Front Page


Job Ops


Between Issues


PULLOUT: March at PENN 1998 Calendar

Almanac Homepage

Staff Box

Safety During Spring Break: Special Checks of Residences On and Near Campus

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 the Break.
  • 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 when dining.
  • 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 around you.
  • 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 as possible.
  • 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 Street
    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 Pine Street
    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