Crime Prevention

Tougaloo College is a private college which enforces a closed campus policy. An officer is posted at the front gate and check all parking permits and identifications and grant access to all individuals possessing the proper identification. All visitors and guests are required to render driver license upon access to the campus grounds.

 Tougaloo College Missing Person Policy

 Sex Offender Registry

Around Campus

  • Be observant. Make sure that you are aware of you environment. It is advisable that you familiarize yourself with campus buildings and landmarks.
  • Know the route to your destination. When you are lost you naturally feel vulnerable.
  • Stay in populated areas in campus buildings. Criminals thrive on anonymity. Your chance of depriving them of that is increased in well populated areas.
  • After dark, walk in well lighted areas of campus and the surrounding area. Taking shortcuts between buildings takes you out of the public eye.
  • Walk in groups. There is safety in numbers.
  • Try to "travel light" around campus. Carry all your belongings in one bag. Numerous backpacks, purses, cases, umbrellas and boxes weigh you down. If you need to run or defend yourself, you will want to be able to react quickly.
  • If you carry chemical defense spray have it ready. A criminal or would-be attacker is not going to wait for you to retrieve it from your purse backpack.
  • Walk with purpose and attitude. Display confidence. Even if you are lost, act like you know where you are going.
  • Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to make eye contact with people.
  • Study in groups when possible. If you seek solitude while studying, try studying at home or in a designated study area provided in Tougaloo College Library. Always remember that tucking yourself away, off the beaten path, may make you an easier target.
  • Never leave property unattended in any campus building or in you car. Theft is common on any campus. However, it can be avoided if you are constantly mindful of your property.
  • If you need to step out for a bathroom break or to get a snack, leave you property under the supervision of someone you trust or take it with you.
  • Park your car in well lighted area where there is a high volume of traffic. Tougaloo College structures are equip with CCTV security cameras and routinely patrolled by security officers. However, the biggest benefit is the natural surveillance provided by all the students driving in and out or walking to and from their cars.
  • If you use a cell phone, radar detector or cd player in the car, conceal it or take it with you. If it uses a lighter jack, hide the jack out of site and REPLACE THE LIGHTER PLUG.
  • Keep anything of even minimal value, in the trunk, if you do not take it with you.
  • If you see any suspicious activity or person, call Department of Public Safety at 601-977-7857.

Commuting Safely

  • Before you leave for school or work, plan your route. Select the safest route available. Routes that are well lighted and well traveled are always better than desolate paths.
  • The quickest route is not always the safest. It may be worth leaving 5 or 10 minutes earlier to travel a slower, but safer route.
  • Always have a backup plan. Plan a secondary route to travel in case there is a major accident or construction tie-up on your usual route.
  • Carpool if possible.
  • Always keep your vehicle well maintain. Have a reputable mechanic tune-up your vehicle regularly and fix anything needing repair.
  • Purchase a decent spare tire {preferably full-size}. Make sure it is always inflated properly and that it fits on your car. Ultimately, make sure you know how to change the tire if you need to.
  • Make sure you have a functional jack and a vehicle safety kit with you. Flares, small cones and other brightly colored devices are helpful in creating a safety zone in which you work.
  • If you have had your tires rotated or new tires installed, many times the lug nuts are over tightened and cannot be removed by the average driver. Make sure that they can be removed if it becomes necessary.
  • Carry some spare fluids and a small funnel. Have enough water, oil, or gasoline, stored in proper safety container, so you can get a service station if you have car trouble. Cars often overheat and develop leaks in fuel lines. Having a small amount of extra fluids may help get you to where you can find repairs. It is also important to know where to put the fluids if you need to use them.
  • Carry a good, sturdy ice scraper in your car.
  • Make sure to have a small coal shovel in your trunk, during the winter months, in case you need to dig your car out of a rut. A coal shovel is short enough for easy storage and practical for digging out around tires.
  • Carry a dry, waterproof pair of snow boots in trunk. Pack an extra pair of warm gloves, scarf, hat, and a jacket as well. If you have to change a flat, dig out of a snow bank, or go for help, having the proper clothing can help prevent, injuries, accidents, or illness in frigid weather.
  • If you are stranded, do not leave your car. You are safer waiting for help than you are going to look for it. Police do not recommend going for help unless you can see it. If you must go, stay on the road, where it is more populated.
  • Get yourself a "call police" sign to hang in your window if you are stranded. There are thousand of people with cell phones, who are dying for an excuse to use them, which will call for help.
  • If someone stops to ask you if you need help, ask them to go and call the police for you. Do not go with them!!!
  • If you commute, consider a cell. It is the best safety device you can have in the event of an accident or breakdown.
  • If you are stopped in traffic, keep an eye out for people approaching your car.
  • Always drive with your doors locked.
  • Leave enough room between you and the car in front of you, in case you need to drive away.
  • Always get gas earlier in the day, preferably in the morning. Rush hour traffic makes for great visibility.
  • Always stop at the best lighted, best attended gas station for fuel, coffee, or snack. Fill your tank in view of the attendant on duty.
  • Avoid road rage. Using verbal retaliation or a gesture on a foolish driver could end in a deadly tragedy. Bite your lip, swallow your pride, and drive calmly.

