Police Chief RaShall Brackney offers the GW community five safety tips as students leave campus this holiday season.
By Kristen Mitchell
As students prepare to leave the George Washington University for a few weeks of relaxation between semesters, Police Chief RaShall Brackney has five tips for how the GW community can protect themselves and their possessions during the holiday season.
Tip #1: Lock your doors
Before students leave campus they should make sure their residence halls are secure. This goes a long way in theft prevention, Chief Brackney said.
“We often don’t secure our residence halls the same way as we would our personal homes if we were leaving them,” she said. “Treat it the same way you would your own home if you were going on vacation.”
Tip #2: Secure your belongings
If you are leaving campus, take expensive items like laptops or iPads with you or lock them up in your room. Don’t leave anything valuable out in the open where someone might be able to see it. If you are flying and worried about having enough space in your bags, you can ship items overnight in advance of your trip, Chief Brackney said.
Tip #3: Watch your wallet
With holiday shopping in full swing, opportunists often assume people are carrying more cash, gift cards, debit or credit cards. Only bring what you need when you go shopping and carry valuables where you can see them.
Tip #4: Let GW know if you are staying on campus
Not all students leave campus for the extended break. If you are staying in your residence hall let GW Housing know. This helps GWPD keep track of who should be on campus and will give officers a heads up to pay more attention to your residence hall.
“This provides an increase in security for people there and an increased awareness of those who are out of place,” Chief Brackney said.
Tip #5: Stay informed
To stay informed on what is going on around campus, download the GW PAL app on your smartphone. With the app you can check recent GW alerts, submit crime tips and use the “Arm” feature to call for help.
The student-run free EMT service EMeRG will have limited service during the break, but GWPD will still be operating 24/7. For emergency police assistance members of the GW community can call 202-994-6111.