Safety Tips

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Along with the thousands of students, faculty, and staff who attend ECU, the number of pedestrians and vehicles on campus is nearly doubled on a daily basis by the thousands of visitors who come to our campus to attend business, sporting, cultural, and educational events.

Because of this heavy volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the ECU Police Department strictly enforces all motor vehicle and traffic laws. This is done to increase the safety of the pedestrians and decrease the number of vehicle collisions. Speeding, driving while intoxicated, and blocking fire/emergency lanes are several of many violations that place members of the ECU community in danger.

Effective policing is a community activity. Help protect yourself against crime by using the following common-sense safety precautions:

Never ignore your gut feelings.

Always expect the unexpected.

DIAL 911 or call the ECU Police at (252) 328-6787 immediately if you witness suspicious activity or a crime being committed!

Residence Halls

  • Report unusual or suspicious activities to the ECU Police Department immediately at (252) 328-6787.
  • Do not admit anyone but your own visitors into the residence halls.
  • Never leave the residence hall doors ajar.
  • Keep room doors and suite doors locked, even if you are just going down the hall for a few minutes.
  • Lock your room door when you leave and take your keys with you. Do not leave valuable items in the common suite area unless the suite is kept locked.
  • Keep small valuable items (jewelry, cash, wallets, purses, etc.) out of sight, in a closed or locked drawer or another area that no one knows about.
  • Small electronics such as iPods, mp3 players, cell phones, thumb drives, and laptops are easily taken by thieves and must be secured.
  • Mark your valuables with a personal identification number (offered by ECU PD as “Operation I.D.”).
  • Contact the ECU Police Department for a Safety Escort if you need to be accompanied back to your room at night.
  • Report any rape or sexual assault even if you know the assailant. IT IS STILL A CRIME.

In Off-Campus Residence

  • Lock the doors and windows to your residence whenever you are away and when you are in your residence and may not hear someone enter, such as when you are sleeping. If you have a sliding glass door, secure it further by placing a length of wood in the track on the floor to stop it from opening.
  • If your doors do not already have one, talk to your landlord about getting a deadbolt.
  • Do not leave valuables and expensive equipment in plain view from the outside.
  • If possible, get a dog. If this is not possible, make it appear as if you have a dog. Get a large dog bowl and large chain and keep them in plain view.
  • When you are away from your residence, leave your interior lights on. Use a timer if you will be gone for more than one day.
  • If you will be gone for several days, inform a neighbor you can trust. Stop delivery of your mail and newspaper. Use light timers in several rooms.
  • Record the serial numbers of all your valuables. Mark your valuables with a personal identification number(offered by ECU PD as “Operation I.D.”).
  • If you have an answering machine, don’t leave a message that indicates you are away from home. Simply state that you are unavailable.
  • Use outside lights at each entrance to your residence. Make sure the lights are turned off during the day.
  • If you see a suspicious person, notify the local police. Be prepared to give a description of the person, and tell where you last saw the person and the direction he or she was headed at the time.
  • If you do arrive home to find that your residence has been broken into, do not enter, but go to a neighbor’s house or use your cell phone to call the police.

In Offices

  • Keep your office door locked when you are out.
  • Never leave personal valuables sitting out and take your purse or wallet with you when you exit the office, unless they have been placed in a locked, secure area.
  • Small electronics such as iPods, mp3 players, cell phones, thumb drives, and laptops are easily taken by thieves and must be secured.
  • Never work alone in an office or classroom on campus at night.
  • If you hear or see something suspicious, call the ECU Police Department immediately at (252) 328-6787.

Personal Safety

  • Create a safety plan.
  • Always let someone know where you are.
  • Program 911 and ECU Dispatch, (252) 328-6787, into your cell phone speed dial.
  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of the Emergency Blue-Light Phones on campus, as they are an instant means of contacting ECU Police Dispatchers.
  • Never walk alone at night; always walk with a friend.
  • Do not leave a party or bar with a casual acquaintance.
  • Never leave food or drinks unattended when at a social gathering.
  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • If your intuition tells you that you are at risk, leave the situation immediately.
  • Be constantly mindful of who is around you.
  • If you feel you are in danger, attract attention anyway you can – scream and run if necessary.
  • At night, stay in well lit areas and use routes that are more heavily traveled.
  • Walk confidently and assertively. A potential attacker looks for someone who appears vulnerable.
  • Walk in groups to class and to and from parking lots.
  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night.
  • Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging.
  • Know the route to your destination.
  • Walk in the center of the sidewalk-away from buildings, doorways, hedges, and parked cars.
  • Carry a noise-making device and have it ready to use (shrill whistles, hand-held alarms).
  • Avoid isolated places.
  • If all of the avoidance tactics fail and you find yourself with a knife to your throat and a demand for cash or car keys, give the perpetrator what he wants… it is not worth dying for.
  • Contact SafeRide if you need a ride off-campus after normal ECU Transit hours.
  • If someone asks you for directions, and if you choose to reply, remain at least two arms lengths away.
  • Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in. Capes, scarves, neckties and long necklaces are easy to grab.
  • Wear shoes and clothes that will allow you to move quickly.
  • When dropping someone off at their home, make sure they are safely inside before driving away. Have them do the same for you.
  • NEVER hitchhike.
  • Be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • When walking, face the oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you. You can also see cars coming in your lane.
  • Don’t overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
  • Enroll in a personal safety course such as RAD (offered by ECU PD).

In Your Car

  • Check the inside and around your car before entering to insure that no one is hiding there.
  • Do not open your window more than an inch if you respond to strangers who approach your car.
  • When approaching your vehicle always have your keys ready.
  • Look around your vehicle for any suspicious activity. If you see someone loitering around your vehicle, walk past until they leave.
  • When approaching your parked car, look to make sure no one is hiding underneath the vehicle.
  • Always keep doors locked and windows shut.
  • Don’t stop to assist a disabled motorist. Instead, contact a service station or police.
  • When stopped at a light, leave enough room between you and the car in front so you could make an escape, if necessary.
  • Be suspicious of anyone approaching the car with fliers, asking for change or directions. Be ready to leave carefully, even if it means running a red light or stop sign.
  • Park in well-lit designated parking areas. Try not to park next to a van, as you can be pulled in through the sliding door.
  • Keep all valuables out of sight in your trunk.
  • Carry a cell phone or have change in your car for emergency phone calls.
  • If you think you are being followed, change direction and drive immediately to an area with a lot of people. Call police while driving to the nearest law enforcement office.
  • If you are followed as you turn into your driveway at night, stay in your car with the doors locked until you identify the occupants of the other car. Sound your horn to get help.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and stay inside with doors locked. If someone stops to help, do not open your window or door, or accept a ride. Ask them to call for help.
  • Check your surroundings before getting out of your car.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don’t let the gas indicator fall below ¼ of a tank.
  • Always carry in your car: a flashlight, flares, fix-a-flat, maps, comfortable warm clothing, first-aid kit, empty gas can, white cloth to tie to antenna to signal distress, and cellular phone.
  • Learn basic auto maintenance.

Notice, Remember, and Report

  • License plate number.
  • Which way the car or person went.
  • Anything left at the scene by the assailant or the victim.
  • Description of car (color, number of doors, make/model).
  • Description of person, including:
    • approximate age, weight, height, and build
    • gender
    • color and length of hair
    • color of eyes
    • color of skin
    • description of clothing
    • distinctive marks including scars, tattoos, and body piercings