At a recent safety class for college bound students, the Naperville Police Department gave some advice on how to make the most of your college experience, while staying safe.
Their first tip, be aware of your surroundings.
“You might be bogged down with books and backpacks, looking at your cell phone, having your ear buds in your ears, but we want people to know, they really need to be looking where they’re going and being aware of what’s behind them, on either side of them, so they’re aware of not only hazards but also if there’s people that might make them uncomfortable or might be a hazard to them,” said Crime Prevention Specialist with the Naperville Police Department, Mary Browning.
And if you are feeling uncomfortable, there’s no need to be polite.
“If there’s somebody that looks out of place or doesn’t look familiar, don’t get on the elevator with them, or if you’re already on the elevator, and now somebody looks out of place and they now get on with you, you don’t have to be polite, just walk off,” said Browning.
Another tip, utilize the safety services your campus has to offer.
“Many campuses have student Safety Patrols, so if you’re staying late at the library studying for an exam and now it’s one o’clock in the morning, don’t walk back to your dorm unescorted. Call the student Safety Patrol and get an escort so you can safely get from one place to another on campus,” added Browning.
Beyond protecting yourself, be sure to protect your belongings by locking your dorm anytime you’re not there, and writing down the serial numbers of all your valuable electronics.
Browning explains, “If they go lost or missing you have proof that that does belong to you and it’s easier if law enforcement finds it that we can get that back to you.”
And the police want to remind students that what happens at college doesn’t just stay there.
“You don’t want one moment to dictate your life. You don’t want one mistake to ruin what could be a good future for you, so taking risks, doing irrational things, that could effect you, where you go and how you do that,” said Sergeant with the Naperville Police Department, Tim Ogan.
They recommend familiarizing yourself with local laws and school code to avoid minor infractions.
One final tip, text someone if you’re going to be out late so they know where you are if something goes wrong.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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