Auto Crime Prevention

  • The single most important factor in deterring auto crimes is being selective in where you park your car. Park in well lighted and well populated areas.
  • Lock your car. It may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget.
  • Traffic flow is important. You want to park your car in areas with high vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
  • Car alarms, can be useful, but are often ignored.
  • Have kill switches installed and use a club-type device to protect your car, in addition to your alarm.
  • Steering column sleeves are helpful in preventing car theft where cracking the column is necessary.
  • Tinted windows provide extra coverage for thieves who break into cars to steal radios, airbags, or the car itself. Avoid heavily tinted windows.
  • Keep your car free of ALL items. Clothes, jackets, bags, boxes, sporting equipment and other items frequently left in cars, attract a thief’s attention.
  • Thieves will break into a car to look into boxes or bags, in order to see if they contain anything of value. Even if it contains nothing, you may be left with a broken window or door lock.
  • Have your vehicle identification number etched in your car’s glass. This deters theft. Retagging a stolen vehicle is too expensive if all the windows need to be replaced.
  • Any one of the above methods is no guarantee that your car will never be stolen or broken into. However, using as many of these devices as possible, makes a "car shopper" more likely to pass up your vehicle.

Home Safety

  • ALWAYS lock your windows and doors when you are away from your residence. Even if you are just steeping out for a quick errand. Most burglars are in and out of a house in less than 3 minutes.
  • Do not leave spare keys hidden on your property. Most thieves know all the common spots in which they are hidden.
  • Make sure the exterior doors are solid core wood or metal.
  • All exterior doors should be equipped with dead bolt locks that have a minimum bolt throw of 1 inch.
  • Remove the screws in your strike plates and install others that least three inches long.
  • If you have a sliding glass door wall use a wooden dowel as a means of bolstering the door lock. Lay the dowel in the track near the bottom of the sliding section. This will prohibit sliding the door in the event the door lock is compromised.
  • On door walls, "back-off" the screws in the upper track about 1/8 to1/5 of an inch. This will not interfere with the operation of the door, but will prevent the door from being lifted out of the frame.
  • Drill a hole through the frame and the door glass frame. Install a bolt that fits to prevent the door from being lifted out. These kits can be purchased for a low price at most hardware stores. They are easily installed.
  • Attach similar pins in windows all over your house. This will prevent criminals from forcing window locks. An entire house can be equipped without great cost.
  • Install a peep hole viewer in all your doors. Make sure it has wide angle viewing of 180 degrees.
  • Use timers on lights and be sure to stagger the pattern of lighting. Light different rooms at different times. Be creative. Get out of the habit of leaving the living room light on, night after night.
  • Leaving the TV on in the dark room is an excellent idea. Leave the volume up too. The motion of the lighting will throw thieves off. It is no less safe than using table lamps, and just as cost effective.
  • Install exterior lighting. Make sure it is evenly disturbed and does not create deep shadows. Poor lighting can be worse than no lighting. Landscaping lights are functional, as well as decorative, if properly spaced and directed.
  • Make sure that no bushes or trees obscure windows or doors. Over grown landscaping can provide excellent, attractive means of securing lower lever windows. Prune bushes at least 18 inches from the ground up.
  • Many burglaries occur through second story window or patios. Make sure that any trellises or trees do not provide access to upper levels.
  • Engrave and list all your valuables. Photos are a good idea to keep inventory of property. Video is even better.
  • If you find your house has been burglarized, DO NOT enter until the police have secured the premises.

