Crime prevention during after-hours employment

It frequently becomes necessary for faculty and staff members to work at the University during non-business hours (i.e. evenings, weekends or holidays). When this occurs and particularly when the employee is working alone and/or at an isolated workstation the University of Florida Police Department suggests the following preventative safety practices:

* Before you leave home, advise someone where you will be working and when you anticipate returning home. Make sure your family and friends know the telephone number of the University of Florida Police Department (392-1111) as well as the number where you can be reached.

* A cellular telephone is highly recommended. Such phones are consistently proven effective for personal emergency communications and give you instant access to all emergency services anywhere on campus. Carry the telephone with you while in your work area and use the auto-dial feature of the phone to store emergency numbers such as 911 and University of Florida Police Department (392-1111).

* Carry a small pocket flashlight in your purse, pocket or attached to a key ring.

* Do not carry a gun or other deadly weapon. Possession of deadly weapons is prohibited by university policy and is never recommended as a preventative strategy.

* When you arrive on campus, always park in a well-lit parking lot or in a parking garage.

* Transportation and Parking Services offers an escort service, the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP). This service is available from 6:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. nightly during the Fall and Spring semesters and from 8:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. during the Summer semester. SNAP is available to students, staff, faculty, and visitors at no charge. Request a SNAP escort through the TapRide app, online at http://parking.ufl.edu/transit-commuting/snap/, or via telephone at 352-392-SNAP (7627).

* When you leave your car remember to lock the doors. Remotely controlled locks using a key chain transmitter are recommended to better ensure locking and aid in quick entry when you return.

* When walking to your workstation, travel on well-lit walkways. Avoid the temptation to use shortcuts and informal pathways and try to stay away from areas where visibility is blocked by trees and shrubs. When you turn a blind corner, try to walk on the outermost side of the walk, away from the visibility obstruction while keeping your eye on the path ahead. Taking a wide turn allows a greater field of vision and increases the time available for your reaction in a threatening situation.

* Make sure you have the necessary keys or card to access your workstation. Carry the keys or access card in your hand as you approach your work area with the correct key or card readily available for use in the door.

* When you arrive at your building or workstation if there is anything that doesn’t feel right or causes you to be suspicious, trust your instincts and call the University of Florida Police Department. If you enter a locked building, make certain the door closes and locks behind you.

* If the door to your office or workstation is supposed to be locked and is not, do not enter. Go to a phone elsewhere in the building and call the Department of Public Safety (392-1111) immediately. Most buildings are equipped with house phones that can be used for this purpose.

* Know the University of Florida Police Department’s non-emergency telephone number 352.392.1111. Be sure to add that number to your programmable telephone, if available.

* If you leave your office or workstation to use the restroom, remember to lock the office or workstation door behind you. Do not enter a dark restroom.

* The University of Florida Police Department will, upon request from a department head, conduct a security survey of your office, office area or workstation. During this process, recommendations will be made to improve physical security in the area. Programming and training provided by the department will also be offered. To request a survey contact the Community Services Division at 392-1409.

* When you return to your car after leaving your office or workstation, watch for suspicious persons nearby and look into the front and back seats before you open the door.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 352.392.1409.