Crime / Safety Alerts

General Safety Recommendations Regarding Suspected Terrorist Activities

Heightened Security is not intended to induce fear and panic. People should go about their normal business while paying particular attention to their surroundings.

Suspicious Behavior/Circumstances:

Be aware of and report to Public Safety the following conditions at (718) 631-6320 or if off-campus notify outside law enforcement at 911:

  • People in buildings or areas who do not appear to be conducting legitimate business.
  • People monitoring areas, buildings or entrances.
  • Unauthorized people in restricted, sensitive or private areas.
  • Persons taking photographs of critical facilities.
  • Persons asking detailed information about physical security and/or information with no apparent need for that information.
  • People wearing clothing not consistent with the weather conditions (bulky coat in warm weather etc.)
  • Abandoned parcels or other items in unusual locations or high traffic areas.
  • Individual attempting to access utility locations (water, electrical, petroleum, telecommunications, information systems).
  • Multiple persons who appear to be working in unison, committing the above.

Be Alert to:

  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Vehicles Parked Near Buildings or Public and Common Areas
  • Unexpected/Unfamiliar Delivery Trucks
  • Unfamiliar Vehicles Parked For Long Periods
  • Vehicles Containing Unusual/Suspicious Parcels or Material
  • Vehicles Arriving and Being Left Behind at Odd Hours
  • Substances Leaking or Spilling from Vehicles

Building/Office Security:

  • Don't prop open building entrance doors/windows. Rectify these situations when you observe them.
  • Account for and secure keys. Don't leave them unattended or give to unauthorized persons. Report lost keys to building manager/department head.
  • Account for and secure all sensitive material/information when not able to attend to it.
  • Account for and secure sensitive deliveries in a timely manner.
  • Secure all areas when not attended.
  • Be aware of unfamiliar persons in or visitors to your office/lab etc.
  • Protect access codes, combinations and cards, change codes regularly. Report compromised codes to the person in charge of area.
  • Be Prepared: Take time out to familiarize yourself with building evacuation plans/routes.
  • Report suspicious tampering with physical security (doors, locks etc.)
  • Talk with co-workers; know what is out-of-place (unclaimed items etc.)

Additional Safety Recommendations:

  • Closely monitor news reports and Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio/TV stations.
  • Expect delays, searches of purses and bags, and restricted access to public buildings.
  • Expect traffic delays and restrictions.
  • Take personal security precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime or terrorist attack.
  • Avoid crowded public areas and gatherings.
  • Do not travel into areas affected by the attack or is an expected terrorist target.
  • Keep emergency supplies accessible and automobile fuel tank full.
  • Be prepared to evacuate your home or shelter in place on order of local authorities.
  • Develop and review family emergency plans.
  • Be prepared for disasters and family emergencies.
  • Increase family emergency preparedness by purchasing supplies, food, and storing water.
  • Assist neighbors who may need help.
  • Avoid passing unsubstantiated information and rumors.
  • Continue normal activities but be watchful for suspicious activities. Report criminal and suspicious activity to local law enforcement. Continue to enjoy individual freedom. Participate freely in travel, work, and recreational activities.
  • Take a first aid and CPR classes.
  • Become active in your local Neighborhood Crime Watch program.
  • Network with your family, neighbors, and community for mutual support during a disaster or terrorist attack.
  • Learn what critical facilities are located in your community and report suspicious activities at or near these sites.
  • Contact local officials to learn about specific hazards in your community.
  • Increase individual or family emergency preparedness through training, maintaining good physical fitness and health, and storing food, water, and emergency supplies.
  • Be familiar with local natural and technological (man made) hazards in your community and what measures you can take to protect your family.
  • Keep recommended immunizations up-to-date.
  • Know how to turn off your power, gas, and water service to your house.
  • Know what hazardous materials are stored in your home and how to properly dispose of unneeded chemicals.
  • Support the efforts of your local emergency responders (public safety, fire fighters, law enforcement and emergency medical service).
  • Volunteer to assist and support the community emergency response agencies.

For further information contact the Department of Homeland Security’s website: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0284.xml

If you have any non-emergency questions related to this Safety Advisory, please feel free to call Public Safety at ext. 6320.

Public Safety Advisory Concerning Anthrax or Other Biological Agents

Recently there has been growing concern over the threat of biological terrorism in the United States. However, the Department of Health and the U.S. Postal Service have issued safety alerts and we feel that it is prudent to share their recommendations with the College community.

The U.S. Postal Service suggests that individuals should watch for mail/parcels that:

  • are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • have no return address or have one that can't be verified as legitimate.
  • are of unusual weight, given their size or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • are marked with restrictive endorsements such as "Personal" or "Confidential"
  • have protruding wires, strange odors or stains.
  • show a city or state in the postmark that doesn't match the return address.

