Making PLU Safer
Anything that you think is suspicious should be reported to Campus Safety without delay. You may call x7911 from any on-campus phone (253-535-7911) to report emergencies or suspicious activities. Emergency phones are also located outside the entrance of each residence hall and have an emergency button that automatically connects you to Campus Safety. Many parking lots also have emergency phones indicated by a blue light.
If the incident is life-threatening call 911 (9911 from campus phones) to request police or fire response. Calls to 911 via campus phones may be monitored and/or recorded by PLU to assist with incident response.
If you sense a potential threat, consider your options and take action immediately to get away from the danger.
Yell or scream. Attract attention. Yell “Call the Police” and run toward a lighted public area. Go into an open business or building and call Campus Safety (x7911) or the Police/Sheriff (911). Describe what happened and where. Give a detailed description of the suspect, as well as a description of any vehicle involved and its license number. Tell the operator which direction the person went, as well as any other pertinent information.
The best time to plan your response to a crime is before it occurs. Consider your options and abilities. Consider how you will act in certain situations. What items do you normally carry that have self-defense potential? Remember that nothing you own is worth getting hurt over. If you’re in danger, do anything you can to escape and call for help. On campus dial x7911, off campus call 911.
Campus Safety is able to provide free whistles for anyone requesting them. As a reminder, whistles are meant as deterrents, not as prevention devices. If you are interested, please come to the Campus Safety office during normal business hours (8-4, M-F).
Theft is the most common campus crime. It is a crime of opportunity that you are in the best position to prevent by reducing or removing the opportunity.
- Keep the doors and windows of your residence locked. Never prop open otherwise locked doors.
- Don’t leave purses, backpacks, or books unattended anywhere on campus.
- Keep a list of serial numbers and descriptions of your valuables. This is your only means of retrieving your property if it is recovered after a theft. Engrave valuable items (bicycles, electronics, computers, etc.) with your driver’s license number. Campus Safety has implemented a bicycle registration program for easier identification in case your bike is stolen and recovered.
- Don’t keep large sums of cash, jewelry, or other valuables in your room. Any valuables you do bring to campus should leave with you when you go home for vacation.
- Always remove your keys and lock your car. Park in campus-owned lots. Most cars broken into in the neighborhood were parked on the street.
- Install an auto alarm system, particularly if you have an attractive stereo system, or other valuable equipment.
- Never leave valuables visible in your car. Lock them in your trunk or take them with you.
- Most vehicles are broken into when they are parked in poorly lit areas with expensive stereos or valuables laying out in plain sight.
- Mopeds and scooters should be shackled to immovable posts or blocks provided in various areas for your convenience. Combustion engine vehicles such as mopeds and motorcycles may not be parked inside any building.
Use a U-shaped lock to secure your bike, even if you only plan to leave it for a moment. A thief can steal an unsecured bike in seconds. Residence halls have approved indoor bike storage areas.
Safety at Home
- Lock all doors and windows, even when you are only going to be away for a short while. If at all possible, keep doors and windows closed when home alone, and certainly while asleep.
- Keep emergency phone numbers close to your telephone. On-campus callers should call x7911 for Campus Safety, and 9911 for PCSD.
- Those living off campus should call the County 911 emergency dispatch center for fire, medical, and police services.
- Do not open your door for someone you do not know or cannot see. Don’t worry about being polite.
- Never allow strangers in to use the phone, even if they say it’s an emergency. Call for them, but don’t let them in.
- Don’t hide keys outside. If you can think of a place to hide a key, a burglar can find it.
- If you have to leave your car keys with a mechanic or parking lot attendant, remove all keys from the ring except the car keys. Never put your home address on your key ring or attach an ID card to your key ring.
- Get to know your neighbors and get involved in your local “Safe Streets” or “Block Watch” group. The Parkland Community Association is directly involved with the area surrounding PLU.
Safety In Your Residence Hall
- Never let anyone into the hall unless you positively know him or her as a resident. If they claim to be visiting a friend, instruct them to call them on the phones provided at the entrance to each residence hall.
- Never prop open outside doors. You’ll be placing everyone else at risk.
- Keep your door locked when you are inside your room, and make sure it is locked whenever you leave, even if it is only for a few moments. Leaving a door open is a dangerous mistake, one that has cost lives on other college campuses.
- Do not leave messages announcing your absence. This invites theft.
- If you are in immediate danger call 7911 if possible, or scream, or even pull a fire alarm if one is accessible. Remember a false alarm is no joke (it’s a crime), but pulling a fire alarm is an acceptable and appropriate action in an emergency situation.
- Do NOT loan your keys or Lutecard to others.
Safety When Walking
- Avoid walking alone at night. On campus and within a specified radius around campus you can call Campus Safety at x7441 for an escort. Off campus dial 535-7441. On or off campus it is advisable to walk with a friend whenever possible. Keep in mind that on a small campus like PLU, odds are that someone else is also leaving within a few minutes and is headed in your direction. Just ask!
- Choose routes that avoid dark and vacant areas.
- Know where emergency phones are located along your route.
- Wear clothes and shoes that allow you to move quickly.
- Walk with purpose, keep your eyes up, and scan your surroundings. Make eye contact with others.
- Anticipate potentially dangerous situations.
- Have your keys in hand. You’ll avoid standing outside fumbling for them, and they make a good weapon if the need arises.
Safety When Driving
- Look into your car before getting in, noticing if anything is disturbed or out of place. Once inside lock all doors and keep windows rolled up.
- Drive well traveled, brightly lit roads and never pick up a hitchhiker.
- If you suspect you are being followed, drive to an open business to seek help. If you fear leaving your car, sound the horn repeatedly. If someone stops to help, stay in your car and ask them to call for help for you.