GREENCASTLE -- College students in the area may have been away from home for a little more than a month, but a somewhat lack of incident during the beginning of the school year does not mean risk-taking behavior and protection should be taken any less seriously.
Both the Public Safety Office at DePauw University and security forces at Ivy Tech Community College's Greencastle campus share their safety tips and procedures to keep students and community members safe.
"Mostly, time is what's needed to familiarize students with places and resources on campus," DePauw's Director of Public Safety Angela Nally said. "We put forth a great effort to make sure our students are told about our Public Safety Office and the services we provide."
The Public Safety Office, located in room 200 of the Student Union Building on DePauw's campus, is professionally staffed with six full-time sworn police officers and three part-time police officers.
DePauw Police dispatchers are on duty for eight hours during three separate shifts for 24-hour coverage and are on the lookout for suspicious behavior such as someone walking aimlessly, staring, who is out of place for the activity in the area or building or who sticks out from the "normal."
"We strongly encourage our community to report suspicious behavior," Nally said.
While it also has general procedures for dealing with alcohol-related arrests, DePauw Police looks at each case on an individual basis, and evaluations of the circumstances and behavior are examined.
"Unfortunately we will encounter individuals who have over indulged and require intervention of law enforcement. Our primary objective is to make sure the individuals involved and the rest of our university community are safe," Nally said.
Nally said each situation must be evaluated upon its own merit and the conduct and cooperation of those involved.
"Immediate action may be releasing the individual with a referral to the Community Standards Review Team, a citation into court, seeking medical treatment or arrest depending on all factors and information available to the officer at the time," she said.
But overall, Nally said, the main goal is preventing such crimes from happening in the first place.
She also emphasized student programming regarding the importance of protecting their personal safety and welfare of their property and work with the Campus Living and Community Development Office to help students practice being good neighbors.
She also pointed to community outreach efforts including events like National Night Out in fostering a safe community for both Greencastle residents and DePauw students.
"We talk with our students about staying aware of their surroundings and using tools like building access systems and room locks to keep themselves and their things safe," she said.
While the DePauw Police does not work together with Ivy Tech Community College security, in instances when DePauw is asked to assist the Greencastle Police in its jurisdiction, it will, Nally said.
Local agencies, including the Greencastle City Police, Putnam County Sheriff's Office, Indiana State Police and Federal Agencies, all have jurisdiction on DePauw's campus. Each work together in sharing reports involving students off-campus and contribute to the Annual Report and disclosure of crime statistics, according to DePauw's Public Safety Office website.
Christopher Williams, executive director of human resources for Ivy Tech's Wabash Valley branch, said because Ivy Tech is a commuter campus, it may not have some the same problems that a residential campus may have, such as loud music or alcohol violations.
"Our students tend to come to class, do their work and return home," he said. "With that being said, we are a tobacco and alcohol free campus and do take violations that occur seriously."
For safety emergencies, such as crimes in progress, fires, medical emergencies or treats to personal safety, the Ivy Tech campus has safety call boxes, identified by a bright blue light, which are located in the parking lots at both the Terre Haute and Greencastle campuses.
In all instances of reporting a fire, the need for an ambulance or need emergency police services, call 911.
Putnam County Central Dispatch can also be contacted to report criminal activity at 653-5115.
Ivy Tech Campus Security may be contacted by calling 812-299-1121 or by dialing 0 while on campus. Its emergency hotline is 1-888-IVY-LINE (1-888-489-5463).
The Ivy Tech Alert text message alert system delivers alerts about campus closings and emergencies to user cell phones and can be activated immediately at http://www.ivytech.edu/alert
For non-emergency police and security services on DePauw's campus, contact its Public Safety Office at 658-4261 or by using one of the 51 campus convenience phones located throughout DePauw's campus.
Public Safety Alerts are posted on the Public Safety Timely Warnings and Crime Alert page in the instance of incidents or crimes considered to be a significant threat to public safety and/or reoccurring crime trends.
In some cases alerts may also be issued via WGRE Radio, The DePauw, e-mail blast, network bulletins, telephone trees, text messages (if registered) and portable public address systems.