On behalf of the University of Florida Police Department, allow me to wish all returning students, faculty and staff a Happy New Year and provide you with some information to help start the spring semester on a safe note.
I am pleased to report that during the holiday break, University Police made an arrest in the sexual battery incident that occurred on campus in November. The Gainesville Police Department's investigation into a subsequent armed robbery and attempted sexual battery that occurred off campus at an ATM remains ongoing. University Police will continue an increased patrol presence in the areas adjacent to campus.
These criminal incidents are reminders that we all must be vigilant when it pertains to personal safety and mindful that despite our best efforts, serious crimes may affect our lives.
It is extremely important that we think about safety as a shared responsibility. The UPD operates 24 hours a day, every day, but officers cannot be everywhere to protect you. You can help by partnering with us to keep campus safe. Please remember that the information and safety tips provided to the university community through the UF Alert system are reactive in nature and are used to provide information about an incident that has already occurred. I encourage each of you to be proactive and take steps to prevent an incident before it occurs by following the safety information provided below:
Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
Call 911 immediately to report any suspicious or strange activity.
Use the buddy system when walking at night and in isolated areas.
Walk in familiar, well-travelled areas, especially at night and away from alleys, bushes or entryways.
If a driver stops to ask directions, keep your distance from the car.
Use the SNAP service for a safe and efficient method of transportation. After 3 a.m., please call UPD at 352-392-1111.
Lock the windows and doors of your car and your apartment or residence hall.
Do not take rides from strangers.
Ensure emails and cellphone numbers are correct in myUFL to receive UF Alerts.
Avoid using ATMs at night.
Do not leave your belongings unattended.
Educate yourself about reported criminal incidents around campus by reviewing crime reports at http://www.police.ufl.edu/media/crimemap.asp.
Thank you for your time and once again, I would like to welcome all of you back to campus. I look forward to partnering with you for enhanced campus safety, and I hope that your experience here is a safe, positive and rewarding one.
Chief Linda J. Stump
Assistant Vice President of Public and Environmental Safety