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Greek Safety and Security Tips

Security and Personal Safety Information
The majority of fraternity and sorority houses are on privately-owned land adjacent to University property. In the event police services are needed, deciding which police department to call may be confusing.

Houses located at 720 Elm and 730 College are owned by the university; incidents related to public safety at these addresses should be referred to OUPD. For events at all other Greek houses, the Norman Police Department should be notified.

The OU Police Department (OU Police) has an agreement with the Norman Police Department as authorized by State law enabling University Police to exercise jurisdiction off of institutional property.

OUPD officers have full police authority and are authorized to enforce state and local criminal and traffic laws, investigate traffic crashes and criminal matters, and undertake other actions as necessitated at off-campus locations. OUPD officers can serve arrest warrants at off-campus locations and may initiate police action off-campus when a criminal offense is committed in their presence.

Most of the Norman campus has been annexed by the City of Norman, enabling Norman Police to enforce traffic and other laws there. If you have a question about police jurisdiction, contact OUPD on 325-2864.

OUPD is responsible for coordinating and providing emergency and public safety services to the Norman campus. The department provides a variety of services including law enforcement, security for university facilities and assets, emergency preparedness coordination, emergency medical assistance, and crime prevention programming. Additionally, the Fire Safety Unit of the OU Physical Plant is responsible for fire prevention and inspection.

The headquarters of the OU Police Department is at 2775 Monitor Avenue, just south of the the intersection of Monitor with Constitution Street. To report emergencies, dial 911. Requests for information, etc. can be handled via the non-emergency number, 325-2864.

In addition, emergency telephones have been installed at various campus locations. These telephones identified with a blue sign displaying the legend "EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE" are directly connected to the police dispatcher. Outdoor locations are further identified with a blue light.

OUPD is an independent law enforcement agency whose officers are commissioned by the OU Board of Regents and certified by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training. OUPD functions separately from all other law enforcement agencies. OUPD officers are available 24 hours a day, year round. They are trained and certified as peace officers under Oklahoma state statutes.

OUPD also employs Community Service Officers (CSO), who are trained to perform specific functions that do not require the presence of a commissioned police officer. These uniformed officers are not sworn, commissioned or armed. They do have the authority to enforce university regulations and make citizen's arrests.

OUPD provides all law enforcement services, including the investigation of criminal offenses and traffic collisions occurring on university property and the recording of official reports relating to those incidents. Every crime, no matter how minor, should be reported so OUPD has an accurate picture of the crime on campus and can apply its personnel, resources and efforts in the most effective manner.

The Fire Safety Unit of OU Risk Managment is responsible for inspecting, maintaining, testing and servicing all portable fire extinguishers and chemical fire suppression systems on university property. It conducts routine fire prevention inspections and initiates corrective action for fire hazards. Requests for fire extinguisher classes, reports of suspected fire hazards or expended or damaged fire equipment. Requests for special fire prevention inspections or general questions pertaining to fire and life safety should be directed to the University Fire Marshal at 325-2983 or email kleach@ou.edu.

OUPD provides other functions and services not discussed above. If your encounter a situation that affects the safety or security of the university community in any way, or if you need assistance, call 325-2864.

Crime is, unfortunately, a universal fact of life in our society. Fraternity and sorority houses are no more immune to theft and other crimes than are apartment complexes, residence halls, or any other dwelling. Most crimes (on and off campus) are crimes of opportunity. Taking steps to limit these opportunities will reduce the chance of becoming a crime victim.

The information below is not all-inclusive. If you would like more information or the opportunity to have a Crime Prevention Specialist speak to your fraternity or sorority, contact the University Police Department (OUPD) on 325-2864. You can also use our on-line form to request a presentation for your group.

Operation ID is a national crime prevention project designed to protect your valuables from theft. This program has two parts. First, mark your valuables with your driver license number so it can be easily traced and identified as yours. Second, display a decal to warn would-be-thieves that your property has been marked. Without an identifying number or serial number, it is nearly impossible to trace property to its rightful owner.

