Missouri S&T Police Department Safety Tips

Your Role

A high percentage of campus crimes are incidents of opportunity. For example, students, faculty, or staff contribute to situational crimes and needlessly place themselves or their property at risk by leaving a door or window open or unlocked.  Crime will occur, but prevention efforts can be effective in reducing the opportunity for criminal activity.  Everyone plays a key role in crime prevention and safety.  Be cautious, alert, and protective of your person, your possessions and of university property.Campus buildings are secured during the evening hours at the earliest reasonable time.  During the academic year in which residence halls are open, those halls are secured during the evening hours according to the Department of Residential Life regulations.  Faculty, staff, and students can prevent access by unauthorized personnel in both residence halls and other campus buildings by verifying any door entered or exited has closed and locked behind them.  Do not provide others access to secured facilities unless you know the persons are authorized to be there. Members of the campus community are encouraged to report any security problem, such as inoperable emergency phones to the University Police immediately.  Please report broken locks, windows or doors as soon as possible to the Physical Facilities Department.

The following suggestions will help you to protect yourself:

  • If you must walk alone at night, watch for strangers who approach you. Scream or carry and blow a loud whistle if attacked and run if necessary.
  • Do not unlock your door at night unless you know the person who wishes to enter.
  • Do not hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Before you enter your car when it has been parked unattended, check the rear floor for possible intruders.
  • Do not resist armed robbers. Property can be replaced--your life cannot.
  • Keep car doors locked when riding.
  • Do not display large sums of money.
  • Hold onto your purse and do not depend on purse straps which can be cut/broken.
  • Do not leave valuables in public places, even for short periods of time.
  • Do not leave your car parked in an isolated location for long periods of time, especially over weekends.
  • Lock your bicycle to a bike rack on campus.
  • Report immediately to the University Police any suspicious person loitering on campus or in parking lots.
  • Report any crime of which you are a victim or a witness.

Additional Tips for Nighttime

  • Walk in a well lighted, well traveled area; avoiding shortcuts.
  • Walk with a friend.
  • If you must walk alone, let a friend know the time you leave and the route you plan to take. Call them when you arrive.
  • Carry your keys between your fingers to use as a weapon if necessary.
  • Be alert of being followed by cars or pedestrians.
  • Walk on the side of the street facing on-coming traffic.
  • If you feel you are being followed, quickly walk to a public area.
  • Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys.

Bystander Intervention

Bystanders are the largest group of people involved in criminal incidents – they greatly outnumber both the perpetrators and the victims. Bystanders have a range of involvement in incidents. Some know that a specific crime is happening or will happen, some see a crime or potential crime in progress. Regardless of how close to the crime they are, bystanders have the power stop crimes from occurring and to get help for people who have been victimized.  If you find yourself in this situation, follow the below Tips and Options for intervening in a situation potentially involving a crime.

Tips & Options:

  • Approach everyone as a friend
  • Try to split up the parties involved
  • Do not be antagonistic
  • Redirect the focus of one person somewhere else
  • Avoid using violence
  • Be honest and direct whenever possible
  • Recruit help if necessary
  • Keep yourself safe
  • If things get out of hand or become too serious, contact the police

Warning signs of Abusive Behavior

Past abuse
An abuser may say, "I hit someone in the past, but she made me do it." An abusive person who minimizes what happened with a previous partner is likely to be violent with their current partner. Abusive behavior does not just go away; long-term counseling and a sincere desire to change are necessary.

Threats of violence or abuse
Threats can involve anything that is meant to control the victim. For example, "I'll tell your parents about your drug use if you don't do what I want." Healthy relationships do not involve threats, but an abusive person will try to excuse this behavior by saying that "everybody talks like that."

Breaking objects
An abuser may break things, beat on tables or walls or throw objects around or near the victim. This behavior terrorizes the victim and can send the message that physical abuse is the next step.

Use of force during an argument
An abuser may use force during arguments, including holding the victim down, physically restraining the victim from leaving the room, and pushing and shoving. For example, an abuser may hold a victim against the wall and say, "You're going to listen to me."

An abuser will say that jealousy is a sign of love. In reality, jealousy has nothing to do with love. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. An abuser may question the victim about whom they talk to or be jealous of time spent with other people. As the jealousy progresses, the abuser will call the victim frequently, stop by unexpectedly or monitor the victim's activities.

Controlling behavior
An abuser will claim that controlling behavior is out of concern for the victim's welfare. They will be angry if the victim is late and will frequently interrogate the victim. As this behavior gets worse, the abuser will control the victim's appearance and activities.

Quick involvement
An abuser will often pressure someone to make a commitment after a very short amount of time. The abuser comes on quickly, claiming "love at first sight," and will tell the victim flattering things such as "You're the only person I could ever love." 

Unrealistic expectations
The abuser is dependent on the victim for everything and expects perfection. The victim is expected to take care of everything for the abuser, particularly all emotional support. The abuser will say things like, "You're the only person I need in my life." 

The abuser will attempt to diminish and destroy the victim's support system. If a female victim has male friends, she is accused of being a "whore." If she has female friends, she is accused of being a "lesbian." If she is close to her family, she is accused of being "tied to the apron strings." The abuser will accuse people who are close to the victim of "causing trouble."

Blames others for problems
Abusers will rarely admit to the part they play in causing a problem. She will blame the victim for almost anything that goes wrong.

Blames others for their feelings
An abuser will tell the victim, "I hurt you because you made me mad," or "You're hurting me when you don't do what I ask." Blaming the victim is a way of manipulating them and avoiding any responsibility.

An abuser can be easily insulted. The slightest setbacks are seen as personal attacks. An abuser will rage about the everyday difficulties of life as if they are injustices -- such as getting a traffic ticket or not doing well on an exam.

Cruelty to animals or children
An abuser may brutally punish animals or be insensitive to their pain or suffering. Pets can be used to control the victim or to emotionally abuse them.

"Playful" use of force during sex
The abuser may like to hold the victim down during sex. They may want to act out sexual fantasies in which the victim is helpless. An abuser may show little concern about whether the victim wants to have sex and use sulking or anger to manipulate the victim into compliance. They may demand sex or start having sex with the victim when they are sleeping or very intoxicated.

Rigid sex roles
Male abusers often expect women to serve and obey them. They view women as inferior to men and believe that a woman is not a whole person without a relationship with a man.

Jekyll-and-Hyde personality
Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of abusers, and these behaviors are related to other traits such as hypersensitivity. This is not always a sign of mental health problems but may be a way of controlling the victim by being unpredictable.

Crosswalk Safety Ordinances

Phone Scams - How to Protect Yourself (Federal Trade Commission)

Fraud Information (provided in part by the FBI)

What You Can Do to Help

  • If you see a light out on campus, or an area in which bushes are overgrown, call the Missouri S&T Police Department to report it.
  • If anything out of the ordinary is going on around you, use the closest emergency phone to notify the Missouri S&T Police Department immediately.
  • Get Involved.
  • If you have any questions concerning the above information, call or email the Missouri S&T Police Department. 

Revision Date: 9/12/2014