day? The increased number of people during the academic year brings with it many things; unfortunately, one of those is the opportunity for criminal activity. As a police dispatcher at the Emory Police Department (EPD), as well as a member of the department's Community Relations Team, I'd like to offer a few crime prevention reminders and suggestions for you to consider.
Try to always be aware of your surroundings; your nearest telephone, closest exits and the number of people in the area. If a suspicious incident occurs in your building, contact us and we will be happy to assist. Be prepared to provide the dispatcher with certain information, such as your name and location; what you witnessed, and if a person is involved, a description of the specific behavior(s) that caused you to become concerned.
When you work late at night, there's no reason for you to walk to your car alone. Please consider using one of the many shuttle busses operated under the direction of the Community Services Office, or contact us at EPD for an escort. Our student patrol officers, community services officers and police officers work in conjunction to provide escorts from dusk to dawn, seven days a week. During the academic year, there will be a student patrol officer stationed at Dobbs Center from 8 p.m.-midnight to assist you. If you're not near Dobbs Center, call 727-8005 and a dispatcher will send someone to assist you.
There are number of things you can do to protect your property and Emory's property. The first and most important suggestion is that you lock doors and keep them locked at all times. This is a key part of a process known as access control. It's really that simple. The majority of thefts that occur in our community are crimes of opportunity. Items that are left unattended in an open or unlocked area are the ones stolen most often. The best way to prevent these crimes of opportunity is to remove the opportunity. When you leave your office for the evening, make sure that it is locked. If your office will be empty for lunch, lock it. If you lock your car doors on a regular basis, why not provide the same level of caution for your office?
A perennial problem on any college or university campus is bicycle theft. For that reason, we offer a bicycle registration program through our Crime Prevention Division (727-BIKE.) For those of you who commute with a bike, or even just enjoy riding at home, we recommend that you invest in a U-shaped bicycle lock as opposed to a chain lock. The U-shaped locks, while fallible, are certainly more sturdy than a chain, and much more difficult to cut. Additionally, a set of supplemental parts known as "Bad Bones" are available at most bicycle shops; these parts are specifically designed to reinforce U-locks at their weakest points. Remember that proper use of any chain or lock should involve locking the bicycle frame, not the tire, to a bicycle rack. If you notice any bicycles that appear to have a damaged chain or U-lock, or in any way look as if someone has attempted to steal them, please call the police department for further investigation.
One of the things we're excited about is our new Crime Prevention program, called "Emory Watch." Emory Watch is essentially a customized version of the Neighborhood Watch you may be familiar with, and we're launching the pilot program this year at the University Apartments. We hope to bring it to the classroom and office buildings very soon.
Finally, some of you may be new to campus. There are many ways for you to contact the police should you need our assistance; dial 911 from any telephone on campus in an emergency. Campus phones ring directly to the 911 Center at EPD; all elevators on campus have emergency phones that connect to us; and the many blue light emergency phones and call-up boxes in dorms have direct connections to us. In any emergency, our dispatch center will start the appropriate emergency response personnel, including medical assistance or the DeKalb County Fire Department. If you need non-emergency assistance, call 727-8005 and a dispatcher will help you. If you or your department would be interested in sponsoring a crime prevention program for your office, please call us and we will arrange a presentation for you. If you have any further questions, call the non-emergency number and ask for me, or e-mail me at email@example.com and I'll either help you myself or refer you to someone who can.
Andy Treese is a dispatcher with the Emory Police Department.