Keeping You Safe
Focused crime prevention and keeping you safe is the capstone of our campus safety programs.
Suspicious persons or activities should be reported immediately by calling 678.407.5333.
What is Suspicious
- Person screaming – cries for HELP or FIRE/POLICE
- Loud or obscene shouting indicating a disturbance
- An explosion or gunshot
- The sound of breaking glass
- Someone trying to break into a building
- Someone tampering with a motor vehicle
- Person(s) publicly displaying weapons
- Smashed doors or windows
|Person waiting in front of building or residence hall, especially when campus building is closed.||Casing a building/office/residence for a place to burglarize, burglary in progress.|
|Person carrying property at an unusual hour or in an unusual location.||Leaving the scene of a burglary, robbery, or theft.|
|Person loitering around cars or going car to car peeking into them, especially in parking lots, carports, or on streets.||Potential car thief or theft from vehicle.|
|Person exhibiting unusual behavior or physical symptoms.||May be injured under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or in need of medical attention.|
|A slow-moving vehicle (particularly at night with lights off) being driven aimlessly.||Casing a place to burglarize or considering some other anti-social behavior.|
|Vehicles being loaded with valuables if parked in front of closed residence or building. Suspicious even if the vehicle is a legitimate-looking commercial unit.||Burglary or other theft in progress.|
|An abandoned vehicle.||A stolen vehicle; also an unsafe place for children to hide and play.|
|Vehicles containing weapons.||Owner may engage in illegal activities.|
|Unusual property in vehicles, especially at unusual hours. For example, TV sets, stereos, unmounted tape decks, auto parts, and computers.||Stolen property.|
|Persons being forced into vehicles.||A kidnapping in progress, a sex offender, or a domestic violence situation.|
Although the crime rate at GGC is very low, you should still be alert and use common sense to protect yourself and others from becoming victims of crime. When you go out, keep these safety tips in mind.
- Learn the best routes between parking areas and your classes and activities. Take the safest route, not the fastest route.
- Travel in groups of two or more at night and always walk in well-lit, heavily traveled areas.
- Share your class schedule with friends and family, effectively creating a buddy system.
- When you go out, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
- If you feel uncomfortable, call Public Safety for a ride at 678.407.5333.
- Wherever you are, stay alert to your surroundings and the actions of people around you.
- Follow your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, change directions, go into an open building or call Public Safety at 678.407.5333.
- Do not leave your belongings unattended, even for a few minutes.
- Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other tempting targets such as jewelry or expensive clothing.
- Always lock your car and keep valuables out of site. Check the back seat before getting in.
- Memorize the Public Safety phone number: 678.407.5333.
- Remember, alcohol and/or drugs are involved in 90 percent of campus crimes.
Clean Car Campaign
Opportunity theft plagues every campus in the nation. We usually think of opportunity theft as someone else’s problem. However, we have learned through experience that many thefts from the parking lots are simply opportunity thefts.
Catching these opportunistic thieves is difficult at best so a different approach is required. We are asking for everyone to put forth a little effort in a "Clean Car" initiative. Simply put, by removing all viewable valuables from your vehicle, prior to leaving your vehicle, you will reduce the odds of your vehicle being illegally entered by nearly 95%!
Additionally, please help us to reduce the opportunity of theft by reminding other students, co-workers, visitors and friends to remove ALL items from their car.
Keeping your personal information from falling into the wrong hands will help you from becoming another identity theft victim.
In the Elevator
- Always stand near the control panel.
- If you suspect trouble or are attacked, push the alarm button and as many floor buttons as possible so that the elevator will halt quickly, probably at the next floor.
- Respond to instinct, intuition or gut reactions. Don’t get on an elevator with someone who makes you feel uneasy.
- If other passengers get off, leaving you with a person(s) who make you feel uneasy, get off with other passengers and wait for the next elevator.
- Allow other passengers to push the buttons for their floors first.
Rape Aggression Defense (RAD)
The Rape Aggression Defense System is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women. RAD is not a martial arts program. It is a comprehensive, women-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. The class offers a dynamic simulation that allows the participant to test their abilities at 100% in simulated circumstances against an instructor. The courses are taught by nationally certified RAD instructors and provide each participant with a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth, and is the key to our free lifetime return and practice policy for RAD graduates. Please contact Public Safety at 678.407.5333 for further information.
