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Holiday Safety Tips

With finals approaching and with the holiday season in full swing, please be aware of some important crime prevention and safety tips.   I hope this information serves as a reminder of what you can do to reduce your chance of being the victim of a crime and to help you remain safe during the holiday shopping season.

At your home or UMD residence:

  • Keep doors and windows locked, regardless of whether they are 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.   Get to the nearest space 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 / part of the winter break:

  • 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, laptops, iPods, TVs, 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.

When Out Shopping:

  • 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

Police / Community Basketball Game - College Park

University of Maryland Police, Maryland Park Police, and Prince George's County Police are partnering with the UMD Office of Community Engagement, Embry Center for Family Life, University of Maryland Athletics, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the City of College Park to host the Community Teens / Law Enforcement basketball game to foster our police - community relationship.

 Friday, December 7th, 2012

7:30 pm

College Park Community Center

5051 Pierce Avenue

 "Together We Are an Unstoppable Force ... For Good!"

 

Please come out and cheer the players on!

Members of the Media are Invited to join us at the event.

Operation Santa with a Badge

On December 8th, officers from the University of Maryland Police Department, along with officers from many neighboring police agencies will be participating in "Operation Santa with a Badge", a program developed by Sgt. Michael Rudinski of the Hyattsville City Police Department in 2003.  This year, police officers from many local agencies will pick up children in less-fortunate families from around their respective jurisdictions in police cars and take them holiday shopping.

Money is raised by the different police agencies, taking collections from local businesses, civic organizations and individual officers.  Officers drive the kids to the Prince George's Plaza mall in their police cruisers with the lights and sirens activated.  This is very exciting for the children.

"This is such a wonderful way our police officers can help make the holiday season just that much more special for a young boy or girl.  It is so heartwarming to be a part of this event," stated David B. Mitchell, Chief of Police.

2011 Santa with a Badge
2011 Santa with a Badge

Toys for Tots - UMPD, PGPD, and UMD Athletics

The University of Maryland Police Department is partnering with the Prince George’s County Police Department, the University of Maryland Athletics Dept., and the U. S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation for the 5th year to collect and distribute toys to children in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  UMDPS will have a toy drop-off location in the lobby of the police station located at the corner of Rossborough Lane and Route 1. We will be collecting unwrapped toys until December 19, 2012.  Additionally, toys will be collected at MD Terrapins Basketball games between now and December 19th at Comcast Arena. The distribution of toys will take place December 22, 2012 at the Prince George's County Police Headquarters located at 7600 Barlowe Road, Landover, Maryland 20785.

 

UMD Police Officers Among Those Honored at UMD Veterans Day Service

The University of Maryland Division of Student Affairs organized a Veterans Day program to honor University students, faculty and staff who who served in the Armed Forces. Several police officers and civilian employees of the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety were recognized.  Captain Robert Mueck, former Army and Coast Guard Reserve, and current Deputy Commander of the UMDPS Support Services Bureau spoke at the event.  The event took place November 9, 2012, at the University of Maryland Memorial Chapel. 

"The parallels drawn between military and law enforcement service are vast and the line between them is often blurred. Both are fighting a war—with our military fighting overseas and our law enforcement often fighting the war on crime domestically. Both professions require courage and bravery—and breed American heroes." - Craig Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

We are forever indebted to our officers and employees, and all veterans who served this great nation in military service.

 

University of Maryland Department of Public Safety Officers and Employees who Served or Are Serving

Captain Robert Mueck - Army; Coast Guard Reserve
Lieutenant John Cassady - Coast Guard Reserve
Lieutenant Brian Lintz - Air Force
Sergeant Shawn Elliott - Marine Corps
Sergeant Greg Brown - Army Reserve; Served in Iraq
Corporal Jerry Martin - Air Force
Master Patrol Officer Michael Balagtas - Navy
Master Patrol Officer Garwood Diggs - Air Force
Master Patrol Officer Jonas Ellis - Army
Master Patrol Officer Dwight Franklin - Army National Guard; Served in Afghanistan
Master Patrol Officer John Hampton - Air Force
Master Patrol Officer Roy Hill - Marine Corps Reserve
Master Patrol Officer Alex Smallwood - Army National Guard; Served in Iraq
Master Patrol Officer Tonya Walker - Army
Master Patrol Officer Dillon Williams - Marine Corps
Private First Class Vincent Deere - Air Force
Mr. Jaap Bier - Army
Mr. Brian Parham - Marine Corps
Mr. Tim Spencer - Marine Corps
Mr. Arnold Young - Army

