“It could never happen to me!” If those are your thoughts when it comes to random crimes occurring on campus or elsewhere, William “Archie” Griffin (Program Manager and 25-year veteran of the University of Maryland Police Force) and Corporal Jim Brown (Victim Assistance Coordinator and 8-year veteran of the University of Maryland Police Force), are here to give you the facts. A new series of presentations called ‘Food for Thought’ will be taking place on campus in the coming months. And if Friday’s presentation is any indication of how helpful they will be to University of Maryland students and faculty members, it’s something none of us can afford to miss.
The University of Maryland is made up of roughly 15,000 people who frequent its borders on any given weekday. According to recent statistics, the University of Maryland has had very few crimes occur on campus. But since many students and faculty wander off campus for various reasons, practicing common sense in the City of Baltimore can help.
The four risks to Personal Safety are as follows:
1) Risk awareness – Are you aware of your surroundings?
2) Risk reduction – What are you doing to reduce your risk? Creating a witness-rich environment can help.
3) Risk recognition – Put barriers between you and any individuals threatening your safety.
4) Risk avoidance – This includes taking personal safety precautions.
Also, Mr. Griffin reminds you to stay alert, trust your instincts, know the neighborhood, and send the message out that you are calm and confident (do not look like a victim with your head down).
Remember that there is now a UM Shuttle available, personal escorts to walk you home at night, and a 24/7 University Police force all dedicated to your safety. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable around campus, calling 711 from a campus phone or 410-706-3333 from a cell phone will get the proper authorities to you within minutes. Even if you are in Fells Point after a night of going out with friends, you can call the campus police.
Whether you’re from the Baltimore area or coming from out-of-state, knowing common sense tips and resources to protect yourself and your belongings in the city can only help you in the long-run, and hopefully you’ll enjoy your grad school experience a lot more because of it.