The “office criminal” is usually a criminal of opportunity. The criminal selects the time and location for the crime. The victim is not selected but is a matter of chance. The thief will find an open, empty office and take whatever he thinks he can obtain successfully. This is also true of attackers. If a criminal can commit his crime with little or no risk involved he will do it. Our goal is to increase the criminal’s risk of apprehension! A criminal doesn’t want to get caught; therefore, he will avoid “high risk” areas.

Personal Safety

  • Don’t make travel patterns. Change your route, time, etc.
  • Don’t stay in an empty building alone, especially at night.
  • When walking in hallways, turn corners at a wide angle; this will give you more time to react to an attack.
  • If you must go in a building, have someone stay with you or at least tell someone where you are, how long you’ll be there, and a phone number where you may be reached.
  • Use the “Buddy System” whenever possible.
  • Any time you are alone keep your office door shut and locked: install and use a peephole.
  • If you are riding in an elevator, stand near the control panel so you will have easy access to it if necessary. If someone is on the elevator when it arrives wait for the next one to come. If attacked in an elevator hit as many buttons as you can (except for the stop button).
  • Make it a strict policy not to give out phone numbers or addresses of fellow employees. Get a name and number and have the employee return the call.
  • Keep all rooms, closets, or other small areas locked when not in use. They may be used as a hiding place.
  • If you notice a suspicious looking person in a hallway, take a good look at them and call the Marshall University Police Department immediately. Don’t ignore the situation; the M.U. Police want to know about the suspicious person.
  • Avoid secluded areas.
  • Carry a whistle or other noise maker of some sort.
  • Keep private rooms locked at all times. If they cannot be locked, have one installed or install a bell to alert you if someone is entering.
  • If you notice anything out of place in an office, do not enter; call Marshall University Police to check it out.
  • Don’t keep scissors, letter openers, or other sharp objects on top of your desk.
  • Keep the Marshall University Police number (4357 or HELP) near your telephone.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. If it is absolutely necessary, stay in well populated, well lighted areas. Also, when walking outside, turn corners at wide angles.
  • Before entering your vehicle, look in the back seat or anywhere else an intruder might hide. When driving, make sure that your doors are locked and windows are up to a point where an arm cannot enter.

Theft control

  • Don’t leave valuables in your desk or locker. If this is impossible, keep them in a cabinet which is kept locked at all times.
  • Safeguard credit cards. Keep a list of credit cards along with account numbers in a separate place.
  • Never allow anyone to remove office machinery until the person has been identified and removal has been authorized.
  • If you walk in on a burglar, or are approached by a robber, follow the thief’s instructions exactly. Be observant and get a good description.
  • Don’t carry a wallet in your rear pants pocket. If you must, turn it sideways so that it will not come out.
  • Don’t carry excessive cash while at work. On payday don’t endorse your check until the time has come to cash or deposit it. It is wise to deposit most of your check and write checks for necessary items. If excessive amounts of cash are needed, keep it somewhere other than your wallet, such as a make-up case, a tissue pack, etc. Even better, separate it from your purse altogether.
  • Don’t leave your work area unattended at anytime unless your door is closed and locked.
  • Maintain an accurate inventory of personal items as well as supplies and equipment in your work area.
  • Keep all storage areas and desk drawers locked except when needed.
  • If on the first floor, be sure to lock windows when the office is unoccupied even during the day.
  • Maintain an up to date list of personnel who have access to your particular work area. Double check when an employee leaves or is terminated that all keys are returned.
  • Report all Crime or suspicious situations immediately to the Marshall University Police Department. 696-4357(HELP).

All members of the University community are urged to lend their support both in reporting crimes and practicing preventive measures to reduce them. Effective law enforcement and protection requires citizen cooperation and assistance. The rapid and successful detection of crime and the apprehension of criminals depend heavily on the speedy reporting and dissemination of facts to University Police. We all share the responsibility for making Marshall University the safest possible place in which to learn.