Public Safety Message - August 2012
To the Yale Community:
As a new academic year starts, I write to welcome back everyone who is returning to campus and to share important information on public safety.
Information on the Yale Police Department
I have worked at the Yale Police Department (YPD) for 15 years, and I have just completed my first year as Chief. It is an honor to serve the University, and I’ve gotten to know many students, faculty and staff by working together with them to keep the campus safe. The Yale Police Department is a special organization, with 87 uniformed police officers patrolling the campus day and night. We subscribe to a “community policing” philosophy that seeks partnerships with the campus community to prevent crime, to solve problems, to advocate for victims, and to establish close communications with the Yale community - particularly students - many of whom have already contributed great ideas about public safety and improved YPD’s service and effectiveness.
Those of you who are new to the campus will notice uniformed Yale police officers on bikes, on foot patrols, and in marked police vehicles - and you are welcome to stop by our headquarters at 101 Ashmun Street. You will find our officers to be visible, engaged, and approachable. YPD also works closely with other departments, including the Yale Security Department, whose officers manage the access controls to campus buildings, oversee the University’s alarm systems, provide security escorts and rides, and maintain safety in and around campus buildings.
Your safety is our top priority. It matters to me - and to every YPD officer - that students, faculty and staff can begin and end an academic year focusing on their aspirations, without the fear of harm or a doubt about personal safety.
New Haven is a vibrant city
I’m also a proud resident of New Haven, and proud to be raising my children here, and I know the city to be a vibrant and lively place year round, with a wide range of events and activities. In fact, many students, after they graduate, decide to stay here: The Huffington Post recently named New Haven as one of the “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates.”
If you are new to the city, I encourage you to get to know New Haven and all it has to offer. I also hope you will keep in mind that, as on any urban campus, crime happens. Crime at Yale has been on a steady decline over the past 20 years. Of the crime reported so far in 2012, 97% has been related to property theft, including bikes and portable electronic devices left unattended.
How you can protect yourself and your property
We’ve seen several recent incidents that occurred because people were distracted while walking, or because they left their laptops or phones unattended. A little action on your part will go a long way towards preventing crime: lock your desk, laptop, bicycle, office, or room when you leave; keep your digital devices out of plain view. Never display valuables, jewelry, or cash openly, and remember that phones can be an easy target for thieves; nationally, there is an increase of thieves grabbing phones from people’s hands as they use them while walking, and we’ve seen this happen here as well. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to where you travel when listening to music, texting, or talking on a phone. Avoid walking alone, look for well-lighted areas and make use of the many safety resources that Yale provides:
- Dial 911 in an emergency.
- Call the Yale Police at 203-432-4400 whenever you see suspicious activity or need to report an incident.
- Become familiar with the “blue light” emergency phones along your route. You will find over 500 of them all over campus.
- Register for Bulldog Mobile, which enables YPD to find you through your registered cell phone if you need help. To register, go to: http://publicsafety.yale.edu/bulldog-mobile
- Learn more about YaleTip, an anonymous texting service for reporting crime by visiting http://publicsafety.yale.edu/yaletip
- Call 203-432-6330 or 203-432-WALK for free, door-to-door nighttime safe rides; they are available to any point on campus, 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
- Ride campus shuttles, with stops at key points on campus and with links to the train stations; they run days and evenings. (For specific times and routes, check http://to.yale.edu.)
New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman and I work closely to solve problems and build upon the community policing initiative, and the police officers in New Haven work closely with the Yale police. If you’re interested in being more involved, I urge you to consider joining a New Haven District Management Team or enrolling in YPD’s Citizen’s Police Academy.
When and why you will hear from me
Throughout the year, you will hear from me through public safety updates, and also through “Messages from the Chief” that alert you to campus crimes that pose an ongoing or serious threat to the campus community; these messages are required by Federal law and are designed to provide you with information to help you stay safe. To learn more about campus safety and what actions you can take, visit www.yale.edu/publicsafety . On behalf of the men and women of the YPD, we look forward to serving you in the upcoming academic year.
Chief University Police