OUPD will provide decals and loan electric engraving tools to students or student groups at no cost. Many items of personal property can be marked, including but not limited to computers, calculators, televisions, stereo components, CD cases, cameras, etc.

It is important that you document items you own and have marked. Make a list of all valuables. Include any serial numbers applied by the manufacturer and the location where you applied your driver license number. Keep this list in a safe place for later reference. Don't forget to update it when you acquire new property or dispose of old.

Theft of and from vehicles is a common problem in urban areas across the country. Always try to park in a well lighted area. Do not leave valuables of any kind in your car where they are visible from the outside; place them in the trunk or remove them from the vehicle altogether. Consider marking all electronic accessories and removeable parts with your driver license number; the Operation ID decal can be displayed on a side window.

When parking for long periods, check your vehicle often, even daily if possible. Alarms and other devices may be an effective deterrent if persons nearby can be relied upon to respond or call police.

If your vehicle is stolen or misplaced, it is important that you know the vehicle license plate number; memorize it. Theft of University parking permits is a common problem on and near campus; most of these are taken from vehicles left unlocked or with windows "cracked".

Even fraternities and sororities are subject to theft from individual rooms. Always lock your room door and any windows. If you have a roommate, make sure s/he is locking the room as well. Participate in Operation Identification; mark items of value, post a warning decal, and keep a record.

Do not keep large quantities of blank banking checks in your room; leave these at home. Do not leave credit cards or other valuables readily accessible. Checks and credit cards can be taken and used by a thief before you know they are gone, which can cause considerable personal inconvenience.

If sharing a common restroom, lock your door while taking a shower or using the facilities, and hang the key inside the stall.

Don't bring anything to the house that you really don't need. If it's not here, it can't be stolen or misused by others.

Sexual assaults do happen on and off campus; women of college age are a "high risk" group. Lock your room whenever you are present and/or asleep; if your room is on the ground floor or accessible from a fire escape or ledge, lock the window or install devices in the window channel to prevent them from being opened more than six inches except in a fire emergency.

Avoid walking alone, especially after dark. If you don't have a friend with whom to walk, take advantage of the Housing Center Association (HCA) Escort Service. The student volunteers are screened by OUPD and provided with photo ID cards. They will meet and escort you on foot from any campus location to any other, including the Greek housing areas. Call 325-WALK weekday evenings after 7:00 p.m. for information or to request this free service. Volunteers work on a first-come-first-serve basis and can usually respond to your location promptly, depending on demand.

There are very few reported sexual assaults on campus involving a stranger as a suspect; most such reports involve someone who is acquainted with the victim. Avoid being left alone on a "blind" or double-date with someone you do not know well. Arrange first and subsequent dates around group social events when possible until you feel you know your date well enough to be alone .

Do not accompany your date to his/her room without other friends present. Remember, "Trust Your Instincts." if the situation feels uncomfortable, then get out of that situation. Do not be afraid to be rude, direct and honest. "No" means NO!

Alcohol has been shown to be a contributing factor in many instances of sexual assault.

In the state of Oklahoma, being under the influence of alcohol is not a "defense" for a subject who has committed a sexual assault. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not the reason for sexual assaults, but it is a contributing factor. Think before you drink!

If you become the victim of a sexual assault, get away from the suspect as soon as possible. Call the police immediately. Do not shower, wash, use the bathroom or change clothes before the police arrive. Remember, it's not the victims fault that an assault occurred. You will not be pressured into taking any action you do not want to take.

Both OUPD and the Norman Police Department do everything possible to help victims of sexual assault. Making a report does not obligate you to pursue criminal charges against the suspect. However, it may prevent you, a friend, or someone else from becoming a victim, and may enable the police to identify, apprehend, and take measures to prevent the suspect from perpetrating additional offenses.

