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Health and wellness

Safety & Security

Safe Walk Program

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Safe Walk Program and Safety Tips for the Western Community

Safety Tips

The tips below will serve to enhance your safety whether on or off campus. Consider the following suggestions in your day-to-day activities.

When walking:

  • Walk in pairs or groups, being aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Use the Safe Walk program provided by Campus Security Services. Please call 970.209.1020 for escorts.
  • Make sure someone knows when you leave and when to expect you back.
  • Do not become distracted by talking on your cell phone or listening to music through headphones at a high volume.
  • Travel on well-lit, busy streets and avoid walking through alleys and parking lots.
  • If you plan to drink, do so in moderation to avoid putting yourself in a position of increased risk.
  • Do not respond to strangers’ attempts at conversation.
  • Keep your purse pressed securely to your body to deter possible thefts.
  • Have your door or car keys ready so you don’t have to dig for them in a purse or backpack.
  • Walk purposefully to project a no-nonsense image.
  • Do not carry valuables or a lot of cash unless it can’t be avoided. Charge cards are more reliable; only know the PIN.
  • Trust your instincts. Stay away from a person or area that makes you uneasy.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. Avoid bushes, doorways, and alleyways where people can hide.
  • Do not use an iPod or any other MP3 player. This eliminates hearing as a self-defense mechanism.
  • Carry mace or pepper spray. Learn how to use your mace or pepper spray and have it ready to use. If this makes you uncomfortable, take a self-defense class offered on campus.
  • Keep your cell phone close at hand. If any emergency arises, you will have easier access to it.
  • Program the Campus Security Services phone number (970.209.1020), the Gunnison Dispatch phone number (970.641.8200), and 911 into your memory of your cell phone. 

In your room, home, or apartment:

  • Always lock your door when nobody is there or when you’re home alone, even if it is only for a short period of time.
  • Know your neighbors.
  • Do not leave keys hidden outside; thieves will find them. Instead, make sure everyone who needs a key has their own copy.
  • Do not put your address on your key ring.
  • Leave lights on (or TV or music) at your apartment or room, especially when nobody is home. This will give the appearance that somebody is home.
  • Make sure the lights work around all entrances.
  • Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are gone and when you will return.
  • Do not leave money in your room. Instead, open a checking or savings account.
  • Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood; stop theft before it starts.
  • If someone comes to your door asking to make a phone call, offer to make the phone call yourself instead.
  • When in an elevator, stay as close to the control board as possible so you can get off as soon as possible if you need to.
  • If you are unsure of the people in an elevator, wait for the next available one.
  • Avoid confrontations with prowlers or burglars. If approached, give up your property.
  • Do not give your phone number or any additional information to “wrong number” callers, telephone surveys, or telemarketing companies.
  • Close windows, doors, curtains and blinds at night.

While driving or walking to your car:

  • Park in well-lighted areas whenever possible.
  • Have your keys in hand when you are approaching your car.
  • Make sure to lock your doors, even when you are driving.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight.
  • Check the floor and backseat before entering your car.
  • Use a lock bar that prohibits the use of your steering wheel.
  • Always keep an emergency kit in your car. Make sure it includes change for emergency calls.
  • If you are having car trouble, open the hood of your car and then stay inside the car with the doors locked until identifiable help comes. If someone you don’t know or trust comes to help you, stay inside and ask them to call the police or a towing company.
  • Do not stop to help people on the side of the road. Instead, call the police or a towing company.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • If you are being followed, drive to a police station, fire station, or open place of business.
  • Walk in the middle of the lanes whenever possible. This will give you more reaction time if someone jumps out from behind a car.
  • Keep your windows rolled all the way up when your car is parked.

In the case of an emergency, always call 911.

Campus Security Services:

  • 970.209.1020 (Duty Phone), 970.943.3084 or 970.209.8798 (24-hour on call)

Gunnison Dispatch (to contact the Gunnison Police Department):

  • 970.641.8200

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