Seasonal security: Stay alert

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | October 14, 2021

Image with file name: Campusnight020321.jpg

As the seasons change and it begins getting darker earlier, the UNMC Department of Public Safety would like to offer tips to help you stay safe on campus. 

Personal safety

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Reduce distractions (including your phone), look around, and if you see (or hear) something . . . say something by calling 402-559-5111. 

If you have experienced threats or an uncomfortable contact on campus, report the situation immediately to public safety at (402) 559-5111 and your administrator. 

If you have had an incident occur off campus that may pertain to your work or study on campus, or could impact your safety and/or the safety of others on campus, contact public safety at 402-559-5111 and your administrator. Safety planning is available to help everyone be safer on campus. 

What can I do?

  • Immediate threat: Call UNMC Public Safety at 402-559-5555.
  • Communicate coworker concerns to Employee Relations at 402-559-4371.
  • Communicate patient concerns to Patient Relations at 402-559-8158.
  • Talk with your manager about concerns.
  • Add these numbers to your phone for easy access.

Work ID badges required, tailgating into buildings not allowed

Public Safety reminds faculty, staff and students not to let individuals "tailgate" or enter secured buildings or areas without their work identification badge.

Be bold, said Chief of Police Charlotte Evans, in asking the individual to scan their work ID to ensure they, too, have building access. Do not hold the door open for someone without a work ID, she said. "We can be ‘Nebraska nice’ in asking for their work identification, thank them once they’ve scanned their badge and then smile and acknowledge it’s about keeping all of us safe."

Call public safety at 402-559-5111 if you encounter: 

  • Someone attempting to get into a secured building without a badge. 
  • Someone in a secured building without a badge. 
  • Someone on a secured elevator without a badge. 
  • Anyone, anywhere on campus that appears in need of assistance, seems out of place or gives cause for concern.

A call to public safety will ensure that the unaccompanied guest without a badge either gets the help they need or a quicker escort from the property.

Vehicle safety

Here are some tips for safety around your vehicle and in the parking lot. 

  • Never leave your keys in the car, not even for a short time.
  • Keep valuables out of sight. Those who break into cars often look in several until they see something that looks like a quick opportunity.   
  • Close the windows and sunroof of your vehicle. Lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended. 
  • Park with care, particularly at night. If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area. 
  • Pay particular attention as you approach your vehicle, including in, around, and underneath as you approach it. 
  • Have your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle. 
  • If you notice something unusual, keep walking to a safe place and call public safety at (402) 559-5111 if you are on campus. If you are off campus, call the police at 911. 

A suspicious person

Here are some tips if you encounter a person who appears to have no purpose or legitimate reason for being on campus: 

  • Project calmness and confidence. Be friendly but professional. 
  • Challenge persons only when you can do so safely and never alone. 
  • Never jeopardize your safety by acting alone, regardless of how unthreatening the person may appear. 
  • Never provide personal information to someone you don't know. 
  • If you believe a person has no legitimate purpose on campus, call public safety at (402) 559-5111 to alert them to the individual and give a location, description of the person, and details of the incident. 
  • Never try to physically remove someone yourself. 

Trust your intuition. It's important to remember if a situation feels wrong, it probably is. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and call public safety at (402) 559-5111.

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