Locking the Door on Crime
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 22:01
Everyone knows Georgetown provides one of the best opportunities for education in the country. What many people do not know is that we also provide an opportunity for theft when we leave our doors unlocked. Thieves target areas of opportunity where doors are known to be left unlocked with valuables available for them to steal. It is just that simple. This applies to students living on campus, students living off campus and to faculty and staff in their offices and labs.
We all like to imagine our institution of higher learning as being a place free from crime and the influences of a major metropolitan region. We would all enjoy living and learning in this type of environment. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Georgetown embraces a campus that is open and free from impediments that would keep out the general public. One of the most effective ways to balance the open nature of the campus and private spaces such as residence hall rooms, townhouses and offices is to lock our doors. This simple step will displace crime from our campus. Close to 95 percent of all theft on campus occurs when a door is left unlocked.
The Department of Public Safety investigates all of these crimes and, in some cases, has developed suspects, obtained warrants and made arrests. The reality is that this type of crime is often difficult to detect and challenging to investigate. We need your help to prevent theft from rooms on campus. Although it may seem inconvenient to lock your door when you are in your room, when you leave to go to the bathroom or when you visit friends down the hall, it is the only proven way to prevent and deter theft. Taking a stake in our own safety and security also involves not allowing people to enter a residence hall or residence hall elevator without knowing if they belong in the building.
Reporting the presence of persons who do not belong in a residence hall or office to DPS is very important. You might feel as though you do not want to get someone into trouble, or you may think that the person’s presence is not that big of a deal, but you would be wrong. We count on you to be our eyes and ears, we count on you to trust your instincts and we count on you to make the call.
We all need to work together to prevent crime — especially theft — on our campus. When the university community and DPS work together, we can make a difference. Please do your part in preventing theft and lock your door.
JAY GRUBER is the chief of police and director of public safety for the Department of Public Safety.