UT Austin Criminal Case and Safety Recommendations for UTSA
The recent tragedy at UT Austin regarding Haruka Weiser reminds us that we cannot take safety for granted and we must always remain alert and aware of our surroundings. While it was good to receive news that a suspect has been arrested, we should not relax and let our guard down as the potential for threats may arise with little or no warning. The best way to increase safety is to be prepared and always have a plan.
From the law enforcement perspective, please know that your safety is our number one priority. As we focus on safety for our community and to calm some of the fear and anxiety that members of our community may be feeling, we have increased the presence and visibility of our officers throughout the campuses. We are increasing officer visibility in classroom buildings, residential areas, pedestrian walkways and parking lots. While UTSA is a very safe campus, we offer the below services and safety recommendations to further enhance your safety on or off campus.
We also encourage you use the following UTSA Police Department Services:
- Safety Escort Services which is available to all UTSA community members. Simply call the UTSA police dispatcher at 210-458-4242 to request a Safety Escort and a police public safety officer will meet with you to provide the escort.
- Download the UTSA Mobile app to your smartphone. The UTSA app has an “Emergency info” section equipped with the button “UTSA Emergency Call” and “UTSA Non-Emergency Call” to make a direct call to a UTSA Police Dispatcher. The app also provides immediate access to university emergency procedures in the event of a campus crisis.
- Emergency Blue phones are located in parking lots, pedestrian walkways, and other areas of the campuses. Simply press the “Emergency Call” button and you will be connected to the UTSA Police dispatcher.
We also encourage you to read the safety recommendations below that will give you a good start to formulating a personal safety plan.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS – Awareness is your best self-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 of the campus alone. Find a trusted classmate or colleague to go to these areas with you. You may request a safety escort.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS – Don’t accept a false sense of security because you are in a group or in a remote area. If you think something is wrong, remove yourself from the situation. Trust your instincts – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. 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. When out at night, don’t go alone. Let someone know where you will be going and when you plan to return. Avoid areas you are not familiar with, alleys, deserted streets, 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.
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. Don’t carry more money than what you will need.
IF YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED ON FOOT OR FEEL THREATENED – Cross the street, change direction and go to a safe, busy 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 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 and not be needed than to 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 – Within the campus community our police department can respond to emergencies much faster than local law enforcement – Call (210) 458-4911.