Travel Safety

  • If you know someone who you really trust, we mean REALLY trust…Ask them to house sit for you, while you are away. Make sure they are reliable and capable of doing so. Knowing your home is cared for and attended to, while traveling, provides peace of mind and excellent home security.
  • Make sure that your home is locked and all appliances are shut down before leaving for any length of time.
  • Time your lights in alternate rooms at various settings. Buy an extra timer and avoid just using one light at the same time, day in and day out. Set the lights in different rooms, at overlapping time.
  • Lock your garage and sheds.
  • If you have trusted neighbors, let them know you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Ask them to keep an eye on your home and tend to your mail and newspaper.
  • Leave your family or trusted neighbor the capability to contact you in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid leaving your home looking unattended.
  • Have arrangements made for trash pick up and lawn care.
  • If you need to, have mail and newspaper delivery suspended for the duration of your trip. There is probably no better sign that a home is vacant than having mail and news papers piling up on the porch.
  • If you leave a car outside, arrange to have it moved every so often, by neighbors or family.
  • It will give the impression that you are still coming and going.
  • Contact your local Police Department and ask them to give your home special attention when possible.
  • While traveling, use traveler’s checks and keep extra checks secured.
  • Carry a photocopy of all your identification and credit cards in case you lose something. At least you will be able to identify yourself if needed. You will also have a copy of all your important documents and numbers.
  • Make sure your accommodations are safer and clean. Use all the security features provide to you.
  • Use ALL door locks in your room.
  • Leave a TV on when you are out of your hotel room. Use the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN.
  • Do not use the "Please Clean" sign. It indicates that you are out of the room.
  • All reasonable lodging facilities will have a safe that you can keep extra check, money, or valuables in. Use them if needed.
  • Report any suspicious persons or activities to the desk personnel and ask them when something will be done about it. Check back to make sure it has.

