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October is National Crime Prevention Month
History and purpose of Crime Prevention Month
In 1984, the National Crime Prevention Council designated October Crime Prevention Month. Every year since then, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month.
October has become the official month for recognizing and celebrating the practice of crime prevention, while promoting awareness of important issues such as victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer, more caring communities. The month-long celebration spotlights successful crime prevention efforts on the local, state, and national levels.
From the National Crime Prevention Council
Visit the https://www.ncpc.org/programs/crime-prevention-month for more information.
Crime Prevention and the UTMB Community
As we enter National Crime Prevention month, the UTMB Police Department would like to share Crime Prevention Suggestion provided from our Officers over the last year. These are simple reminders are to help you, your family, and our Campus Community partner together to make work and home life safer. Crime Prevention is a way to help reduce or make it harder for you and your family to be victimized. It is protecting property and teaching your children to be more aware and alert. As UTMB employees it is important to realize that we are a community and Crime Prevention is a positive step towards making our community safe for us as well as our patients, visitors, and friends.
Below are some of the suggestions we collected from our Officers.
- Always try to walk in well-lit and common areas. If you have to walk alone make sure your head is not down and be aware of your surroundings when walking by parking lots and buildings.
- If you see something or someone suspicious on campus, contact the UTMB Police at (772-1111). “See Something, Say Something.”
- Walk in a group after hours. When parking and walking to or from your vehicle, vary the route.
- Attend a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class offered by the UTMB Police Department. The classes are free of charge and open to females 12 and older. Visit the UTMB Police website http://www.utmb.edu/police/ for more information.
- When walking to your car, be prepared to enter your car immediately. If your car requires a key, have your key out and ready to open the door. Lock your doors when you get into your vehicle and get moving as soon as possible. Criminals look for people who are preoccupied before they are ready to drive.
- Know when to retreat. Do not show fear, change directions, and get away. Do not be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings if they make you feel uncomfortable or you think they are doing something suspicious.
- Always lock your vehicle when you park on campus. Be sure to secure your valuables in your trunk or take them with you. Never leave any valuables in plain sight.
- Always wear your UTMB ID so others are able to quickly identify you as a UTMB employee.
- Be aware of the surroundings in your workplace. In an emergency, could you keep an intruder out of your office and lock the door? Be familiar with door locks and which way doors open or close. Have a plan of action in your head before an emergency happens at work. Make it a point to know where the exits are.
- Do your best to avoid using an ATM at night time. If you need to use an ATM, try to locate one that is inside of a business. When using an ATM machine, make sure there is no one hovering over who could see your password. If you feel uncomfortable, stop what you are doing and walk away.
- Secure your equipment and personal belongings in the trunk of your vehicle. Keep your belongings out of the public eye.
- Register your bicycle with the UTMB PD.
- When you leave your workspace, lock your office door. It takes only a small window of opportunity for someone to go through your things and take your belongings.
- Don't carry all of your credit/debit cards with you. Only take what you need and leave the rest secured at home. If you lose your purse or wallet or something else happens, you will only have deal with your missing cards and still have the ones you put away at home.
- Never leave your car running, not even for a few minutes.
UTMB Police: On Campus: 911
Off Campus: (409)772-1111
Crime Prevention Month and Halloween
October is Crime Prevention Month and also the month in which Halloween is celebrated.Learn how to celebrate both together.
Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door. However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for kids and candy-givers alike.
The activities below focus on Halloween, which is celebrated in the last week of October. The efforts throughout the month generate enthusiasm for crime prevention so it can grow stronger and become more widespread.
To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay safe, remember the following tips.
- Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
- Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
- Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.
To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the following in mind when buying or designing one.
- Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
- Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
- Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
- Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
- If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.
Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.
- Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
- Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
- Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.
After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.
- Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
- Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
- Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.
For even more tips, see our Playing it Safe on Halloween: Pointers for Parents (PDF) reproducible brochure.
To help kids get ready for trick or treating, we have several resources.
- Have them help McGruff carve a virtual jack-o’-lantern at McGruff.org and print a Halloween safety poster when they're done.
- Be sure to visit McGruff his website! http://mcgruff.org/#/Main
From the National Crime Prevention Council
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