There are things you can do to reduce your chances of being sexually assaulted.
- Be aware of your surroundings — who’s out there and what’s going on.
- Walk with confidence. The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
- Don’t let drugs or alcohol cloud your judgment.
- Be assertive — don’t let anyone violate your space.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave.
- Don’t prop open self-locking doors.
- Lock your door and your windows, even if you leave for just a few minutes.
- Watch your keys. Don’t lend them. Don’t leave them. Don’t lose them. And don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
- Watch out for unwanted visitors. Know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it.
- Be wary of isolated spots, like underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
- Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route. Stay in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
- Have your key ready to use before you reach the door — home, car, or work.
- Park in well-lit areas and lock the car, even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes.
- Drive on well-traveled streets, with doors and windows locked.
- Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker.
- Keep your car in good shape with plenty of gas in the tank.
- In case of car trouble, call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors, and put a banner in the rear window that says, “Help. Call police.”
View more information from the National Crime Prevention Council.
About Sexual Assault
Sexual assault remains a significant problem on college campuses. Today, it is not only the stranger lurking behind the bushes who may be a concern. It is a well-documented fact that the majority of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance, most often in a dating situation.
Up to 90 percent of all sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol, the most commonly used drug on college campuses. Tests show that alcohol has a negative effect on individuals before they think they are drunk. Beginning with the first drink, alcohol progressively changes behavior and judgment and is thought to often play a role in sexual assault because:
- Alcohol makes talking and listening more difficult. It is common for individuals under the influence to lose their ability to communicate clearly and effectively. A person who is under the influence may have a hard time understanding and accurately interpreting someone else's behavior and actions. Research has found when men are under the influence of alcohol, they are likely to interpret a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues as evidence that a woman is interested in having sex with him. These assumptions can be dangerous. Additionally, it's hard to be assertive when you are drunk.
- Alcohol impairs judgment and inhibits clear thinking. This makes it harder to assess risk. Alcohol often causes people to misread situations or emotions. Also, when drinking, people may forget their common sense and values.
- Alcohol can increase aggression. There is a clear tie between alcohol and violence. Between 75 and 90 percent of all violence on campus is alcohol-related. Alcohol itself doesn't cause violence but some people who drink it are more likely to act out their violent feelings. Some people mistakenly think alcohol makes them powerful or aggressive. Also, rapists often target a female who is drinking, frequently planning to provide her with alcohol.
When a Sexual Assault Occurs
An off-campus assault should be reported to the Lawrenceville Police or Gwinnett County Police at 911. If you are sexually assaulted on campus, report it to Campus Police at 678.407.5333. If you wish, Campus Police will notify the Lawrenceville or Gwinnett County police.
Calling the police does not commit you to pressing charges against the assailant. That choice can be made later.
Because it is important to preserve as much physical evidence as possible, do not bathe, douche or change clothes. Call 911 immediately for further instructions. The 911 operator will ask questions to help determine if you need emergency medical care for physical injuries and will arrange transportation to either a local hospital emergency center or the Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center (GSAC) if physical injuries are not involved. A sexual assault nurse examiner with special training in working with sexual assault victims will perform an evidence collection exam. This exam should be performed within 72 hours of the assault. The nurse will discuss pregnancy prevention and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. She will also provide information about follow-up testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Mosaic Georgia (Sexual Assault Center and Children's Advocacy Center) will provide trained volunteers to accompany a victim through the medical and legal procedures. There is no charge for these services. Crisis hotline: 770.476.7407
If you do not want a sexual assault evidence collection exam, you are encouraged to seek medical attention. Medical and counseling services can be coordinated by the dean of students or Student Affairs.
Sexual harassment of employees or students in the University System of Georgia is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwelcome touching, and other conduct or comments of a sexual nature can constitute sexual harassment or even sexual assault. For more information, contact Campus Police at 678.407.5333.
Strangers and Children
- Teach your children what a stranger is, not necessarily what a person looks like or the clothes they wear. If a child does not personally know the individual or has not been introduced to that individual by their parents, they are to be considered a stranger.
- Have a “code word” shared with your child. If a stranger asks the child to come with them, all the child has to do is ask for the “code word.” If Mom or Dad did not tell the person the code word, the child does not go with them.
- If the child is grabbed by a stranger, tell them not to scream or cry. Rather, yell “He’s not my Daddy” or “She’s not my Mommy.”
