The Department of Public Safety responds to crimes in progress and takes reports of crimes that occurred, but we stress that prevention is just as, if not more, important. While response and enforcement help deter criminals and is part of prevention, we want the Augsburg community to reduce the opportunity for criminals. A crime generally involves three things: the desire to commit the crime, the means to commit the crime, and the opportunity to commit the crime.
A victim is never at fault for the crime, but you can help reduce the opportunity for criminals to commit crimes. The Department of Public Safety works to accomplish this by vehicle and foot patrol, the use of security cameras, controlling building access (mechanical and electronic locking), etc. We hope to deter criminals with our presence and response, but crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
Simple steps may help to keep you and your property safe. For example, making sure that you lock your doors will stop someone from just walking in and grabbing your laptop, your phone, or your wallet. Please read below for more tips to help keep you and the Augsburg community safe.
The Augsburg University Public Safety Department has trained officers available to answer your questions about Crime Prevention. To inquire about your specific needs, or schedule a Crime Prevention Seminar for your group, you can call the Department at x1717 from anywhere on campus, or 612-330-1717 from off campus. You are also welcome to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Residence Hall Tips
- Leave valuables, particularly jewelry, at home if it is not necessary to have them at your campus residence.
- Keep your door locked even when you’re at home. It’s easy for others to enter your residence without you knowing, particularly if you’re in a back room or if your stereo or television is playing.
- Call the Security Department to report suspicious persons.
- Record the make, model, and serial number of valuables and keep the records in a safe place.
- Engrave your property with your driver license number.
- Report lost keys to your residence to housing staff immediately.
- Check the area for suspicious persons before walking to or exiting your vehicle.
- Discuss these crime prevention tips with your roommates and floormates.
- Report crimes to the Security Department as soon as possible.
- Allow strangers or hold large gatherings in your residence. It is easy for someone to steal small items without being noticed.
- Prop open exterior building doors. You are jeopardizing other’s safety, as well as your own.
- Let strangers into the buildings.
For fire safety tips both on and off campus please take the time to visit Fire Safety & Education for College Students – provided by Fire Science Online.
Firescience.org was founded in 2011 and serves those looking for fire science education and fire safety information. Most recently, the organization has broadened its scope to address several public safety and service careers such as homeland security, EMTs, forestry, and criminal justice to name a few. Fire Science Online was funded by private donations and remains non-commercial and advertisement free.
Theft is by far the most common crime on college campuses. Most thefts are crimes of opportunity and can be prevented by taking simple precautions.
- Keep valuables with you at all times or leave them at home.
- Record the make, model, and serial numbers of all valuables and keep the records in a safe place.
- Engrave your property with your driver license or some other identification number.
- Report stolen property to the Security Department as soon as possible.
- Leave textbooks unattended, particularly toward the end of a semester. It is common for thieves to sell stolen textbooks back to the stores.
- Leave credit cards, checks, or other valuables when you “check your bag” in the bookstore while shopping.
- Leave your bookbag unattended in classrooms, library, study lounges, etc.
- Carry valubles such as your wallet, jewlery, or credit cards in your bookbag.
Personal Safety Tips
- Use the “Buddy System.” Walk in groups, if possible, or use the Escort Service.
- Stay in populated areas and avoid “short cuts” through deserted places, alleys, or bushes.
- Know the location of emergency call boxes and courtesy phones on campus.
- Park in well-lit areas as close to your destination as possible.
- Let a family member, friend or roommate know who you are with, where you will be, and when you will return. Leave an address and phone number if possible.
- Hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.
- Jog alone or in secluded areas. Ask one or more friends to jog with you.
- “Flash” large amounts of money or expensive jewelry.
If You Feel Threatened:
- If you are being followed by a suspicious person, go quickly to a well-lit area and/or group of people.
- If you feel you are in danger or are approached suddenly, yell “Fire!” or “Help, Police!” and scream as loud as you can. Many people have avoided or escaped harm simply by screaming.
- If someone follows you into your driveway, stay in your car with the windows shut and the doors locked. Honk your horn to get the attention of neighbors and scare off the other driver.
- If a car approaches you while you are on foot and you feel threatened, scream and run in the opposite direction from which the car is going.
Preventing Sexual Assault
Augsburg University has increased its efforts to reduce sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. For a list of available resources both on- and off-campus, visit the Sexual Misconduct page, which includes information on assistance options (immediate and later), and victims’ rights information.
If You or a Friend has been Sexually Assaulted:
- Get to a safe place—contact the Department of Public Safety or 911 if you are in danger
- Contact someone you trust
- Do not: shower, wash, douche, use the rest room, change clothes, comb your hair, clean up the scene, or move items – evidence preservation is essential.
- Consider seeking medical attention with a SANE Nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). The exam may still be effective up to 72 hours later, but the sooner the better to preserve evidence.
- If you are comfortable doing so, report the incident to: DPS, Student Affairs, CCHP, Campus Ministry, or Residence Life
- Remember: you are not at-fault! Healing takes time, and help is available.
For immediate assistance 24 hours per day: you should contact the Department of Public Safety at 612-330-1717, use the CampusShield App to contact the Public Safety Dispatch Center, or call Minneapolis Police by dialing 9-1-1.
