ETSU Public Safety department launches new programs
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 16:09
Upgrades are being made to East Tennessee State University’s Department of Public Safety beginning this semester.
Developments include an updated Public Safety online homepage and several new safety programs available for the campus community.
The methods and purposes of these programs include tip-lines like Bucs Report It and Ask-a-Cop, theft prevention systems like Operation ID and GOTCHA and educational courses like RAD and SAFE.
“Bucs Report It is an anonymous tip-line through the Public Safety homepage,” Public Safety Officer Amanda Worley said. “If you see a crime that needs to be reported, you just go to the website, click on Bucs Report It, complete the criteria, and submit the form.”
Because this line goes straight to the dispatcher without the mandatory use of the reporter’s email address, users of Bucs Report It should not have concerns regarding privacy.
While Bucs Report It regards the reporting of safety violations, Ask-a-Cop can be used for any random question about safety guidelines.
“From questions regarding weapons on campus to questions regarding bicycling regulations, Ask-A-Cop can give you the answer you need,” Worley said. Unlike Bucs Report It, Ask-a-Cop does utilize email communication in order to provide personal replies to any questions.
A program to prevent theft is called Operation ID. This is a system where valuables can be registered to make it easier for authorities to locate them in case of theft. By following the Operation ID link available on the Public Safety homepage, valuables can be registered using the make/model, serial number and item description. Operation ID then stores that information for reference if a theft occurs.
GOTCHA is another program designed to prevent theft. GOTCHA makes use of small, bright yellow cards with the message: “Could Have Been a Victim.” When a person leaves their valuables in plain sight, their car door unlocked or displays any other risky safety practices, they will find a GOTCHA card as a reminder to become more cautious and aware to avoid becoming a theft victim.
Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) is a 12-hour women’s self-defense class that is offered once a semester and is open first to ETSU’s community, but is also available to the local community if the class is not full.
RAD demonstrates the basics of self-defense, which involves both educational and physical instruction. RAD teaches both prevention of assault by promoting awareness and how to fight back in case of an attack.
Safety Awareness Familiarization Exchange (SAFE) is a mini-RAD course, Worley said. “Focused primarily on the prevention of assault, SAFE is an educational course that does not include actual physical instruction,” she said.
“A smaller, shorter and less comprehensive version of RAD, SAFE is a convenient choice for women who would like to learn more about self-defense, but do not have the time to commit to a twelve hour course.”
More information can be found at the Department of Public Safety’s homepage at www.etsu.edu/dps.
The updated site includes crime prevention brochures, program request forms and a link to GoldAlert, which is a system students can sign up for that sends campus emergency notifications and class cancellation notifications due to inclement weather via email and text messages.
“Awareness is the key to safety,” Worley said. She especially stressed the importance of awareness regarding the amount of construction taking place on campus.
“With all the construction, motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike have to pay close attention to their surroundings to keep everyone safe.”