In an Emergency, call 911
Most theft on college campuses is the result of desirable items not being properly secured. Basic prevention measures can greatly reduce the likelihood of theft, including:
- Do not leave valuables like laptop computers, backpacks, and purses in unsecured offices or classrooms, even for just a few minutes
- Secure items in vehicles out of sight. When possible, lock them in the trunk or take them with you
- Keep a record of credit card numbers and contact information so cards can be quickly cancelled if necessary
- Keep a record of the make, model, and serial numbers of all electronic equipment
- Do not leave windows open, even if just a few inches.
- Use quality locks on bicycles that resist cutting from bolt cutters or wire cutters
- Use quality locks on doors, preferably deadbolts
- Follow departmental safety and security procedures
- Report suspicious activity
If victimized, do not touch/handle things until after police have been called so you don't destroy possible evidence.
Virtually everyone has seen someone they thought did not belong in an area, or was doing something that didn't quite seem right. In some cases, these suspicious people have been reported and found to be terrorists conducting surveillance activities and many lives were saved. In other instances, it was determined that the person was not actually doing anything wrong. Either way the decision to report suspicious behavior is appropriate.
When people are planning on committing a crime, they frequently "test" the environment to see what they can get away with and the ease with which they will be able to commit their eventual crime. They often begin by doing things that are not proper, but not necessarily illegal. This may include trying door knobs to see if any are left open, looking closely at door latches to see if they might be able to jam them in the open position, taking pictures of the area (especially of site lines, camera locations, alarm panels, doors, windows, and equipment), sitting and watching the habits and patterns of the people who work there, etc.
If something or someone doesn't feel quite right, it is always best to take the safe approach and report it to the proper police or security authorities so it can be checked out. Don't feel bad if the person ends up being innocent, as the next time the suspicious person might be up to no good.
If you are the victim of an attack on campus or if the assailant is an NMSU student, immediately report the incident to NMSU Police. If circumstances warrant it, NMSU police may release a warning to the entire campus to protect the community, but will do so in a manner that protects the identity of the victim. The decision to report a sexual assault is a very personal one and It often makes sense to consult with an advocate or counselor. However, it is important to consider that any attack by a stranger can pose an alarming risk to the entire campus community.
Immediately following a sexual assault:
Go to a safe place. Consider going anywhere you will feel safe.
Do not clean up. Don't wash up, change clothes, eat, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom or brush your hair. It may be difficult, but you may destroy evidence that could be useful should you decide to report the assault to police. Even if you are not sure about reporting the assault, it makes sense to preserve the option of reporting until you make a final decision.
Call someone you trust. No matter how late it is, don't stay alone. Consider calling a close friend or family member. Consider also calling the La Piñon (Rape Crisis Center) at 575-526-3427 or the 24-hour crisis line for Southern New Mexico (The C.A.L.L.) at 575-646-2255(CALL) or 1-888-314-6841.
Within 24 hours of a sexual assault:
- Secure medical consultation. Go to Memorial Medical Center or another health professional. Medical staff can evaluate any injuries you may have suffered and screen for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Consider asking someone you trust to accompany you when you go to your medical consultation.
- Consult with someone who can help you review your options for reporting the assault.
Following a sexual assault:
- Consult with a counselor. Many survivors of sexual assault experience troubling emotions in the wake of an assault. Sometimes these emotions occur immediately and sometimes much later. It is not uncommon for survivors to experience shock, anger, helplessness, self-blame, shame, problems with eating or sleeping, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, irritability, denial and fear. A professional counselor can help sort through and understand these feelings and can help you get your life back on track.
Call 911! Active shooter incidents are extremely dangerous. They are often the result of an individual familiar with an area carrying out a planned attack on the occupants of a building. During an active shooting incident, time is critical.
- If gunshots are heard, avoid getting closer to the area to see what is happening.
- Act quickly to get as far away as possible, warning others as you leave.
- If unable to escape, making an office or classroom into a shelter may be the only possibility.
- Doors should be locked ( or blocked), windows covered, and cover (like thick tables or desks) used.
- Call 911 to notify authorities about what is happening and that you are trapped.
- Do not answer the door if someone knocks.
- It may take quite a while for officers to get to you, as they will first focus on stopping the shooter(s).
- Remember, the longer it takes to get to you, the further away from the actual shooting you are likely to be.
- If you are trapped and are able to find a means of escape or self-defense, use them when you can do so as safely as possible.
- If directly confronted by a shooter, defending yourself with what is available may be the only viable option.
Due to a number of high-profile incidents over the last 40 years, there are a number of examples of attacks available that are used by some criminals to plan their actions. This means that large-scale shooting incidents will continue to be a threat at schools and workplaces.
Gather as much information from the caller as you can.
- If a recorder is available, make sure it is running
- Note the time and Caller ID information
- Note which line the call is coming in on
- Pay close attention to the exact words used
- Keep the caller on the line as long as possible, try to get as much detailed information as possible, to include:
- Where is the bomb?
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- What does the bomb look like? What kind?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Who placed the bomb? Why?
- Where are you calling from?
- What is your name? Address?
- Note the following characteristics of the caller:
- Does it sound like a male or female voice?
- What is the caller's demeanor (calm, angry, rushed, laughing, crying, sincere, etc.)
- Does the caller have any special characteristics (accent, stutter, lisp, slur, nasal sound, high pitch, low pitch, squeaky, etc.)
- Does the caller speak fast, rushed, slow, deliberate, loud, soft, etc.
- Is the voice familiar?
- Are there any background noises?