News and Information about the University of Maryland Police Department
The purpose of this UMD Advisory is to make you aware of recent phone scams that have been reported to the University of Maryland Police Department.
A scammer will call a potential victim and tell them that they either owe money to the IRS or that a loved one of theirs is being held for ransom until payment is made to the scammer. In both scams, the scammer will use fear to try and convince the potential victim to comply with the scammer’s demands.
If you have been a victim or a potential victim of either one of these scams, immediately call the police.
To find out more on how you can avoid being a victim of an IRS phone scam, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOQypmRXTHE and https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/irs_scam_updates.shtml .
To avoid becoming a victim of this extortion scheme, look for the following possible indicators:
- Incoming calls come from an outside area code, sometimes from Puerto Rico with area codes (787), (939) and (856)
- Calls do not come from the kidnapped victim’s phone
- Callers go to great lengths to keep you on the phone
- Callers prevent you from calling or locating the “kidnapped” victim
- Ransom money is only accepted via wire transfer service
If you receive a phone call from someone who demands payment of a ransom for a kidnapped victim, the following should be considered:
- Try to slow the situation down. Request to speak to the victim directly. Ask, “How do I know my loved one is okay?”
- If they don’t let you speak to the victim, ask them to describe the victim or describe the vehicle they drive, if applicable.
- Listen carefully to the voice of the kidnapped victim if they speak.
- Attempt to call, text, or contact the victim via social media. Request that the victim call back from his or her cell phone.
- While staying on the line with alleged kidnappers, try to call the alleged kidnap victim from another phone.
- To buy time, repeat the caller’s request and tell them you are writing down the demand, or tell the caller you need time to get things moving.
- Don’t directly challenge or argue with the caller. Keep your voice low and steady.
- Request the kidnapped victim call back from his/her cell phone.
Working Together for a Safe Campus
The 2015 Annual Safety and Security Report is available for your review.
Our report provides safety and security information to current and prospective students and their parents, as well as to faculty and staff members. Statistics comparing crime over the previous three years are outlined in the report. In addition to outlining the different security resources the campus has to offer, the report also includes statistics on area crime reported to off-campus law enforcement agencies as well as to several University departments that report data back to our Police Department.
In 2015, the Clery crime rate for the University remained consistently low, with some reporting differences of note. The reported number of sexual assaults increased from 2014, which is in part, related to the University’s awareness campaigns that encourages reporting and increases training on risk reduction and bystander intervention for sexual assault. The campus saw significant decreases in robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, and incidents of dating violence, to name a few. With the decriminalization of small amounts of Marijuana in the State of Maryland, drug referrals and arrests are at all-time lows.
The Clery Act does not require the reporting of statistics for the crime of theft, which, by far, is the most commonly reported criminal offense on campus. Other property crimes reportable through Clery include Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson. The men and women of the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) are responsible for keeping the UMD campus safe and secure and in partnership with the Prince George’s County Police Department keeping the surrounding areas safe and secure. Programs and resources that we provide include the following, which are highlighted in the report:
- Walking escorts
- Closed circuit video monitoring via our Security Operations Center
- Blue Light Phone (PERT)
- Automated License Plate Readers
- Emergency Alert System
- Patrols by uniformed officers
- Explosive detection K9 unit
- Crime prevention programs
- Criminal and traffic law enforcement, reporting, and investigation
- Student Police Auxiliary
- Safety Ambassadors
- Emergency 911 center
In 2015, The University of Maryland announced the debut of UMD Guardian, a mobile campus safety application (app) available to all students, faculty and staff. The UMD Guardian app for Apple and Android smartphones is designed to allow users quick and easy contact with UMPD, and has additional features for increasing safety on campus. Using UMD Guardian, users can initiate a safety timer session; place a panic (emergency) call to UMPD; or text a tip to UMPD. See Pages 9-10 for more details on UMD Guardian and information on how to download and install the app.
As part of our evolving safety initiatives, in cooperation with the City of College Park, the City-University Partnership was awarded grant funds to implement a Safety Ambassador Pilot Program that began in Spring of 2016. The Program is designed to have safety ambassadors who patrol the city area with a focus on safety and hospitality – greeting visitors, giving directions, doing outreach to citizens in need, and serving as eyes and ears for the agency by reporting quality of life issues such as potholes, downed trees, outages, hazards and more; as well as reporting any suspicious activities they encounter.
The Annual Safety and Security Report is a part of the effort to ensure that this collaborative endeavor is effective and is in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. We hope you will read the report carefully and use the information to help foster a safer environment for you and for others within our community. Reviewing the information outlined in the Annual Safety and Security Report will increase your awareness, which will promote future action. We have no greater priority than the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus, but a truly safe campus can only be achieved through the cooperation of everyone.
To view our Annual Safety and Security Report, please visit:
Visit our website at http://www.umpd.umd.edu for further information on our Department. To stay up to date on the latest news, follow us on Twitter @UMPD and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UMDPoliceDept
See Something, Say Something!
Be Smart, Be Safe!
David B. Mitchell
Chief of Police
University of Maryland Police Department
On September 28, 2016, at approximately 9 p.m., the University of Maryland Police Department received a report of a missing person. While investigating this incident, just after 10:30 p.m., officers with the University of Maryland Police Department and the Prince George’s County Police department responded to the 8100 block of 48th Avenue for a welfare check. Officers found two individuals in the vehicle, one of the individuals was the missing person. Both were pronounced dead on the scene.
The Prince George’s County Police Department is the primary agency for this investigation. To find out more details about this incident, visit http://pgpolice.blogspot.com/2016/09/pgpd-investigates-domestic-related.html . Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925.
A UMD Alert was not issued to campus in this instance, as the purpose of alerts is to inform the campus community of an imminent threat or an on-going risk to the campus community. Our officers determined that there was no imminent threat involving this case nor an on-going risk to the campus community.
To learn more about UMD Alerts, visit https://alert.umd.edu/ .
Please visit http://www.umpd.umd.edu/stats/safety_notices_umpd_detail.cfm?id=811 for information regarding an on-campus indecent exposure that occurred on 09/26/16. The University of Maryland Police Department is conducting an investigation. Individuals with any information regarding this incident are encouraged to contact police at 301-405-3555.
Dear Campus Community,
As many of you know, we received a call at approximately 1:12 a.m. for a shooting at the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. A male Marriott security officer was shot and taken to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Investigation reveals that this incident was a commercial armed robbery. Three safes were taken and later recovered near the facility, along with a handgun. Our officers arrested one suspect and we are actively investigating this incident to determine the identity of the second suspect. We believe this was a targeted crime of opportunity. There is no reason to believe that this crime was intended to target any of our students, faculty, and staff.
Please keep the Marriott security officer in your thoughts and prayers. More information will be shared as our investigation continues.
Chief David B. Mitchell
Director of Public Safety/
Chief of Police
Please visit http://www.umpd.umd.edu/stats/safety_notices_offcampus_detail.cfm?id=810 for information regarding an off-campus burglary that occurred on 08/26/16. The Prince George's County Police Department is the primary reporting agency and is conducting the investigation.