Personal Safety & Property Protection

The Department of Public Safety & Campus Police provides several options and tips to the campus community for personal safety and property protection.

Personal Safety

Whether you are walking on campus, working alone or waiting for the elevator, here are some tips for personal safety.

  • Be aware - recognize your vulnerability
  • Report all suspicious people, vehicles and activities to campus police immediately
  • Use the "buddy system" and watch out for your neighbor
  • Keep your door locked, especially when you're alone in a building
  • Report any hazardous conditions or burned-out lights to the Physical Plant office, at 704-892-2595
  • Note the locations of emergency phones in academic buildings, as well as the escort phones around campus. Phones inside buildings are silver, and outside phones are yellow with the word "Emergency" on the side and a blue light on top.

When in an elevator:

  • If alone with a stranger while waiting for an elevator, wait for its return.
  • If uneasy while on an elevator with someone, get off at the next floor.
  • Always stand near the control panel, so as to have access to the alarm and floor buttons.
  • Emergency phones are installed in all passenger elevators. Push the button, and the phone will automatically dial the police communications center.

When walking:

  • Avoid traveling alone at night. Rather, call campus police (704-894-2178) for safety escort service.
  • If walking alone and someone passes by, check to be sure that person has continued walking the other direction.
  • Avoid the athletic fields and tennis courts after dark.
  • Confine walking to well lit, regularly traveled walks and pathways. Avoid short cuts, and keep away from shrubbery, bushes, alleyways, or any other areas where an assailant might be lurking.
  • Do not hitchhike or accept rides from casual acquaintances.
  • When walking to a parked vehicle, residence, or campus building, have keys in hand and ready.
  • When being dropped off at a residence or campus building by taxi or private vehicle, ask the driver to wait until you are inside.
  • If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction. The vehicle will have to turn around in order to continue its pursuit.
  • When getting out of a car at a public place, take a look around to make sure that no one is following. If followed, cross the street. If necessary, keep crossing back and forth. If pursued, call for help and run to a campus building, business, or residence; enlist the aid of a passerby; flag down a passing motorist; or, as a last resort, pull a fire alarm. Do anything that might attract attention or summon assistance.
  • If confronted by an assailant, remember that while screaming and struggling may in some instances frighten off the assailant, in other instances such actions may further antagonize the assailant and bring forth a more violent reaction. It is extremely important to remain as calm as possible and to assess the situation before choosing a course of action. Whether or not the assailant is armed or makes threats against your life will, obviously, be a determining factor in making a decision. The goal is survival.

Property Protection

Operation Identification

This nationwide program involves the permanent marking of valuables and affixing a decal to the exterior of the residence warning potential thieves that the property within is registered with the police. This program deters theft by making stolen property more difficult to sell and easier to identify.

This program is available to all members of the Davidson College community, and all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate by visiting the Public Safety office in the Tomlinson Building basement.

Bicycles

  • Invest in a good bicycle lock. Locks are available in the college bookstore and are sold at cost.
  • Always lock a bicycle. Bicycles should be locked around the frames to an object such as a telephone pole, sign or lamppost, bicycle rack, etc.
  • Whenever possible, keep bicycles in a well lit, heavily traveled location.
  • Register your bicycle with Public Safety. Registration is free. Login required.

Motor Vehicles

  • Report all suspicious persons or vehicles seen around parking areas to Campus Police.
  • Keep your vehicle locked and the windows rolled up tightly.
  • Never leave your vehicle running when unattended.
  • When parking, choose a well lit, heavily traveled area.
  • Lock packages, luggage, and other valuables in the trunk.
  • Consider having your vehicle's ignition, doors, and trunk keyed differently.
  • Keep spare keys in your wallet or purse, not inside the vehicle where a thief can easily find them.
  • Consider the installation of anti-theft devices such as alarm systems.
  • Keep a record of your vehicle identification number (VIN), registration plate number, and title certificate number in a separate location.
  • Register Faculty/Staff Vehicle with the Campus Police.
  • Register Student Vehicle with the Campus Police.

Offices and Labs

  • Keep all offices and laboratories locked when not in use.
  • Make sure that all locking devices are in proper working order.
  • Utilize a key control system. All department keys should be signed out and collected when not in use. Keys should be issued only when absolutely necessary.
  • Do not label keys with their use. Use a code system instead.
  • Keep desks, cabinets, etc., locked when not in use.
  • Avoid bringing valuable personal property into unsecured areas.
  • Petty cash should be kept to a minimum.
  • Women should keep their pocketbooks locked up, and men should not hang up coats or jackets with wallets or other valuables in the pockets.
  • Before leaving, check to make sure that no one is hiding and that the area is properly secure.
  • Watch out for your neighbors. If someone forgets to secure an area or property, keep an eye on it.

Report all suspicious persons or improperly secured areas to Campus Police immediately.