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Letter from the WSU police chief

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Dear Students,

Welcome to Wichita State University! If you are arriving for the first time or you are a returning student, you are going to be a part of an exciting time of growth and change for WSU.

The Wichita State University Police Department is here to help make adjusting to your new campus life a safe and positive experience.  With Public Safety as one of our primary goals, the University Police Department is always available. 

The University Police can be reached from any campus phone by dialing 911, or by dialing 978-3450 from any other phone. I encourage you to program 978-3450 into your cell phones in case of an emergency while on campus.  

There are also 20 emergency call boxes strategically located throughout campus and on residence hall grounds that instantly connect to the University Police Department dispatcher in case of an emergency. 

The University Police Department is a full-service police department, providing all public safety services for the university community, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently there are 40 positions assigned to the University Police Department. These include the following:

• Certified Police Officers – 25

• Security Officers – 5

• 911 Dispatchers – 7

• Support Staff – 3

In addition to patrol and traffic control, the University Police Department provides numerous other security services and safety resources and information, some of which are:

➢ Alcohol and substance abuse policy information and referrals

➢ Weapons policy

➢ Crime prevention and security information

➢ Safety awareness

➢ Theft prevention

➢ DV and sexual assault policy information and referrals

➢ Emergency notification information

➢ Security alerts

➢ Registered sex offenders

➢ Parking control information

All of this and more can be found on our website:www.wichita.edu/police

We encourage everyone to participate in the ShockerAlert System. In a crisis situation, timely communication of the existence of a threat is vital. WSU’s ShockerAlert System is a network of various emergency communications which can be activated within minutes. These communications include:

• Email and text blasts. See www.wichita.edu/alert in order to complete the steps necessary to receive emergency notification by text message.

• Wireless Emergency Mass Notification System . 

• Web alerts. 

• Campus information channel.  

• Facebook.  

With all the talk and concerns about an armed intruder or active shooter situation I want to address our recommendations. When an armed hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious physical injury to person(s) on the campus, we recommend the following procedures:

1. FLEE THE AREA

2. SHELTER IN PLACE

3. COMPLY, PLAY DEAD or FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE

For more information on these procedures I refer you to the WSU Campus Safety information website as well as http://webapps.wichita.edu/campussafety/menu.asp#  to watch a series of training videos that deal with violence on campus and in the workplace.

I encourage you to contact us with any questions and/or concerns. In closing, I would like to provide some basic Safety Awareness tips that will help you lessen your chances of becoming a victim of crime;

• Please pay attention to your surrounding and always be aware of those around you.

• Don’t present yourself as a target. Walk with confidence and purpose. Keep your head up and make quick eye contact with people around you. Assertive body language can help prevent an attack 

• Be especially aware of your surroundings during those times when you may be less alert – when you are upset or sick, or have been drinking 

• Learn the location of campus emergency phones on routes to and from campus destinations 

• Walk with a friend or a group of people, or call University Police (978-3450) for a safety escort if you feel uncomfortable walking alone 

• When backing out of parking stalls, be aware of waiting cars, other cars backing out of stalls, and motorists speeding in the lanes 

• Look around and at the back seat before entering your car 

• Make it a habit to lock the doors first when you enter your car 

• Don’t keep valuables in plain sight in your car – but don’t place your valuables in the trunk after you park – you may being watched, and the thief now knows where to find your valuables 

• Keep your personal items in view while eating, meeting or studying on campus 

• Call University Police any time you see suspicious activity or a crime in progress 

• If you feel that something isn’t right about a location or activity, get away and call University Police 

I know this is a lot of information, but with your safety being one of our goals, there is never too much knowledge! 

Stay safe and have a wonderful experience at WSU!

Sara Morris

University Police Chief

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