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Domus Properties educates students about safety issues

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Domus Properties sponsored a seminar Tuesday to educate its tenants about personal safety and hosting responsible parties.

The company rents over 38 houses to students and said they have a vested interest in educating their tenants about personal safety.

“We do this for the students because we are concerned about them and their safety,” Mark Kramer, owner of Domus Properties, said.

Speakers at the annual BBQ and seminar included representatives of the South Bend Police Department, the South Bend Code Enforcement Department, Notre Dame Security, and Residence Life. The speakers focused on potential issues students may face and ways these issues can be prevented.

Patrick Hechlinski, a South Bend Police officer, said that the seminar is a good way to educate students who may be living on their own for the first time.

“We want to make sure students are alert and using their street smarts while they are living off- campus,” he said.

He said that criminals are looking for easy targets, so the best prevention is being aware of your surroundings. Hechlinski added that the seminar is not specifically in response to crime or problems in the area, but instead organized for preventative reasons.

“By hosting the seminar, we are taking pro-active steps to prevent problems”, he said.

The police officers gave students phone numbers that they can call for help and informed them of programs the police department offers to assist students. One program is a Homewatch service, where officers will monitor a house while its tenants are on break, to help prevent break-ins.

Along with safety tips, Hechlinski also warned students of the ramifications of violating South Bend laws. He wanted students to be aware of the fact that they could receive citations for serving underage drinkers or breaking noise ordinances.

Residence life and Notre Dame security also addressed the idea that actions by students off-campus have real consequences. He said that the University expects students to respect duLac rules even when they are living off-campus.

“Just because you are off-campus, certain types of behavior will still come to the attention of Resident Life,” Rick Kazmierzak, a Notre Dame police officer, said.