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Safety alerts intended to spur student caution

Adrienne Ruffner | Tuesday, November 1, 2005

When leaving for class, the dining hall or a night out with friends, many Notre Dame students don’t think twice about leaving their doors unlocked. Unfortunately, a continual problem for some of these trusting students is returning to their rooms to find some of their belongings stolen.

“There is a definite concern over students leaving their rooms unlocked and being burglarized,” said Phil Johnson, Associate Director of Notre Dame Security/Police (NDSP).

In an effort to make students more aware of safety risks, NDSP, the Campus Life Council and the South Bend Police Department released their first Safety Beat newsletter to all students last Thursday via e-mail.

The newsletter, which will be emailed to students biweekly, contains safety tips and information about crimes and other safety concerns on and around campus.

“This is a collaborative effort,” Johnson said. “We hope to make information available to students so they can be aware of crimes in the places they frequent.”

Last week’s edition explained Safety Beat’s purpose and also included tips on how to prevent vehicle larceny. The tips advised students to keep their cars locked at all times, to park in well-lit areas and to avoid keeping valuables in the car.

“Each e-mail will have a topic,” Johnson said. “We will put timely tips in them. For example, before holiday break the e-mail will include tips on vacation watches and how to secure valuables. This will be especially important for students who live off-campus.”

Safety Beat also contains links to the South Bend Police Department Web site and other community resources. By clicking on the links, students have instant access to maps of recent crimes and data.

NDSP is working with student government so future editions will have links to different events downtown, in order to bring students closer to the South Bend community.

Johnson said organizers began working on Safety Beat at the end of last school year and continued the project’s planning into the fall semester.

“We want there to be more dialogue between police and students,” Johnson said.