- If your child is ever unsure about someone's intentions, teach them to trust their feelings and run away.
- Know the safest route to and from school and instruct your children to follow that route.
- Know the length of time it takes your child to walk to and from school.
- Immediately check any delay in arrival home.
- Know your children’s playmates and where they congregate.
- Instruct your children to report to you suspicious persons or attempts by unknown adults to approach them or become friendly with them.
- Instruct you children not to accept rides or gifts from anyone without your approval.
- Tell your children to check with you before going anywhere with anyone.
It is important to be alert for suspicious parcels, but keep in mind that a mail bomb is an extremely rare occurrence. To illustrate just how rare, postal inspectors have investigated an average of 16 mail bombs over the last few years. By contrast, each year, the Postal Service processed over 170 billion pieces of mail. That means during the last few years, the chances that a piece of mail actually contains a bomb average far less than one in 10 billion.
Still, those who are familiar with the characteristics of suspect parcels can help to avert a tragedy. This actually occurred in 1991, when a Dumfries, Va., letter carrier identified a suspect parcel in a collection box. The parcel contained a bomb intended for the sender's estranged husband. By acting quickly, the carrier may have saved the man's life. Although the appearance of mail bombs may vary greatly, here are some characteristics that have repeatedly shown up:
- Mail bombs may have excessive postage. Normally a bomber does not want to mail a parcel over the counter and have to deal face-to-face with a window clerk.
- The return address may be fictitious or non-existent.
- The postmark may show a different location than the return address.
- Mail bombs may bear restricted endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Private." This is particularly important when the addressee does not usually receive personal mail at the office.
- Mail bombs may display distorted handwriting, or the name and address may be prepared with homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.
- Parcel bombs may be unprofessionally wrapped with several combinations of tape used to secure the package and may be endorsed "Fragile–Handle With Care" or "Rush–Do Not Delay."
- Letter bombs may feel rigid or appear uneven or lopsided.
- Package bombs may have an irregular shape, soft spots or bulges.
- Mail bombs may have protruding wires, aluminum foil or oil stains, and may emit a peculiar odor.
While the overwhelming volume of mail does not permit the Postal Service to screen every piece, postal inspectors are able to respond quickly if a suspect article is discovered. Each Inspection Service field division has trained and equipped bomb specialists available to provide professional assistance. If you become suspicious of a mailing and are unable to verify the contents, observe the following safety precautions:
- Don't open the article.
- Isolate the suspect parcel and evacuate the immediate area.
- Don't put it in water or a confined space, such as a desk drawer or cabinet.
- If possible, open windows in the immediate area to assist in venting potentially explosive gases.
- Don't worry about possible embarrassment if the item turns out to be innocent. Instead, contact the Postal Inspection Service and your local police.
On the Telephone
- Never list your address in the phone book.
- Use your first initial and last name in the phone book.
- When not at home, use an answering machine. Have it answer that you cannot come to the phone, not that you are not at home. Turn the ringer down so it cannot be heard from the outside.
- In cases of emergency, know what number to dial (911) and what to say when calling.
- Don't give any personal information out if called about surveys, contests, subscription drives, purchases or deliveries until the source of the call has been verified. Ask for a number they can be called back at and confirm it in a telephone book.
- Never give your name, address or phone number to someone you don’t know.
- Never give any information to "wrong number" callers. Ask for the number they are trying to dial.
- Always give the impression you are not alone.
- If they ask for someone who is not there, say they can’t come to the phone and ask for a name and number.
- When you first realize the caller is obscene or harassing, hang up immediately. Do not listen to them or show any type of emotional response. Report continuing incidents to the telephone company and police.
- Do not use a blast from a whistle to discourage obscene or harassing phone calls.
- If all else fails, change your phone number and have it unlisted.
Telephone 809 Scam
Being scammed is just a phone call away – a phone call to area code 809. This popular scam could cost you more than $100 for a few minutes of your time.
The scam plays something like this: You receive an email message or voicemail to immediately call an 809 area code. The message may tell you to call to avoid the cancellation of your email account, to get information on a relative in danger or to claim a prize. If you call from the United States, you may be charged as much as $25 per minute.