Personal safety and self-defense training for groups is available from trained OUPD police instructors if requested. Contact OUPD on 325-2864 for information and scheduling. For more information on this subject, see the OUPD brochure "Trust Your Instincts"".

In recent years the cost of college course textbooks has increased dramatically. In most cases they retain a cash value after they have been purchased new. Because of this, books and backpacks have become a target of thieves who know they can convert the books to cash. A book can be replaced; notes, handouts, etc. are difficult to replace, especially right before a big examination.

Never leave your books, purses, backpacks and any other item of personal property unattended, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Mark the top, bottom, and sides of the pages with your name (like the library stamps theirs). After you've made certain you have the correct texts, pick a page number, and write your name as close to the spine of the book on the same page in every volume you own. Write your name and driver license number inside backpacks or bookbags in several inconspicuous locations.

Unwanted phone calls can be disruptive, disturbing, and create unneeded stress for the person receiving them. In many cases the victim of a threatening or other illegal phone call knows or suspects who the caller is. Persons receiving any malicious, threatening or harassing call(s) are encouraged to contact the proper law enforcement agency to file a report.

In many cases the caller receives satisfaction in knowing that s/he has startled the victim. They desire a reaction. The best way to handle these unwanted calls is to terminate them immediately upon realizing you don't care to speak to them. Don't respond or encourage them in any way. This will, in many cases, deny them the reaction they want and usually causes them to stop calling that particular victim.

In some cases it may be feasible to place a "trap" on the victims phone to identify the number the suspect is calling from. The phone service provider is actually the entity which installs the "trap", but they must have a request from a law enforcement agency. The police can only place this "trap" on the phone of a victim from whom they have a signed report and request.

The police will work with the phone company to identify the caller if he/she continues to call after a trap has been placed on the victims phone line. For further information on this topic, see the OUPD brochure "Malicious Phone Calls".

Bicycle theft is a problem at colleges and universities and the Norman campus is not an exception. The extent of this problem can be reduced if bicycle owners take a few simple and relatively inexpensive precautions.

OUPD and the Norman Police Department have collaborated to create a city-wide bicycle registration program. To register your bicycle, bring it to either police department headquarters during weekday business hours. Information about the bicycle including its description and serial number and the owner's information is recorded and placed in a computer database.

A self-adhesive reflectorized removal-resistant registration decal is placed on the bicycle frame. In the event your bicycle is stolen, all information needed for the police report and to enable identification can be instantly recalled to assist in efforts to recover it. The system also enables police to identify owners of bicycles found or recovered.

It only takes a few seconds to steal a bicycle that is not properly secured. Poor quality locks, chains and cables can be easily defeated by a thief; you get what you pay for. At a minimum, locking devices should be made of hardened steel; the word "HARDENED" will be stamped into the metal of locks, chains, and security devices made of this material.

U-shaped locking devices made of hardened steel and employing tubular keyways are available through most bicycle vendors at a slightly higher cost and have proven to be an effective theft deterrent.

Locking equipment should be used to secure the frame and both wheels to a bike rack or suitable stationary object if possible. On campus, bicycles should be locked only to racks, and may not be secured to handrails, in stairwells, hallways, blocking ramps designed for physically disabled persons, or in any other location that impedes exit in the event of an emergency. Bicycles locked in a manner that creates a safety hazard on campus are subject to impoundment.

Personal safety and security are often not a high priority for students, faculty and staff. It is easy to become complacent during the day-to-day routine. OUPD is limited in its efforts by the availability of staff and number of demands for services other than security. In short, we simply cannot watch everything; therefore, security is everybody's business. Take time to ensure that your time at OU is safe and secure.

If you become the victim of any crime, report it to OUPD or the Norman Police Department immediately. Do not touch or enter any crime scene if possible. If you have any questions regarding which police department to call in an emergency or if you would like more information on crime prevention topics contact OUPD at 325-2864 or e-mail Crime Prevention.

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