PARTY SMART & PLAN AHEAD!
There is no absolute way to prevent a sexual assault, but you can help reduce the risk to yourself or someone else by thinking and planning ahead. If you are going to party:
- Know your Limits with Alcohol– Don’t drink to excess. Besides concerns about sexual assault, high-risk alcohol consumption can have numerous other consequences including poor grades, driving while intoxicated, non-sexual assaults, unsafe sex, injury, organ damage, etc.
- Drink with friends– Avoid drinking with people you don’t know, people who insist you “keep up,” or make fun of you for not drinking enough. Drink with people you can trust and who will stay with you.
- Use the Buddy System– Have at least one buddy who will stay with you and who will not drink or knows his/her limits. This buddy could be you. The buddy can tell you when you have had too much and can keep watch out for you and know if you disappear
- Make a Plan– Before you go out, make a plan! Talk to your friends about where you are going, who you know there, how you will get there, when you will leave, and how you will get home. Set up check points for the evening or codes to make it easy to communicate with your friends.
- Always Know where Your Drink Came from and where it is – If you didn’t see the bartender pour it and hand it to you, don’t accept drinks from anyone. Hold onto your drink, even when you go to the bathroom If your drink is out of sight even for just a second, get a new one–spiking a drink takes almost no time. Don’t drink from punch-bowls or open containers. If you’re drink tastes funny, get rid of it.
- Charge your Cell Phone and Keep it with You– You never know when you will need it, and it’s your easiest way to get help in an emergency.
- Avoid Clubs or Parties where Women get in for Free, but Men have to Pay– If a club or party lets women in for free, or allows them to drink for free, but makes men pay for admission or drinks, think twice about going.
- Trust Your Instincts– if something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation and/or get help.
Have Money and the Number for a Taxi or Transportation Network Company – You may need to leave a bar or party and get home. Make sure you have the number for a taxi or an app for a transportation network company (such as Uber of Lyft) so that you can call if you need to. While many cab companies take credit cards, not all cabs are equipped for credit cards, so make sure you have enough cash to get home.
Theft From Auto is the theft of something from inside a vehicle, such as the stereo. The theft of a part, such as a hood ornament or hubcap, is also considered theft from auto.
Auto Theft is when an entire car is stolen. Auto theft is on the rise nationwide.
Car Jacking is the theft of an auto by force. This crime, while highly publicized, is less common than auto theft.
- Always roll up windows, close the sunroof and lock your doors before leaving your vehicle.
- Whenever possible, bring valuables with you once you have parked your car. If you can’t bring them with you, lock all valuables in the trunk and out of sight, whenever your vehicle is parked.
- Make sure you have plenty of gas and windshield washer fluid. Ensure your tires have plenty of air and your spare tire and jack are serviceable.
- Record the make, model, and license number of your car and keep the records in a safe place.
- Park your car in a well-lit area, as close to your destination as possible.
- When returning to your vehicle, keep your keys in hand while walking with confidence and purpose.
- Report any suspicious activity to Augsburg’s Department of Public Safety by calling 612-330-1717 from an off-campus phone or 1717 from an on-campus phone.
- Trust your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable, or if you have any concerns for your safety, call Augsburg Public Safety for an escort.
- Leave cash, credit cards, auto registration or other important papers in plain view or in the glove compartment.
- Leave valuables such as notebook computers, cell phones or MP3 players in your car.
- Take “short-cuts” through dark or unfamiliar areas.
Preventing Bicycle theft
Preventing Bike Theft
Bicycle theft is an ongoing problem at this and every college. Most bicycle thefts can be prevented by taking simple precautions. You can also substantially increase the chances of recovering your bicycle should it be stolen.
Register Your Bike!
Of over 15,000 bicycles stolen in the U.S. every day, only 2-5% are ever returned to their owners. One of the best ways to ensure your bike is recovered is to have it registered. You can register your bike with the City of Minneapolis.
Securing your Bike
Securing Your Bike Using a Cable Lock or Chain
- Use a cable or chain at least 3/8″ in diameter.
- Use a key lock with a 3/8″ hardened shackle with heel and toe locking.
- Pull up all slack in the cable or chain and make sure the lock is as high off the ground as possible.
Securing Your Bike Using a “U”-type lock
- Bike with quick release wheels- release the front wheel and include this with the rear wheel and frame.
- Bike without quick release wheels- secure the lock through both tire and frame.
- Secure to a bicycle rack. University regulations do not allow bicycles in campus buildings or secured to trees, signposts, hand railings, etc. Contact Buildings & Grounds for more information regarding this policy.
- Record make, model, and serial number and keep in a safe place.
- Inscribe your driver license number on the frame.
- Report your stolen bicycle to the security department as soon as possible.
- Report suspicious persons observed near bicycle racks.
- Use authorized bike racks on campus. Off campus, secure your bike in a frequently traveled, well-lit area.
- Leave your unlocked bicycle unattended “just for a minute.”
- Use cable or chain lock, no matter how large, as they are easily defeated with bolt cutters.
- Secure to chain link fencing or other objects significantly weaker in strength than your lock.