Personal Safety

  • Have a plan and be prepared to use it. Personal safety is your responsibility.
  • Be constantly mindful of who is around you. Keep your head up and your eyes moving.
  • Become "street smart". It is not an instinct. It is COMMON SENSE. When you feel uneasy about a person or situation is prepared to react, but try to avoid confrontation.
  • Always know where you are. Always know where you can find help. Become comfortable in your surroundings, but do not become lax in your approach to personal safety.
  • Walk confidently with attitude. Portray confidence.
  • Do not feel bullied by people who look you in the eye. Look them in the eyes. Eye contact makes everyone somewhat uneasy. Use that to your advantage.
  • Do not let your purse bounce loosely over your shoulder and off your hip, as you walk. Carry it tucked under your arm, with any flaps facing your body. A fanny pack is good alternative.
  • Always inspect your vehicle before entering. As you approach the vehicle from a distance, remember to look beneath it in case any predator is laying in wait.
  • Have your keys ready as you approach your car, office, or house.
  • If you ever have the feeling you are being followed, drive to a public place. Hospital emergency ramps, police stations, and well lighted gas stations are good places to go for help.
  • Avoid private places. A criminal’s best weapon is anonymity. Denying privacy is your best defense.
  • Stay away from isolated ATM locations. Never stop at money machines during off hours. The best time to get your money is in the morning. Plan ahead so you can avoid having to use an ATM at odd hours.
  • Avoid drive-up cash machines. The majority of these machines are positioned so that the machine is between you and passing traffic. They are usually in the rear of the bank parking area, away from the road. This provides excellent "cover" for criminals.
  • If you absolutely have to use an ATM at an inopportune time, go to a well lit and attended gas station. Yes, it may cost an extra $1.50, but you can rest assured that you are making an investment in your personal safety.
  • Avoid isolated bus stops.
  • Stand right at the curb while waiting for your bus. Remain in the best line of sight for passing traffic.
  • Sit as close to the bus driver as you can. Refrain from ever sitting behind the rear door on a bus if at all possible. Rear doors make a quick and easy get away for criminals.
  • While in the office, make sure you lock your door even if you run out for a quick cup of coffee or to use the copy machine. Office larcenies (thefts) are very common.
  • Don’t be predictable. Most people keep their purse in the bottom right drawer of the desk or on the hook behind the door. Lock your belongings inside the office if you are leaving.
  • If you are the victim of a crime and the perpetrator tries to order you into a car or take you anywhere, draw the line. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER GO TO ANOTHER LOCATION. You have to accept the fact that you are putting yourself in extreme danger by going to secondary crime scene. DO NOT allow the criminal to take you to a place where they have more privacy. If fight or flee is ever an option, this is the point where it becomes advisable.
  • Be aware of any suspicious persons roaming your area. If someone enters your area of work immediately ask them what they are doing or who they are looking for. Ask them firmly, yet professionally if you can be of any assistance.
  • If something seems strange then it may be. Call Campus Security to report suspicious persons.

Fraud Tips

  • Phone solicitation is a popular annoyance. However, scam artist, are making big money from unsuspecting people who fall for illegitimate solicitation schemes.
  • Never assume that a friendly voice belongs to a trustworthy caller.
  • Never give out your credit card, social security, or checking account numbers, as well as any information about yourself, unless you are the initiating party.
  • Ask the caller to identify themselves and ask them what company they are with.
  • Never trust an unknown caller who tells you that you have won something, but asks you to send some money first.
  • Never make arrangements to wire money or have someone pick up money from your home.
  • If you feel that there is something unsettling going on, hang up.
  • Invest in caller ID programs to screen calls from unlisted and out of area callers.
  • Consider putting a privacy management feature on your phone line to stop unwanted calls from reaching you.
  • When a legitimate tele-marketer calls, you have the right to order the removal of your name and number from their list. Tell them to remove you from the list and never call you again. Make sure they understand what you have ordered. By law, they are required to remove you from the list.
  • Check all unsolicited offers with your Better Business Bureau.
  • Make sure you keep a file of all your credit card statements, receipts and customer numbers. You may need them so you can verify any false charges made on your card.
  • If you lose your credit card call and cancel it immediately. The same is true for ATM cards.
  • Make sure you tell the operator to put a stop on all transactions made on the card. This will prohibit people from charging any new purchases to the card.
  • After you have notified the credit card company to remove validation of the card, you need to make sure that you contact a credit bureau. Criminals can open new accounts using the credit card number that exists on your credit record. By contacting these bureaus you can have a fraud stamp on your report, to protect you.
  • Maintain privacy while conducting business. If you are being asked for information that you are uncomfortable giving out, do not provide it.
  • Make sure you maintain secure interactions on the computers and especially the Internet.
  • Never give out your password to any one posing as a network administration of any sort.
  • Shopping on-line has grown increasingly popular and much safer in recent years. However, make sure the sites you shop on use the latest encryption technology to secure your user information, credit card numbers, and personal information.

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