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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Campus

UHPD shares advice on keeping campus a safe space


UHPD needs to take safety alerts more seriously

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

The UH Police Department has advised and implemented various safety procedures to keep UH a safe environment. 

“UHPD employs police and security personnel at all campuses, UH Central, UH Katy, UH Sugar Land, and UH Victoria,” said Sgt. Dina Padovan. “UHPD also uses other resources on the campuses such cameras and call boxes.”

The emergency call boxes can be found at various locations throughout the campus. They are mounted on light poles or free-standing towers and are labeled “Emergency.”  The call boxes can request police assistance, security escorts, and other services by placing a call directly to the UHPD dispatch center.

Padovan explains that UHPD also hosts and participates in several programs throughout the University community, such as student orientation presentations and the citizen response to active shooter class to strengthen the partnership between the campus community and law enforcement.

At student orientation, UHPD offers safety presentations each semester. These presentations are designed to give new students an overview of the types of crime that can exist on campus, with tips and strategies to avoid becoming a victim.

The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events course, designed and built on the “Avoid, Deny Defend” strategy, provides strategies, guidance, and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event.

“Never leave your personal items unattended when you are out in public. Leave it with someone you know,” said Padovan. “Be aware of your surroundings and report anything you think might be out of the ordinary or suspicious.”

UH students should always attempt to maintain such safe practices while on campus, visiting another city or state.

 In addition, students can reduce their risk with preventive actions, such as locking their car and dorm room doors, notifying their family and friends of any travel plans, and being observant of suspicious activity and avoiding it when they are alone. 

“Contact UHPD if you feel unsafe, download the UHGo app to contact us when needed,” said Padovan. “Store UHPD’s phone number in your phone to call us directly (713-743-3333).”

The UHGo mobile app can assist students in various tasks, such as calling for help in an emergency, navigating the campus, staying up to date with notifications for alerts and news, managing classes, and finding dining options.

Padovan advises students that if they see something, they should say something. “Do not hesitate to report suspicious people or behavior to campus law enforcement,” said Padovan. “Collectively, we have to be co-producers of safety to keep our campus safe.”

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