Towson University has one of the fewest crimes per capita of any public institution in the state of Maryland. Though police officers continuously patrol the campus, it is important for every student, faculty and staff member to use common sense proactively to maintain their personal safety. Following the tips below will help you to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
Be aware of your surroundings. Walk in open, well-lit areas and take note of who is around you. Avoid performing distracting activities, such as listening to music, while walking as doing so prevents you from sensing the presence of a potential predator.
Think before you drink. Individuals who are impaired by intoxication make easy targets for attackers. When you are under the influence of alcohol, avoid walking home alone, as it can be nearly as dangerous as driving. Call a cab, a sober friend, or take the bus to a safe place.
Lock your doors – even if you are going next door for less than a minute. Nearly all residential burglaries on campus occur when the victim’s door is unlocked.
Avoid theft by roommates or other individuals invited to your room by placing valuable items in a small personal safe.
If possible, purchase a security device that locks the steering wheel or brake pedal. These are often more effective than alarms.
Do not leave valuables visible in your car. Nearly every vehicle break-in on campus involves the theft of items left in plain view.
Remove items such as car stereos and radar detectors from view when leaving your car.
Shred credit card receipts, bank statements and credit card offers, and keep tabs on your wallet or purse at all times. Thieves only need to find one piece of mail or a driver’s license to steal your identity and cause irreparable harm.
Monitor your bank and credit card statements to make sure unauthorized transactions are not being charged to your account.
Keep your office and filing cabinets locked when unattended.
Communicate with coworkers to ensure the last person out of the office always locks the door. Simply closing the door without locking it does not protect against crime.
Make sure to password-protect your computer and place it in sleep mode when leaving your desk to prevent compromising confidential university information.
Engrave your identification information on personal items brought to work. This can be arranged through the TUPD.
Workers in specialty shops with expensive equipment should engrave and secure all goods 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 the campus escort service to safely walk you to your vehicle.
Laptop computers and book bags or cell phones left unattended in classrooms top the list of multi-media equipment stolen on campus. Never leave your items unattended – even if it is just for a second.
Statistics show that 75 percent of all work-related homicides are committed by an unknown assailant committing a robbery or other crime. Call the TUPD emergency number, 410-704-4444 if you are in danger or see suspicious activity.
Keep your workplace well-lit and make sure to have easy access to a telephone at all times.
Safety Tips for Women
Avoid giving out your home phone number to strangers, as online services enable individuals to find your home address from this number.
On first dates, consider meeting your date at a public location rather than your home. Get to know someone before you show them where you live.
Declare your sexual limits early on, prior to drinking, doing drugs, or getting into sexual situations.
Drink responsibly and never leave your drink unattended. Drugs and alcohol make staying in control of a situation difficult.
Trust your instincts. If you sense something is wrong, remove yourself from the situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Be street smart. Travel in safe, known areas. Wear comfortable shoes that allow you to move quickly. Don’t carry too many things at once – it can block your view and make you appear defenseless.
When exercising outdoors, go with a friend and avoid listening to music so loud that you can’t hear things around you. Vary your routine to prevent criminals from knowing exactly where they can find you.
Drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up. Always make sure you have enough gas to get where you are going, and keep your car in good working order. If you break down, turn on your flashers, call the police and stay in your car. If someone approaches offering to help, speak to them through a cracked window and wait for the police. Don’t take a chance.
If pulled over by an unmarked car, signal to the officer that you intend to comply, and then attempt to find a safe, public place to stop. Lock your doors and speak to the officer through a cracked window until he shows you a valid ID card complete with a photograph.
When entering your home, make sure to have your key ready and note the conditions of the home. If a door or window is ajar, or the home seems to be in a different condition than you left it, leave the house and call the police.
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 and as many floor buttons as you can.
Towson University Police Department
General Services, Room 100 (map)
24 hours a day, seven days a week