News and Information about the University of Maryland Police Department

Winter Break Safety Tips

Dear University of Maryland Community,

As finals come to an end and the winter break approaches, the University of Maryland Police Department would like provide some safety tips and crime prevention tools. We hope this information serves as a reminder of what you can do to reduce your chance of becoming a victim of a crime and to help you remain safe during the winter break.

If you will be home or at your UMD residence this winter break here are some tips to help you stay safe this season:

  • Keep doors and windows locked, regardless of whether they are an upper or lower level windows/entrances.
  • Before you leave your home, check to be sure that all windows and doors locked.
  • Require identification from all strangers (includes delivery/repair persons and police officers). If you're not sure of a person's ID, call the person’s company/agency to verify.
  •  Never leave notes/messages on your door since they advertise that you're away and when you plan to return.
  •  Don't ever tell anyone that you are home alone.
  •  Use blinds and drapes for privacy.
  •  Ensure bushes are trimmed back to remove hiding places for potential criminals.
  •  Ensure your home has good interior and exterior lighting for safety and protection.
  • Always have car/house keys in hand before exiting secured areas.
  •  Keep hands free of excessive packages/bulky items when you’re travelling to/from your home.
  • Never enter your home if you see that a door or window has been forced.   Go to the nearest safe place and contact the local police immediately. 
  •  Never place a key over your doorway or under a flower pot, etc.  If you think you may need access to a spare key, consider leaving a key with a trusted friend or neighbor.
  • Don’t display presents under the tree if they can be seen from a window.

If you will be away for all or part of this winter break, below are some safety tips to consider:  

  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries.
  • Place lights on a timer to give the appearance of someone being home.
  • Take valuable items such as jewelry, money, portable electronic devices, etc., with you to avoid potential theft.
  • Double-check to be sure all windows and doors are locked and secured before you leave.
  • Ask a friend or a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your residence while you are away.
  • Set your alarm to your security system.
  • If you are leaving your vehicle for a long period of time, remove items of value, secure windows and doors, and if you have a security feature, engage it.
  • Store away and secure any loose items that might be in the yard, for example, a ladder, tools, etc.
  • With winter comes below freezing temperatures; disconnect the garden hose if it is still connected to the outside faucet.

And last minute shopping tips:

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Walk in well-lit, populated areas; avoid cut-through paths and short-cuts.
  • Try to park in busy, well-lit areas and avoid parking beside large vehicles which can obstruct views.
  • Lock your car doors and place all valuables in the trunk or under the seats.     
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash.  Pay with a check, debit card, or credit cards.
  • Keep your purse closed and close to your body and/or carry your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.


Important Safety Resources: (Program these numbers into your mobile phone)

University of Maryland Police

301-405-3555 (non-emergency) / #3333 from mobile device / 911

Prince George’s County Police

911 from mobile phone / 301-352-1200 (non-emergency) / 911




Testudo Fire

On December 18, 2013, University of Maryland Police Criminal Investigations Unit and the Office of the University Fire Marshal have reviewed camera footage and have ruled the Testudo fire to be accidental. The cause of the fire was due to a lamp shade being place over a lit candle.  There was no damage to Testudo and no injuries reported.





On December 18, 2013 at approximately 1am, a Student Police Aide reported a small fire in front of McKeldin Library.  Officers responded and, upon arrival, found that offerings to Testudo, such as notes and books, were set fire on top of the statue.  The fire had been extinguished prior to the officer's arrival.  There is no damage to the statue itself.  Facilities Management was notified to clean up the burnt debris. Malicious intent has not been ruled out and the case is under investigation. It is a tradition that students will leave momentos for Testudo, including candles, books, notes and other personal items. 

Updates will be posted here when available.

UMPD, PGPD, and UMD Athletics are participating in Toys For Tots this Saturday at the Men's Basketball game

The University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) would like to thank those who came out to the game on Saturday, December 14th, 2013 and donated a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. UMPD, Prince George's County Police, and UMD Athletics collected 120 toys during the men's basketball game.

Happy Holidays!!!





UMD College Park Closed 12/10/13

The University of Maryland College Park is closed today, Tuesday, December 10, 2013.  If the University remains closed on Wednesday, we will issue a UMD Information Advisory.  Please monitor or call 301-405-SNOW for the University's status on Wednesday.


Stay Safe!


Weather Advisory

Winter Weather Advisory for this Weekend

The National Weather Service is forecasting a chance of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow for College Park, Maryland through Monday evening. There is little to no snow accumulation expected. Keep in mind with the expected heavy rainfall, potential snow, and ice, traffic delays may occur. Please plan accordingly when committing and traveling.

If the University closes due to weather conditions, the campus community will be notified through the UMD Alerts system. You can also contact the snow hotline at 301-405-SNOW (7669) or watch the local news.

For additional information, including safety tips and weather resources, check out and

Thanks, and stay safe!

Wintry Mix expected Sunday in the Washington, DC area

Precipitation is expected to start between the early morning and noon on Sunday in the Washington, DC area. Snow is likely before 1200 hours, then snow and sleet between 1200 to 1600 hours, then freezing rain and sleet after 1600 hours. The high will be near 34 degrees F. There is a 90% chance of precipitation, with new precipitation amounts vary depending on the weather source from between a quarter and a half an inch possible to up to an inch. The highest snow accumulation is likely to be west of DC. Sunday night there will be freezing rain and sleet before 2000 hours, then rain or freezing rain between 2000 to 0000 hours, then rain after 0000 hours, with a low of around 31 degrees F. The chance of precipitation is again 90% with new precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. The rain is likely to continue on Monday, with a 60% chance of precipitation.

Source: Accuweather, NWS, Washington Post, WJLA


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