Safety During Spring Break: Special Checks of Residences On and Near
Spring Break 1998 (March 6-March 16, 1998) is approaching quickly. Traditionally,
this is a time of lower occupancy and greater opportunity for crime. Therefore,
we need to be more safety and security conscious. In order to reduce the
opportunity for crime (i.e, criminal mischief, burglaries, etc.), the Division
of Public Safety is again offering Special Checks of Residential Properties
from 11 p.m. on Friday, March 6, to 7 a.m. on Monday, March 16.
Faculty, staff and students who live within the following geographical
boundaries- Schuylkill River to 43rd Street, and Baltimore Avenue to Market
Street-may list their residences with the Penn Police Department for Special
Checks during the period it will be vacant. Penn Police officers will periodically
check the exterior of the property for signs of criminal activity or security
breaches, and if any are found they will take appropriate action ranging
from arresting the perpetrator to conducting an interior check of the property
with subsequent notifications to the listed occupant.
If you would like to list your residence for Special Checks during Spring
Break 1998, please pick up an application at the Penn Police Headquarters
or the Special Services Unit (4026-4040 Chestnut Street). You need to complete
and return the application prior to vacating the premise. Below you will
find Safety and Security Tips to help keep your time away from Penn a safe
and happy one.
-- Susan A. Hawkins, Director of Special Services, Division
of Public Safety
If Leaving Penn for Spring Break
- Secure or remove all valuables (e.g., jewelry, computers, stereos,
televisions, etc.). All valuables should already be engraved with your
Social Security or other identifying number. Engravers can be borrowed
by contacting the Special Services Unit (4026 Chestnut Street, 898-4481).
- Close and lock all windows; Close all shades, drapes and blinds. Lock
and bolt entrance doors to rooms or apartments.
- Use timers on lights and on a radio or television to give your residence
the appearance of being occupied.
- Register your residence with Public Safety for Special Checks during
- Your answering device message should never indicate that you are not
home. Always use plural nouns even if you live alone (e.g., "We're
not available to take your call right now"). Don't use your name(s).
- Make sure your exterior lighting works and turn all lights on. Preferably,
exterior lights should be on a timer or photoelectric cell. If not, contact
your landlord with regards to installing these security devices before
you leave for Break.
If Remaining at Penn During Spring Break,
- Use one of the ten automated teller machines (ATMs) located inside
University buildings and avoid withdrawing money at night. Check the amount
withdrawn only after you are safely inside your office or residence. Never
display money in a crowd. Carry only necessary credit cards and money.
- Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or side trouser pocket.
- Carry your handbag tightly under your arm with the clasp toward your
body. Never let it dangle by the handle.
- Keep your wallet or handbag closed and with you at all times. Never
put it on the seat beside you, on the counter next to you or under a seat
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you; Trust your
instincts. Stay in well-lighted and well-travelled areas.
- Walk with your head up, shoulders back and your eyes scanning the people
- Use the "buddy" system or the Penn Transit System when traveling
at night. From non-University exchanges, dial 898-RIDE for vehicular escort
service or 898-WALK for the walking escort service between the hours of
6 p.m. and 3 a.m. daily.
- If you are expecting guests or workers, do not open your door until
you know it is the right person(s). Always ask to see identification of
callers you don't know.
- If accosted, don't resist! Don't panic! Get a good description of the
assailant (i.e., approximate age, race, sex, height, weight, clothing description,
direction traveled, etc.) and report the incident to the police as soon
- Know the locations of Penn's Blue Light Emergency phones. Open the
box, lift the receiver or push the button to talk.
- Report any suspicious activities (e.g., someone looking into cars
or pulling on doors; a vehicle that repeatedly "circles" the
block, etc.) as soon as you can: where, what, who, when and how.
- Know your emergency telephone numbers:
- --Division of Public Safety, Penn Police Department,4040 Chestnut
- On Campus Emergency
- (Univ. exchanges: 898, 417 and 573): 511
- Off Campus Emergency: 573-3333
- Non-Emergencies 898-7297 / 7298
- Special Services 898-4481 / 6600
- Penn Investigators 898-4485
- -- Philadelphia Police Department, 18th Police District,5510
- Emergency Telephone Number: 911
- General Business Number: 686-3180
- -- SEPTA Police
- Emergency Number: 580-4131
Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, February
24, 1998, Volume 44, Number 23