Programs and Safety Tips

Video cameras

Video cameras are located throughout campus and in the near-campus neighborhood. They are linked to the Command Information Center in MUPD and are used to help monitor suspicious behavior and document activity in a given area.

Self-defense program

MUPD’s self-defense program uniquely combines a hands-on approach to learning effective techniques with information about the latest national and local crime trends. Designed for female and male audiences, the class incorporates simple strategies for escaping potentially dangerous situations. MUPD offers several free self-defense classes throughout the academic year. Individual requests for larger groups can be made with advance notice. Contact MUPD at (414) 288-6800 for complete information.

Vacant House Watch

During academic breaks, MUPD offers the Vacant House Watch program to students residing in the near-off-campus neighborhood. Students can use this form to register their residences with MUPD before leaving campus for spring or winter break. During break, officers monitor vacant residences during their routine patrols of the neighborhood.

Security surveys

A crime prevention officer can help you assess the security of your residence. The crime prevention officer will walk through your residence with you and prepare a written report detailing any security concerns. The written report will be given to you so you can use it to discuss with your landlord.

Personal safety tips

Avoiding potentially dangerous situations by maintaining a complete sense of awareness and planning ahead for responses to such situations allow one to remain confident while traveling around campus or home or in any other location. For any situation, it is important to consider preventing, planning and acting.

Preventing

Avoid becoming an easy target

People unknowingly engage in activities every day that make them more vulnerable to crime. Make yourself less of a potential target by incorporating some simple actions:

  • Travel on well-lit, busy streets, and avoid walking through alleys.
  • Always trust your intuition and pay attention to warning signs, such as people watching you or quickly approaching.
  • Maintain a complete awareness of your surroundings. Do not become distracted by using your phone or listening to your iPod while walking.
  • Do not walk alone, especially at night.
  • Only take what you absolutely need with you when going out. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or multiple credit cards. Use backpacks to conceal laptop computers.
  • Remain confident, alert and in control. Avoid going out or walking home while intoxicated.

Use the Department of Campus Safety resources

The Department of Campus Safety offers walking escorts and mobile transports to campus and near-off-campus locations during the evening hours. Safety Patrollers operate from 5 p.m. until midnight. LIMO vans operate nightly during the school year from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., with extended hours from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights when school is in session. After-hours transports can be obtained from 3 a.m. until 7 a.m. To request a Safety Patrol escort or LIMO ride:

  • Call (414) 288-6363 from any campus or near-off-campus location
  • Make your request via a Blue Light Phone
  • Flag down a van or team of safety patrollers
  • Wait at any designated LIMO stop

Be cautious at ATMs

  • Use machines in busy areas that are well-lit. For your safety, ATMs are located in the Alumni Memorial Union and at the MUPD office in the 16th Street Parking Structure.
  • Pay attention to those behind you and around you before making a transaction.
  • Be private about your personal identification number.
  • Never write your personal identification number on your card.
  • Remove your card from the machine when your transaction is complete.
  • Pressing 911 or any other series of numbers into the machine does NOT alert authorities to an emergency.

Planning

Knowing how to respond to a potentially dangerous situation is just as important as knowing how to avoid one. Often times, criminal catch victims off guard, allowing victims very little time to react. Thinking ahead about your response to such a situation and having a planned and practice response will allow you to remain calm and focused.

Carry a personal safety device

  • Carry a safety whistle or other noise-making device, and use it when you feel threatened. Noise attracts the attention of those nearby. Although yelling provides the most comprehensive method of attracting attention, people often lack the ability to verbalize in crisis situations. Anyone can blow a whistle.
  • Pepper spray can be an effective personal protection device if used appropriately. Although the effects are not long lasting, they are devastating. For more information about pepper spray, contact MUPD.
  • Become familiar with the locations of Blue Light Phones.
  • Blue Light Phones provide a 24-hour-a-day direct link to the Command Information Center in MUPD.
  • There are more than 450 Blue Light and service phones on campus and within the off-campus neighborhood.
  • The phones are distinguishable by their bright blue lights.

Acting

When in an uncomfortable situation, always trust your instincts. If necessary, defend yourself to the best of your ability. When presented with an avenue of escape, run away to a safe place, where people are present to assist you. Near campus, safe places include residence halls, restaurants, businesses and the MUPD office, which is open 24 hours a day.

Using non-verbal self-defense

  • In an uncomfortable situation, be assertive.
  • Maintain eye contact with those who may attempt to confront you, and do not let yourself get distracted.
  • Maintain a confident physical demeanor.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from strangers.

Using verbal self-defense

  • Do not be afraid to tell someone to get out of your personal space.
  • If necessary, yell to attract the attention of those nearby.
  • Use direct commands, such as “Get back!” or “Let me go!”

Protecting yourself during robberies

  • If someone demands your property, give it to him or her. Do not resist. Maintaining your personal safety is more important than your backpack or cell phone.
  • If someone claims to have a weapon, believe him or her and surrender your property.
  • Throw your property in one direction and run away in the opposite direction to a safe place.
  • While running, attract attention by yelling.
  • If your assailant targets you instead of your property, remain calm and breathe. Think of your planned response, defend yourself and escape!

Cell phone theft prevention tips

Step 1: Set up a password lock.

This is the easiest security feature that you can use. It prevents others from accessing personal, business and financial information stored on your device.

Step 2: Enable remote data wiping.

Most major brands offer options that allow you to remotely erase data from your device in case it is lost or stolen. Check your user’s guides or contact your service provider for specific instructions for your device.

Step 3: Update and upgrade.

Upgrading and downloading new operating systems can take time, but in addition to more and better applications, many upgrades contain security updates for your protection. When prompted by your device to download an upgrade, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Step 4: Be vigilant.

When in public, do not allow your mobile devices to completely distract you from your surroundings. Many of us carry more than one device, and thieves looking to steal one of them will often observe your actions, waiting for you to drop your guard or walk away from your electronic items.

Step 5: Enable or install a device locating application.

No matter how security conscious you are, determined and persistent thieves can still be successful at stealing your property. Fortunately, most mobile devices have the capability to “broadcast” their locations if lost or stolen. Using Global Positioning Satellites and wireless networks, many free or moderately priced applications can help you and law enforcement locate your phones, tablets and computers. If your device is already equipped with this capability, you must ensure that it is enabled. It is important to note that these services cannot be activated after your device has been lost or stolen. Please record your usernames, passwords, device brand, model and names of tracking applications in a secure place — not only on your device. This will help you and law enforcement locate your phone, tablet or computer.

Pedestrian safety tips

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle.
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals. Look before you cross the road.
  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections.
  • Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.  Make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
  • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Even if one motorist stops, do not assume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

Bicycle theft prevention tips

Cable locks offer no real protection. Secure your bicycle with U-shaped or other high-quality security locks. When choosing a location to secure your bicycle, ensure that it is well-lit and visible. For maximum security, secure your frame and wheels to an immovable object. Keep a record of your bicycle and serial number. Keep a photo of your bicycle with your records, too. Contact MUPD at (414) 288-6800 for more tips and information about registering your bicycle with the university and city.