Campus is Reminded to Play It Safe
With the start of a new semester, the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) reminds us to play it safe and keep the following tips — for students, faculty, and staff — in mind.
- Avoid walking alone at night and in dimly lit areas. Instead, walk in groups, use the LiveSafe app, call a Stingerette, or call GTPD for a safety escort (404.894.2500).
- Protect your valuables. This includes making sure you do not leave them unsecured for even a minute. Lock your room or office door to protect your valuables while you are not there, even if you are just running to get a drink or go to the restroom.
- Watch for tailgating into buildings behind you. If someone you don’t know tries to follow you into a building or residence hall, politely indicate that you cannot allow access into the building. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting him or her, call GTPD (404.894.2500) to come check if that person belongs.
- If someone seems suspicious or is acting oddly, call GTPD (404.894.2500). If you see something, say something!
If a safety situation arises that requires community notification, Georgia Tech provides two types of alerts.
The first is the Georgia Tech Emergency Notification System (GTENS) alert, which is issued by the Office of Emergency Preparedness when members of the campus community should take immediate action. These alerts are triggered by situations such as evacuations, severe weather, or other threatening scenarios.
The second type is a Clery Act alert. These are email alerts distributed as timely warning of crimes that represent an ongoing threat to the safety of students or employees. Clery alerts are sent as soon as possible after a crime has been committed and are characterized by a bracketed subject line, red headline, and subsequent bullet points.
Because Clery alerts are meant to inform of an ongoing threat, if an incident occurs and the perpetrator is immediately apprehended or identified, an alert will likely not be sent because the threat no longer exists.
Note that the GTPD has drawn a boundary for its Clery alerts that extends beyond campus borders. With many students living just off campus, this additional coverage is meant to keep the community better informed about crime in nearby areas. For this reason, many Clery alerts are related to incidents that take place off campus.
“In order to give timely warning to those in the area, alerts are generated using the best and most complete information police have at the time of an incident,” said GTPD Chief of Police Robert Connolly. “The real intent of the alert is to make people aware of the situation, so we don’t always have a thorough description of the perpetrator.”
When possible, GTPD will supplement descriptions with footage from campus surveillance systems, if images are available.
Victims of crime can help GTPD by:
- Noting the perpetrator’s height, size, race, clothing, and any distinguishing marks.
- Noting the color, make, and model, if a vehicle is involved.
- Noting the perpetrator’s direction of travel upon escape.
- Finding their way to safety and contacting the GTPD immediately (404.894.2500).
Campus community members are also encouraged to submit information anonymously to the GTPD if they have any information on a crime that has been committed, is in progress, or is being planned. Crime tips can be emailed to GTPD at: email@example.com. Visit the Crime Awareness and Prevention webpage for more information.