Crime prevention has been defined as anticipating, recognizing and appraising a crime risk, and then initiating some action to remove or reduce that risk. It’s an unfortunate fact that crime does occur on college campuses nationwide.
SWOSU is required by law to investigate and make public any crimes committed on or near the campus. Our SWOSU Campus Security staff also want to be sure that all staff, faculty, and students are aware of our involvement in crime detection and prevention. Our success is greatly increased when staff and students get involved and assist with crime prevention and detection. SWOSU offers preventative patrol by CLEET-certified police officers.
We encourage quick reporting of criminal incidents, no matter how small or insignificant they may appear. Victims have the right to expect and demand proper investigation of any crime, and their involvement and cooperation are vital to each case. All crimes are investigated immediately and thoroughly. Follow-up investigations will continue to collect other information and evidence to identify and apprehend the offenders. When caught, SWOSU Campus Security works in partnership with the Sayre Police Department and the Beckham County court system to prosecute the offenders.
There are steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim and to ensure your personal safety.
Protecting your property can be the first step in avoiding victimization. Steps include:
- Always lock all car doors.
- Never prop open any door
- Do not leave valuables or cash in plain view.
- Make copies of all your credit cards and other valuables in your wallet.
- Protect your books and put your name or identifying marks in several locations.
- Report all losses and incidents to the SWOSU Campus Security.
- Take all valuable items home with you during vacations or breaks.
- Do not send cash through the mail.
- Never leave your belongings unattended in public areas.
The second step in avoiding victimization is protecting your personal safety. There are several ways and areas that you can take steps – in your home, when driving, or while out walking or jogging. These ways are outlined below.
When at home, in an apartment or residence hall:
- Keep your room door locked when you are napping or sleeping.
- Never let unauthorized persons come into your room, enter residence halls, or enter apartment security doors. Always ask to see proper identification. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police immediately.
- Never prop open inside or outside doors.
- Do not hide keys outside of your room or apartment. Do not put your name or address on your keys.
- Avoid working or studying alone in a campus building.
- Never dress in front of a window. Draw blinds or curtains after dark.
- If you are awakened by an intruder inside your room, do not attempt to apprehend the intruder. Try to get an accurate description of the intruder and then call the police.
- Carry your car keys when approaching your vehicle so you can enter quickly.
- Lock your doors and keep windows rolled up whenever possible. Always check underneath your car and in the rear seat for intruders before entering your automobile.
- Drive on well-traveled and well-lit streets.
- Never hitchhike, and never pick up hitchhikers.
- If someone tries to enter your stopped vehicle, sound the horn and drive to a safe area such as a police station.
- If your vehicle breaks down, as any person who stops to help to call the police. Do not allow any person access to you or inside your car. Roll down your window no more than an inch. Be aware that an accident may be staged to provide the other driver an opportunity to commit a criminal act.
- Leave enough room between your car and the one ahead of you so you can drive around it if necessary.
- Call ahead when driving to your home or apartment late at night and have someone watch you walk from your car to the residence.
While walking or jogging:
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, and walk in groups of two or more at night.
- Avoid dark or vacant areas. Walk along well-lit routs. Avoid vulnerable, no exit places.
- Be alert to your surroundings. If you suspect you are being followed: Run in a different direction, go to the other side of the street and yell for help, or move quickly to a lighted area, a group of people, or an emergency phone.
- Have your keys ready when returning to your residence hall or apartment. Keep your personal or valuable items concealed and close to your body.
- Report suspicious persons or behavior to the police.
Steps to follow if you see suspicious activity or persons:
If you see any suspicious activity or person(s) on or near the University campus, it is your responsibility to call the Campus Dean's office at 580.928.5527 ext 106. Do not assume what you see is an innocent activity or that another individual has already called the police. Do not worry about being embarrassed; rather, think about what could happen if you do not act.
Suspicious persons may include:
- Person(s) loitering about at unusual hours and locations.
- Person(s) running, especially if something of value is being carried.
- Person(s) exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms. Person(s) could be under the influence of drugs or needing medical or psychiatric assistance.
- Person(s) carrying property that might be suspicious depending on the circumstances.
- Person(s) going from room to room trying door knobs.
Other unusual situations may be:
- Open or broken doors or windows.
- Unusual noises-anything suggestive of foul play, danger, or illegal activity.
- Person(s) sitting in parked vehicles for an extended period of time.
- Vehicles driving slowly in a parking lot at night.
- Any person(s) not affiliated with the University community.
Do not assume the person(s) may be a visitor(s) or University staff that you have not seen before. Call the Dean's office immediately.