What should I do if I've received a suspicious parcel in the mail?

  • Do not try to open the parcel!
  • Isolate the parcel.
  • Evacuate the immediate area surrounding the parcel.
  • Call Public Safety at ext. 6320 to report that you've received a suspicious piece of mail.

Other Safety Measures:

  1. If you receive an envelope that appears to be empty:
    • Place the envelope in plastic bag.
    • Do not pass the envelope to others for inspection.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Call Public Safety at extension 6320 and notify your supervisor.
  2. If you receive an envelope containing powder, and the powder spills out onto surface:
    • Do not clean up the powder. Keep others away.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Do not try to brush the powder off of your clothes.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Call Public Safety at extension 6320 and notify your supervisor.
    • If possible, shut down any fans or air ventilation systems.
    • Leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
    • Remove clothing and place in a plastic bag as soon as possible.
    • Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other disinfectants.
    • Put on fresh clothing.
    • Make a list of all people who had contact with the powder and give list to Public Safety.
  3. Package marked with threatening message such as "ANTHRAX":
    • Do not open it.
    • Leave it and evacuate the room.
    • Call Public Safety at extension 6320 and notify your supervisor.
    • Do not allow others into the area.
  4. Aerosolization, small explosion, or letter stating "Anthrax in Heating System":
    • Leave the room immediately.
    • Secure the entry way.
    • Call Public Safety at extension 6320 and notify your supervisor.
    • Do not allow others into the area.
    • If possible, shut down any fans or air ventilation systems.
    • Remain on the premises until Public Safety arrives.
    • Make a list of all people who were in the area at the time and give it to Public Safety.
  5. A threat by telephone:
    • Do not argue with or antagonize the caller.
    • Listen carefully so that you can recall the details later. Listen for background noises.
    • Call Public Safety at extension 6320 and notify your supervisor.

Facts about Anthrax:

  • Anthrax organisms can cause skin infection, gastrointestinal infection, or pulmonary (lung) infection.
  • To cause an infection, it must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed, or inhaled.
  • Disease can be prevented after exposure to Anthrax spores by early treatment with the appropriate antibiotics.
  • Anthrax is not spread from one person to another.

If you have any non-emergency questions related to this Safety Advisory, please feel free to call Public Safety at ext. 6320.

Thefts from Automobiles

Prevention

  • Keep your vehicle locked and your windows rolled up when parked.
  • Activate you car alarm, if you have one.
  • Do not leave any valuables in plain site. This includes handbags, wallets, cell phones, money and books.
  • Stay alert, and be aware of your surroundings.

Reporting

  • Report all criminal and/or suspicious activity to the Department of Public Safety at 718-631-6320.
  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of the RED emergency telephones, which are a direct line into the Public Safety office.

Acquaintance / Date Rape

Rapists are not always strangers or anonymous attackers. When someone you know- a date, steady boyfriend, casual friend or partner- forces you to have sex, it's still rape.

The Bureau of Justice reports that seven out of ten victims of sexual assault know their attacker.

Preventing date rape

There are several things you can do to protect yourself when you are dating:

  • Do not let alcohol or other drugs decrease or interfere with your ability to take care of yourself and make sensible decisions.
  • Do not accept beverages from someone you don't know and trust. Always watch your drink and never leave it unattended, at any time.
  • Follow your instincts. If a place or the way a date acts makes you nervous or uneasy, get out. If you need to call a friend to escort you home, don't hesitate to do so.
  • Check out a first date or a blind date with friends. Meet in and go to public places. Don't leave a social event with someone you have just met or don't know well.
  • Carry money for a phone call or taxi, or, better yet, take your own car.

What are "date rape" drugs?

Rohyponol ("roofies", "circles", "the forget pills") works like a tranquilizer. It causes muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, loss of motor coordination and judgment, and amnesia that lasts up to 24 hours. They look like an aspirin- small, white and round- and are colorless and flavorless. When dissolved in liquids, they can take effect in as little as 20 minutes.

GHB (also known as "liquid X", "salt water", or "scoop") also causes quick sedation. Its side effects include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, coma and death. The drugs most common form is a clear liquid, although it can also be a white grainy powder.

Both of these powerful sedatives are illegal if possessed in New York State, especially if used in the commission of a sexual assault.

If you think you've been assaulted while under the influence of Rohypnol or GHB, seek help immediately. Try to save your urine in a clean glass container, as well as any glasses from which you may have drank,

Rohyponol and GHB are called the date rape drugs because when they are slipped into someone's drink a sexual assault can take place without the victim being able to remember what happened.

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