 

UMD Police Make Quick Apprehension in Strong-Arm Robbery Case

On November 11, 2012 at approximately 3:15 a.m. the Prince George's County Police provided UMPD dispatchers with a description of suspects involved in a strong-arm robbery that had occured off campus on Knox Road in College Park.  At 4:15 a.m., a University of Maryland officer observed a vehicle in Lot K matching the description of the suspect vehicle.  The officer stopped the vehicle and noticed that the occupants matched the description given earlier by PGPD.  The student made a positive identification and the occupants were arrested and turned over the the PGPD detectives for further processing and investigation. 

Additional information about the incident may be obtained from the Prince George's County Police, Media Relations Division.

 

 

No Robbery on 11/1/12; Possible Assault

On November 1, 2012 at approximately 2:20 a.m., University of Maryland Police issued an alert for a possible strong-arm robbery occurring in the College Park Shopping Center (7300 block Baltimore Avenue).  The investigation conducted by the Prince George's County Police revealed that a robbery did not occur, but was more likely a simple assault.  PGPD is still investigating whether or not a crime was actually committed.

Obtaining information from the victim at the scene was extremely difficult due to his level of intoxication. Detectives will be re-interviewing the victim in an attempt to determine what had transpired.

University of Maryland Police sent out an alert to the campus community because it was thought at the time that a suspect was still at-large in the area. We feel that it is better to alert the community in order to build awareness so that people can make the best decisions with regard to their safety. While people should always be aware of their surroundings, when we believe that there is a danger to the public at the time, we always err on the side of caution when alerting the campus community.

 

UMD Police Make Quick Arrest in Off-Campus Assault

On October 28, 2012 at approximately 2:40 a.m. a male student reported to police that he was walking in a private alley behind the establishments at the 8400 block of Knox Road when he was assaulted by three males who took his cell phone and wallet.  The male walked to College Avenue and Yale Avenue where he flagged down a University of Maryland police officer to report the offense.  The Prince Georges County Police were notified.  A short while later, University of Maryland police officers located suspects fitting the description in the College Park Parking Garage.  The victim identified the suspects as the individuals who committed the offense. University Police arrested one adult male, Darell Summers, 19, of Odenton, and two juvenile males, ages 15 and 16, for the crime.  No weapons were used in the commission of the crime.  The victim was uninjured.

Hurricane Sandy

Dear University of Maryland Community,

Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin affecting UMD College Park on Monday.  The campus administration is working together to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff and to mitigate the impact of the storm.  Please view Provost Rankin's message to the University Community at http://www.umd.edu/hot-topics.cfm?topic=19041.

Please consider the following tips and precautions:

  • Have food and water available in your room or apartment
  • Make sure you have a flashlight and portable radio with fresh batteries
  • During the storm, stay indoors.  Move to lower levels of your building during periods of high winds and stay away from windows
  • If power goes out, do not use candles for light
  • Conserve power on your mobile device; only use for emergencies

If the campus begins to experience dangerous effects of the storm, the Department of Public Safety will issue text and email alerts through UMD Alerts.  Register for UMD Alerts at alert.umd.edu.

For more information to help you understand and prepare for hurricanes and other tropical cyclones include:

NOAA’s Preparedness Guide:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/hurricane/resources/TropicalCyclones11.pdf

FEMA’s “Ready.gov” Guide: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

For help or to report an injury, please contact the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety at 301-405-3555.

Quick Arrest in Attempted Off-Campus Theft

On October 19, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. a 34 year old male non-student was approached by two males on Lehigh Road near Sterling Place.  One of the males placed his hand on the victim's shoulder and demanded property.  The victim fled and flagged down a Student Police Aide who was on Knox Road near Sterling Place.  University of Maryland Police officers responded and located the suspects near Montgomery Hall.  One of the suspects fled and was apprehended after a short foot pursuit to Hartwick Road.  The other was released without charges.  Arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault, and obstructing/hindering was James Holloman Jr., 19, of Waldorf.  The victim was not injured and no weapons were used at any time during the incident.    

For additional information contact our Media Relations Office at 301-405-9960.

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