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Start the semester with safety in mind

August 15, 2013

As a new academic year begins, it’s important for new and returning ASU students to keep safety in mind.

ASU’s Police Department, the Tempe Police Department and several officers from other agencies are conducting a joint awareness campaign during the first weeks of school to enforce traffic laws and alcohol violations.

Police will strictly enforce all alcohol violations.

“We would like everyone to begin the semester with a positive and safe experience. Officers will be out in force this year to enforce alcohol laws,” said John Pickens, chief of the ASU Police Department.

Beginning Aug. 15 and lasting until the end of the month, uniformed police officers from a multitude of agencies will engage in proactive measures to increase safety, including increased patrols, DUI enforcement, crime prevention presentations and social host ordinance enforcement throughout Tempe.

Traffic safety is another high priority during the first weeks of school. High-traffic focus areas include University Drive and College Avenue, Apache Boulevard and College Avenue, and Apache Boulevard and McAlister Avenue.

Traffic warnings will be provided during the first week of school. After that, tickets will be issued for violations. In addition, officers at the Polytechnic campus will enforce speeding violations with education and warnings during the first week of school and citations starting during the second week of school. At the Downtown Phoenix campus, safety will be emphasized and pedestrian laws enforced.

Emergency information

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to add or update their mobile numbers to receive ASU Alert text messages.

ASU Alert is used during major emergencies and incidents that greatly affect university operations. ASU Advisory is considered a tier below ASU Alert, and communicates situations that may not be life threatening and typically affect certain areas of a campus.

To provide or verify your mobile number, follow these steps:

1. Click here to manage phone numbers.

2. Select mobile as “Phone type.”

3. Click “save” to add or update.

To modify Alert and Advisory subscriptions:

1.  Click here.

2. Click subscriptions on the left, then edit button next to the subscription.

3. Click “save” when done.

More information may be found at

Keep your bike safe

September is the month when most bike thefts occur on and around campus, according to the ASU Police Department. It’s best to use two locks to keep your bike safe – a U-lock to secure the bike to a stationary object and a cable lock to doubly secure it and lock the wheels to the frame.

Learn how to keep your bike safe by watching a video demonstrating how to properly secure it. In addition, ASU Police uses bait bikes equipped with GPS systems to catch thieves, and the department encourages students, faculty and staff to register bikes at

“If we recover a stolen bike, it’s much more likely to be returned to the owner if it is registered because we have a record of who it belongs to,” said Jim Hardina, ASU assistant police chief.

The university community can find out more about the ASU Police Department and interact directly with members of the department through the department’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Safety tips

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

• Call 911 in an emergency. Call boxes highlighted at the top by a blue light dial directly into an emergency communication center and can be used during any emergency. If you are using a cell phone, give your location.

• Lock your doors. Do not prop doors. Warn others against leaving their doors open or unsecured.

• When going out, let others know what your plans are and where you will be so they know where to look for you if something should happen.

• Be aware of your surroundings.

• Don’t leave valuable items in your car.

• Properly secure your bike to an authorized rack.

• Watch for passing trains. Never trespass on the tracks or jaywalk across the rails.

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

• If someone demands your property, give it to them and immediately contact the police.

• If you are traveling at night, use the buddy system.

A free safety escort service is available on the Tempe campus. Call 480-965-1515 to arrange for an escort. For an escort on another campus or after hours of operation, call ASU Police at 480-965-3456, and an officer or police aide will provide an escort.

Additional information about staying safe at home, at parties, while driving and in other situations may be found at

More information about the ASU Police Department is available at