The purpose of the Police Services Crime Prevention program is to mitigate the likelihood of crime before it occurs. Sonoma State University Police Services, an accredited state law enforcement agency since 1974 has dedicated the past 30 years to identifying methods to reduce crime in the University environment. Police Services also have personnel trained in the field of crime prevention and are available to assist the University community with meeting needs in this area. Police Services believes that by joining forces with the community, crime can be reduced through education, training, and communication. Police Services provides many crime prevention services (at not cost to you), that include the following:
- Live Scan fingerprinting
- Motorist Assistance
- Safety Escorts
- Bicycle Registration
- Safety/Physical Security Assessments for students, faculty and staff;
- Lighting and landscape/visual obstruction assessments;
- "Town Hall" community meeting coordination
- "Knock and Talk" alcohol and drug abuse prevention awareness conversations
Additionally, the following key tips will reduce the likelihood of you becoming a crime victim.
Residential Hall Security
- Lock you doors at all times, particularly when you leave your room.
- Keep emergency phone numbers by your residential phone.
- Do not leave messages on your door or voicemail indicating when you will be gone and/or when you will return.
- Do not let strangers enter your residence. Call Police Services if you observe a stranger around your residence.
- Do not open your door to permit a stranger to use your phone. Call Police Services and ask them to assist the stranger with their telephone needs.
- Do not place your address on your key ring.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
- Do not leave your keys in "hiding" places. Thieves can find hidden keys.
- Do not keep large sums of cash in your room.
- Do not place valuables (e.g.: credit cards, jewelry, IPOD's) in front of your windows.
- Report broken lights and locks to Facility Services immediately.
- When in doubt, call Police Services.
- Use the "buddy system" and walk in pairs, especially after dark.
- Call Police Services for a safety escort. Officers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
- Avoid walking poorly lit areas.
- Walk with a purpose and demonstrate and awareness of your surroundings.
- Keep your hands free from carrying unnecessary objects.
- Walk with a cellular phone and program the Police Services phone number into it's contact list. The SSU Police Services phone number is (707) 664-4444.
- Do not become distracted by cellular phone or IPOD use.
- Have your keys handy when approaching your vehicle. Being able to immediately enter your auto or residence is critical to your safety.
- Familiarize yourself with the geographical layout of the University.This will enable you to accurately provide Police Services with your location in the event of an emergency.
- Utilize the emergency phone stations that are strategically located throughout the University (blue lights and panic button).
- Refer to the telephone symbols on this campus map to locate emergency phones.
Parking Lot Security & General Vehicle Safety
- Approach your vehicle with keys in hand.
- Activate your vehicle's interior dome light (if equipped with unlock remote control) prior to entering your vehicle.
- Look inside your vehicle prior to entering.
- Lock your doors upon entering the vehicle.
- Drive your vehicle with doors locked. If you are alone, be sure your passenger window is up.
- When stopping in traffic or intersection, leave room in front of your vehicle to steer away from potential trouble.
- Don't become distracted by cellular phone use.
- Don't provide rides to strangers.
- Don't leave your mail in plain view inside your vehicle. Criminals can read your address from an envelope and follow you home.
- Don't stop and offer assistance to a stranger whose car has broken down. Use your cellular phone to summon assistance.
- Ensure your vehicle is well maintained with a full tank of gas.
- Consider purchasing towing/roadside service coverage.
- Don't park in poorly lit areas.
- Do select a parking area that is free from large vans, trucks, bushes or other objects that could conceal a criminal or impair your ability to summon help.
- Don't park your car if you see a stranger loitering for no apparent reason. Drive away.
- Record serial numbers of expensive property (e.g.: TV, stereo, laptop computers).
- Engrave valuables with your drivers license number.
- Register your bicycle with Police Services.
- Don't leave property unsecured, such as bicycles, backpacks, laptops, wallets or cellular phones.
- Keep your suite door (bedroom door) closed and locked when hosting social gatherings in common areas of residences.
- Immediately report stolen property to Police Services.
- Report instances of someone carrying expensive property out of a Residential Community, especially during unusual hours.
- Don't leave property unattended in public hallways, classrooms, the library or curbside.
- Consider keeping the contents of your backpack/purse to a minimum.
- Serve as a leader in your Residential Community by facilitation a "Town Hall" meeting with your neighbors. Invite Police Services to provide a crime prevention presentation.
- Visit the Police Services building (located in Verdot Village) and meeting with a police officer to discuss basic crime prevention strategies.
- Read the Crime Watch section of the Sonoma State Star newspaper to learn what types of crimes are occurring in your community.
We hope the information here is helpful. Remember that police and community services officers are always on patrol ensuring the safety of everyone on campus but we can't do it alone. Be an active member of this community by reporting suspicious activities.