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Safety tips

August 15, 2007

As people go about their daily lives, it may seem easy to forget about a social problem that is literally at our front doorsteps: homelessness. But ASU Police say there are better ways to address it.

“It is important to remember that being homeless is not a crime,” said Richard Wilson, ASU Downtown Phoenix campus police commander. “People are held responsible for their actions, not their appearance or station in life.” The ASU Police Department recommends that students, faculty and staff take these steps when interacting with homeless population downtown:

• Summon the police if a crime has been committed or the person behaves in a threatening manner. Call 911 for urgent matters. For suspicious persons, noise complaints or aggressive panhandlers, call the Phoenix Police Department’s non-emergency number at (602) 262-6151.

• Use caution when dealing with strangers regardless of their appearance.

• Avoid offering food or money.

• Realize that many services are available to the homeless, through charitable organizations such as the Human Services Campus. The Human Services Campus was created through a collaborative effort among faith-based, private, nonprofit, governmental and community organizations. The 10-acre campus is located between Madison and Jackson streets on 12th Avenue. For more information call (602) 256-6945 or go to If compelled to do something more, consider:

• Donating time or money to a charitable organization.

• Organizing advocacy efforts on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus such as food or clothing drives.

Call for crime prevention information

Do you have questions regarding personal safety, security procedures or crime prevention for your dorm, office or home? The Crime Prevention unit is an invaluable resource offered by the ASU Police Department. Contact the unit to schedule educational and experiential programs for faculty, staff and students. You can reach the unit by calling (480) 965-1972 on weekdays with your questions concerning crime prevention topics. Or, take a look at some tips online at