Good Afternoon Campus Community,
Here are a few things to pass along from Public Safety:
- Most of you have probably seen information sent from Public Safety titled, “Timely Warning.” What exactly are these notifications, and how are they different from a Cougar Alert?
· Timely Warning- Narrow focus on Clery crimes. Timely warnings are triggered by crimes that have already occurred but represent an ongoing threat. A Timely Warning is issued for any Clery crime committed in Clery geography that is reported to campus security authorities or a local law enforcement agency and is considered by the institution to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. Warnings are issued as soon as the pertinent information is available.
· Cougar Alert- Wide focus on any significant emergency or dangerous situation (may include Clery crimes). An emergency notification is triggered by an event that is currently occurring on or imminently threatening the campus. Emergency notification procedures are initiated for any significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.
- Bicyclists and skateboarders, please take a moment to review the bicycle and skateboard laws. Public Safety Officers will be issuing citations to bicyclists and skateboarders violating the City of Charleston’s bicycle and skateboard regulations. This includes: riding on a sidewalk, traveling the wrong way down a one way street, disregarding traffic control devices, etc. As a reminder, bicyclists and skateboarders should ride with the flow of traffic, and follow all traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles. A copy of the Skateboard Ordinance and bicycle guidelines can be picked up at Public Safety Headquarters. If you would like additional information, feel free to contact me.
- The College of Charleston has several resources for anonymous reporting of criminal activity, serious policy violations, and concerning behavior. You can report any non-emergency to Public Safety anonymously by calling the Crime Action Line (843) 953-4998 or by filling out a Silent Witness form on our website. If you are concerned about the well-being of a student, you may submit an anonymous FAST report through the Office of the Dean of Students. FAST forms may be submitted by faculty, staff, and students.
- Moped thefts, motor vehicle thefts, and thefts from motor vehicles are still on the rise in the Charleston area. Please take necessary precautions to protect your personal property. Never leave the vehicle running while unattended. Be sure to park in well-lit areas and avoid leaving valuable property inside your vehicle. Most importantly, always lock your vehicle. Trends in auto thefts indicate that over half of vehicles stolen are left unlocked at the time of theft. More information can be found here.
- With the increased activity on campus, many of you may be on campus more frequently, or traveling to and from campus buildings later than usual. In your travels, please consider the following risk reduction strategies:
- Avoid walking alone; it is best to walk in pairs or with a group.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Listening to music through headphones or looking down at a cell phone can impede your ability to be alert.
- Walk on well-lit paths in heavily traveled routes. Using dark and isolated areas make you a more vulnerable target. Please take a moment to review our campus night map.
- Use your resources! Public Safety provides safety escorts on campus 24/7. In addition, the Cougar Shuttle is available 7 days a week from 11pm-3am.
- The Department of Public Safety’s webpage is an excellent source for crime prevention information and other safety materials. Visit our webpage to access the 360 Stay Safe at College videos, or check out our Guide to Safer Living. You can also find information on surviving an active shooter incident and how to handle a bomb threat.
- Be social with us! If you have not already, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for departmental news, upcoming events, and other important information. If you are having trouble accessing our pages, please make sure you are signed into your social media account.
Crime Prevention Tip:
Here are some tips to avoid pick-pocketing in the downtown area: Use a purse that is difficult to open. A purse with a zipper or snaps is best. If you are carrying a shoulder bag, place the strap(s) diagonally across your body, as opposed to carrying it on one shoulder. This keeps the purse in front of you, instead of at your side or behind you, which sometimes happens with purses with long straps. If you are carrying a hand bag, then make sure to hold it close to the front of your body, instead of holding it on your wrist or loosely in your hand.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Take care and be safe,
Robert S. Reese, M.S.M.
Chief of Police
Office of the President
College of Charleston
Campus Safety and Security Area
89 St.Philip Street
Charleston, SC 29424
843-953-2468 (office )
843-953-2105 ( fax )