What lies on the other end of the receiver varies from a person speaking broken English to a long recorded message, both aimed at keeping you on the phone as long as possible. The 809 area code is located in the Bahamas and can be used as a "pay-per-call" number similar to a 900 number. But unlike 900 numbers in the United States, 809 area codes do not have to conform to laws set up to avoid scams like this one.
U.S. regulations require that you be warned of charges and rates involved and that the company provide a time period during which you may hang up without being charged. In addition, many U.S. phones have 900-number blocking, but this is not available for the 809 area code.
The chances of getting the charges dropped are slim, according to Internet Scambusters. Scambusters warns that your phone company may say they were simply providing the billing for the foreign company. The foreign company can argue it has done nothing wrong, and you may still be stuck with the bill because you made the call. The easiest way to avoid this hassle is not to return any calls with the 809 area code until you have investigated further.
Travel with a reputable travel agency. Know what kind of transportation, housing, and food and beverages are included in your travel package. If you don't know anything about the travel agency, call the State Consumer Protection Division to find out if there are any complaints against the agency.
If you plan on drinking as part of your spring break experience, consider the following:
- Know the alcohol laws at your destination. Ask your travel agent for information on age of consumption and local laws regarding alcohol use. Some areas will ticket for open intoxicants, while others may have stiff penalties for public inebriation.
- Plan ahead on how much you plan to drink. Talk with a friend about when the friend should intervene and make a plan for how you will return to your hotel. Stay with someone who knows you when you are drinking – don't wander off alone. Make sure that someone in your group is not drinking or is drinking responsibly so that they can get everyone home.
- Don't assume that someone you've just met will look out for your best interests. Keep in mind that more people are sexually assaulted by acquaintances than by strangers.
- Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour yourself. You put yourself at risk for receiving an altered beverage if you don't know the source of the drink.
- If a friend feels sick, don't leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask someone to look out for you.
- If a member of your group passes out, turn them on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.
- Don't horseplay or climb on balconies. Never sit on railings and always keep both feet on the floor at all times. Falls from balconies, even those on lower floors, can be fatal.
- Don't carry all of your credit or bank cards in your wallet or purse. Carry the minimum amount of cash that you will need, including a little backup. Traveler's checks are your best bet when on vacation. If you have extra cash, leave it in your hotel room, hidden from sight.
- Make sure your friends and relatives know where you will be vacationing, when you will depart, and when you expect to return. Call friends or family members to let then know that you have arrived and returned safely.
- If you are robbed, don't resist – give up any money, jewelry or other valuables. You can always replace material things. Call 911 as soon as you can.
Victims Bill of Rights
Know the following:
- The accused may be released from custody prior to trial.
- Victims have certain rights during the stages of the criminal justice process.
- Additional information may be obtained by contacting the filing agency or Gwinnett County Victim/Witness Assistance Program at 770.822.8444.
- Victims may be eligible for out-of-pocket expenses from the Crime Victim's Compensation Program.
- Victims may have available to them community-based victim service programs. For information, contact the Governor's Victim Assistance Helpline at 1.800.338.6745.
- Victims must meet any applicable obligations (provide a current phone number and address).
For additional information regarding these rights, contact the following victims/witness assistance program: Gwinnett County Victim/Witness Assistance Program, 770.822.8444.
You have been the victim of or witness to a crime on campus. We will do everything within our ability to solve this crime and apprehend the offender. We are equally concerned that this offense does not recur to you or another member of the community.
- If you need police assistance, call Public Safety at 678.407.5333 or dial 911.
- If your purse or backpack is snatched, don’t fight it. There is nothing in it that can’t be replaced. It is not worth getting hurt over.
- Avoid walking alone as much as possible. Having other people nearby is a great defense.
- Be alert when you’re alone. Be aware of who is around you.
- Walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace. Attackers look for someone who appears vulnerable.
- Walk near the curb; avoid shrubbery or other places of concealment.
- Avoid isolated or poorly-lit places and unpopulated areas, alleys, vacant lots or buildings.
- Do not hitchhike.
- Be careful when people in a car stop and ask you for directions. Always reply from a distance; never get too close to the car.
Leaving late? If you would like an escort on campus, please call 678.407.5333.
Through scheduled seminars that target specific groups, relevant presentations and community awareness meetings (town meetings), our crime prevention efforts are gaining support and showing exceptional promise. Crime prevention pamphlets are also available at the Public Safety office.