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About CSM

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

Crime Prevention Tips

Click below to go directly to the topic of your choice or scroll down to browse all:

Contacting Assistance
Protecting Possessions
Office Safety
Protecting Your Person
In and Around Your Car
Protecting Your Identity
Travel Tips

Contacting Assistance

Important numbers that should be programmed in your cell phone:Campus Security:
  • LaPlata Campus (301)934-7888 or x7909
  • Leonardtown Campus(240)925-8849 or x5333
  • Prince Frederick Campus(240)682-9190 or x6033
Local police (Non-Emergency Number):
  • Charles County- (301)932-2222
  • Calvert County- (410)535-2800
  • St. Maryís County- (301)475-8008

In an EMERGENCY: 9-1-1

When calling for assistance be sure to give the following information:

  1. Give your name
  2. Specify Location (including address, landmarks, room numbers)
  3. Account of Situation
    • Whatís the Situation
    • Description of Assailant, or of stolen goods, or other relevant details
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Protecting Possessions

The Facts

  • Most campus crimes are Crimes of Opportunity (This means most crimes are also preventable) ²
  • Most crimes happen during the day²
  • 80% of campus crimes are committed by members of the college community²

Preventative Measures

It only takes a matter of seconds for someone to steal a purse/bag/laptop or other materials left unattended so:
  • If you donít need it, DONíT BRING IT!
  • Leave social security card, extra credit cards and other valuables at home if you do not need them that day.
  • You almost never need to carry your actual social security card or passport.  Leave them at home in a safety deposit box.
  • Carry cash (and only the amount you need) whenever possible.² 
If you must bring it:
  • Leave it locked in your car; out of sight or in the trunk
  • Carry it on you at all times
  • Always lock cars and lockers
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Office Safety

Preventative Measures

  • Be aware and attentive when coming to and going from your office as well as in your office, and report all suspicious activity to public safety (x7909).  
  • Lock your office door, cabinets and computer when leaving your office, even for a minute.  Theft of goods or information only takes seconds.  
  • Donít leave your purse or other valuables in open view.   Every thief knows the common locations where employees store their belongings so donít assume they are safe just because they are out of plain view.  Secure valuables in a LOCKED AREA and take the keys with you.
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Protecting Your Person

The Facts

  • Most victims know their attackers²
  • Most attackers are not armed, they use coercion or threats instead²
  • Most sexual assault crimes involve alcohol, in either one or both parties²

Preventative Measures:  Take Precautions EVERYWHERE

  • Always let someone know where you are
  • Give a copy of your schedule to a people you live with or trust and let someone know when you are going somewhere else unplanned and when you will return²
  • Note your surroundings²
    • Buildings:  All buildings have a two letter denomination and each parking lot a number (for example: ST building, or Parking Lot 3)
    • People:  suspicious looking people, or people who donít seem to have business at the college
    • Landmarks:  outside the main sliding doors or near the gazebo
    • EXITS:  how to get out of buildings or alternate routes around campus
  • Stay in well lit and populated areas
  • Walk with others if possible
  • Donít be distracted with cell phones, iPods/headphones, or digging through bags²
  • Keep wallet/cell phone in your pocket when you walk around or are driving in the event you lose your purse or bag
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In and Around Your Car

The Basics

  • Always lock car with windows up
  • Keep your vehicle in good operating condition
  • Record the make, model and serial number of all valuable items in your vehicle
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full²
  • Always have keys handy before going to your car²
  • Check backseat, and be aware of broken glass²
  • Know alternate route home²

Special Situations

If you see another driver stopped on the side of the road
  • DONíT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR².  Humans are inclined to want to help others, but in this situation it is not always a safe idea.
  • Instead, stop your car and roll down window just enough to talk.  Offer to call the for assistance²
  • Do NOT feel obligated to assist²
If you think you are being followed
  • Put Hazards on, honk your horn, drive slowly, or do anything that would make other cars try to pass around you²
  • Continue Driving on well lit roads: DO NOT GO HOME
  • Either try driving to a police station or call the police. Be ready to tell police your location and landmarks nearby, as well as describe the vehicle in question²
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Protecting Your Identity

On Public Computers & ATMs

  • Limit use to professional related work only
    • Common crime: taking pictures or video recording of your screen, credit card, and the information you enter over your shoulder¹
Use Discretion and Net-etiquette
  • Only use appropriate and trusted sites
  • Log off completely and close browser

Tips for Social Networking Sites Specifically

Donít post your:
  • Real full name
  • Date of birth
  • Landline telephone
  • Physical Address
  • Email Address
  • Reply to unwanted email addresses
  • IM or chat with people you donít know
Pictures live FOREVER on the internet²

On the Phone

  • Cell phones as well as land lines can get telemarketing and phishing calls
  • Never give sensitive information out to someone WHO HAS CALLED YOU
  • If you must do business over the phone, only do it with businesses you trust, and always call them at a reputable number posted on their website or mail
  • Never give out pins over the phone, most reputable companies will never ask you for it (most will ask you to enter on the key pad)

On Paper

  • The majority of identity theft takes place through the use of traditional mail¹
  • Beware of :DUMPSTER DIVING²
    • Common Crime: Identity thieves will dig through victimsí trash to find receipts with credit card numbers or other sensitive information to use to steal oneís identity
  • SHRED sensitive documents¹
  • Use a cross-cut shredder if possible
  • If using a straight-cut shredder: dispose of shredded material in different places or at different times²
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Travel Tips

Before Leaving

  • Leave an itinerary, including contact numbers, with family, friends and coworkers
  • Make three copies of all important documents you are taking (driverís license, passport, credit cards, travelerís checks)
  • Leave one copy at home, keep one in your briefcase or purse, and one in your luggage

At the Airport

  • Stay in secure populated parts of the airport
  • Avoid ATMs or terminals not in use²

In the Security Line:

  • Donít let anyone cut in front of you in line²
  • Retrieve belongings as soon as you get through security²
  • Remember: Always keep your belongings on/with you.

Upon Arrival

At the Hotel:

  • Ask the receptionist to write your room number down instead of saying it aloud²
  • Request a duplicate key to the room²
  • If you feel uncomfortable with a person in an elevator get off at another floor²

In the City:

  • Donít tell people itís your first time to the city²
  • Have a map and know where you are and how to get back to your hotel


¹©2010, National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) Website
²©2008, 360° Stay Safe, L.L.C.
³©2010, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Website

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