NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Norfolk Police have launched a Student Safety Consortium to enhance safety on local campuses.
Police said the safety consortium will be composed of approximately 40 student representatives from four college campuses in Norfolk to include Eastern Virginia Medical School , Norfolk State University , Old Dominion University , and Tidewater Community College .
Colin Rodino, the Director of Student Life at ODU, said, "Students feel that it's more of the police departments' responsibility to protect them and I feel the culture of that needs to change."
The student representatives will serve as ambassadors on their respective campuses, sharing crime prevention safety information and strategies that will be taught by Norfolk Police Department Crime Prevention personnel.
Police said students will be asked to circulate the crime prevention information via personal contacts, social networking, newsletters, and websites.
"They take this information to their campuses and put it out through [their] network. They can get out to a broader audience. Facebook, Twitter, email groups, things of that nature," said Sergeant Robert Fields, with Norfolk police.
Student Elliott Butler agreed, "That's media that students are already using so it's a good idea to use something that they're checking daily already."
Crime Prevention personnel will also explain the benefits of establishing a Student Watch program.
The Norfolk Police Department offers these safety tips for students:
- If you suspect someone is following you, don't go home. Go to a public place and call the police.
- When you go out with someone you don't know very well, tell someone who you're going with, where you're going, and when you'll return
- When taking friends home make sure they are in the residence before driving away.
- Don't do laundry when you're likely to be alone. Try to arrange laundry times with a friend.
- Report suspicious persons loitering near the laundry room to the police.
- When possible, travel in groups or pairs, never hitch hike.
- Only use last names on mailboxes or call boxes, and never label keys with your name or any other contact information.
- Identify visitors at your door before opening it. Also, verify employment of any repair or maintenance worker.
- Make sure all home and vehicle doors are locked at all times.
- Make sure all valuables in your vehicle are secure and out of sight.
- Connect with neighbors.
The consortium will be held every month in order to get added input from students.
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