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Keep safety in mind as new semester begins

August 11, 2010

New and returning Arizona State University students can ensure that their semester is a safe one by heeding basic safety messages and obeying local laws.

Arizona State University’s Police Department and the Tempe Police Department will conduct a joint awareness campaign during the first weeks of school to enforce traffic laws and alcohol violations.

Officers from both agencies will be out in force during the first weeks of school making traffic safety a priority. High-traffic focus areas include University Drive and College Avenue, Apache Boulevard and College Avenue and Apache Boulevard and McAlister Avenue.

Police are also putting an alcohol task force into action. “We have a DUI task force and a youth-alcohol task force on campus,” said ASU Police Department Commander James Hardina. “It’s zero tolerance.”

ASU Police are conducting educational safety meetings to provide information to  residential life students and staff about campus safety. They are also providing information about sexual assault and alcohol and the relationship between the two.

Students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to sign up for “ASU Alert,” the university’s emergency messaging system at Members of the university community who sign up will receive a text message in the event of a major emergency on campus. The service is used only for emergencies and tests of the system. An ASURITE ID and password is needed to sign up. Text message charges may apply depending on individual cell phone plans.

Some basic safety tips that members of the ASU community should keep in mind:

• Dial 911 in an emergency. Blue call boxes are also stationed throughout the university to use in case of emergency.

• Always lock doors.

• Let others know where you’ll be at night.

• Pay attention to your surroundings, not to texting or listening to music while out in public.

• Pay attention to light-rail trains and don’t trespass on the tracks or jaywalk across the rails.

• Don’t give personal information to someone you don’t know.

• A free safety escort service is available on the Tempe Campus from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday-Saturday and from 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday. Call (480) 965-1515 to arrange for an escort. For an escort on another campus or after the hours of operation, call ASU Police at (480) 965-3456 and an officer or police aide will provide an escort.

• The ASU Police Department may be reached at (480) 965-3456.