Off-Campus Crime Notification & Safety Reminders
We wanted to make you aware of a series of recent attacks on women that have been occurring off campus, but nearby in the Medical Center area. The San Antonio Police Department is searching for a suspect in several incidents that have occurred at apartment complexes near the Babcock-Eckert Road area. The suspect is described as a black male in his early-20s, about 5’6” – 5’8” with a small build (140 lbs).
While these incidents have not directly impacted UTSA, it is important to be vigilant wherever you may be.
As a reminder, when on campus, the UTSA Police Department provides a variety of services to ensure your well-being. They include:
- The Safety Escort Program, available to all community members at UTSA’s three campuses 24/7/365. To request a safety escort, call the UTSA Police Department (non-emergency) at 210-458-4242. A UTSA PD public safety officer will meet you to provide the escort;
- The Emergency Info section on the UTSA Mobile app, which offers “UTSA Emergency Call” and “UTSA Non-Emergency Call” buttons that allow you to directly call to the UTSA Police Department. The app also provides immediate access to university emergency procedures in the event of a campus crisis;
- UTSA’s blue emergency phones, which are located in parking lots, pedestrian walkways and other areas of the campus. Press the “Emergency Call” button to directly connect to the UTSA Police Department.
As you go about your daily activities, whether on campus, in your neighborhood, or elsewhere, we also encourage you to keep in mind tips that discourage and prevent crime:
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS: Awareness is your best defense. Know what is happening around you. Be especially careful and alert if you are alone. Watch where you are going and what is going on around you. Look for potential problems and be prepared to react to them. Avoid going to secluded areas.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS: Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Whether alone or in a group, if you think something is wrong, remove yourself from the situation. Don’t be afraid to call for help.
WHEN WALKING, PLAN THE SAFEST AND MOST DIRECT ROUTE: Use well-lit, busy streets, sidewalks and pathways. Walk with friends or a group, especially at night. Always let someone you trust know where you will be going, how you will be getting there and when you plan to return. Avoid areas you are not familiar with, alleys, deserted streets, and secluded and wooded areas.
PROJECT CONFIDENCE: Walk as if you know where you are going. Stand tall. Walk in a confident manner, and hold your head up. Keep your eyes off your mobile device while you are walking.
HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED READY: Hold your keys when going to and from your car, home and office. This will save you time and give you some security. Be wary of self-defense products. Any device you carry can be used against you. If you do carry a device, know how to use it and be prepared to use it if necessary. Also, you should never carry more money than you need.
IF YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED ON FOOT OR FEEL THREATENED: Cross the street, change direction and go to a safe, busy and well-lit area where you can ask for help or call the police. If a car is following you, turn around and walk in the opposite direction if possible. Write down the license plate number and a description of the car and occupants.
REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: Criminals do not want to be seen or heard. They rarely commit crime in front of police officers. We rely on the community to report suspicious activity. We would much rather respond to you and not be needed than not be called when a crime could have been prevented or stopped. Trust your instincts; if something does not feel right, it probably isn’t.
PROGRAM THE UTSA POLICE NUMBER INTO YOUR PHONE: On the UTSA campuses, our Police Department can respond to emergencies much faster than local law enforcement. Call 210-458-4911 for emergencies and 210-458-4242 for police assistance with non-emergencies.
With your help, we will continue to keep UTSA a safe place to learn, work and live.
Chief of Police, AVP of Public Safety