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10 campus safety tips you need to know

It can feel cozy and safe on campus, but personal safety is always a priority. Police Commander Jason Mollendor shares 10 top tips.

March 2, 2017

There are 55,000 students, staff and visitors based here at Auraria – it’s more like a small town than campus. Given its size, this is an incredibly safe area (by far the biggest crime is petty theft). But it still pays to be diligent.

1. Don’t leave stuff lying around

This campus can seem like Best Buy for opportunistic thieves, and unattended items like backpacks and laptops make for very easy targets. While in campus libraries, cafes and college buildings, don’t leave your property lying around. (If you need to quickly use the restroom, ask a neighbor to watch your belongings.)

2. Campus Police on call

Save the Auraria Campus Police Department’s number – 303-556-5000 – in your cell phone. This number will get help much faster than a 911 call if you need emergency assistance on campus. (However, you can dial 911 from any campus phone to be connected directly with the ACPD Dispatch).

3. Phones are very easy to steal

On the subject of phones… Not only are smart phones expensive, they usually also hold your personal details, precious photos and other important information. So be very careful about leaving them out on your desk or in public areas – they can go in an instant.

4. Trust your instincts

Does something seem just a little, well, off about a situation? Is someone maybe acting suspiciously? If you see something, say something. Don’t dismiss suspicious situations – report them to campus police immediately.

5. Always lock your car

Parking lots and garages are common targets for thieves, so don’t leave anything that might interest them in plain view. One student’s car incurred a $150 repair bill when 32 cents were stolen from it. Make sure your windows are firmly closed and all doors are locked. And if you have a security system, definitely use it.

6. Pack lightly

What’s really frustrating is when people put everything – social security and credit cards, jewelry, GoPros, iPads – in their backpacks, regardless of what they’ll actually need that day. Because if a pack goes missing, it’ll be a really big headache.

7. Know your emergency phones

Our campus is dotted with unmissable emergency phones (red, 9 feet high), each equipped with a call button that immediately connects to Auraria Campus Police. You’ll find them in parking lots and pedestrian areas. (Indoor emergency phones are located throughout the main buildings in common areas.)

8. Be safe at night

The Nightrider is a free security escort service for any campus parking lot. It is available from dusk to 10 p.m. (Monday–Thursday) during fall and spring semesters. Call 303-556-2000 for more information.

9. Use a good U-lock on your bike

Cheap locks are no challenge for an accomplished bike thief, and Denver has plenty of those. Always try to lock both your frame and wheel to a bike rack. Also, record your bike’s serial number – so if your ride does go missing, you’ll have more chance of getting it back.

10. Concerned? Text a cop

Add the Auraria Campus Police Department's Text-a-Tip line: 720-593-TIPS (8477) to your cell phone. (This function also can accept photos, which is really important. Our campus is so busy that a verbal description of a suspect can only go so far - but a picture gives police something to work with.) 

For more information, visit the Auraria Police Department website

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