Crime Prevention Tips

Contacting Assistance

In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Important numbers that should be added to your cell phone:

Campus Phone
La Plata 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. Mary's County: 301-475-8008

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


Protecting Possessions

The Facts

Most campus crimes are Crimes of Opportunity. This means most crimes are also preventable²
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 don't need it, don't 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


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.
  • Don't leave your purse or other valuables in open view. Every thief knows the common locations where employees store their belongings so don't assume they are safe just because they are out of plain view. Secure valuables in a locked area and take the keys with you.


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

  • 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
  • Stay in well lit and populated areas
  • Walk with others if possible
  • Don't 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

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 don't 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


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:

  • Don't get out of your car.² 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 home²
  • 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


Protecting Your Identity

On Public Computers & ATMs

  • Limit use to professional related work only
  • Beware of shoulder surfing²

Use Discretion and Net-etiquette.

  • Only use appropriate and trusted sites
  • Log off completely and close browser

Tips for Social Networking Sites

Do not post your:

  • real full name,
  • date of birth,
  • landline telephone,
  • physical address, or
  • email address.

Do not:

  • reply to unwanted email addresses or
  • IM or chat with people you don't know.


Photos live forever on the internet.

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. Identity thieves will dig through victims' trash to find receipts with credit card numbers or other sensitive information to use to steal one's 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


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 (driver's license, passport, credit cards, traveler's 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

  • Don't let anyone cut in front of you in line²
  • Retrieve belongings as soon as you get through security²
  • 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:

  • Don't tell people it's your first time to the city²
  • Have a map and know where you are and how to get back to your hotel



Contact Public Safety

La Plata Campus
On campus, ext. 7888

Leonardtown Campus
On Campus, ext. 5333

Prince Frederick Campus
On Campus, ext. 6033

Regional Hughesville Campus
On Campus X4898

More Ways to Contact Us

Meet the Public Safety Staff

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