University News

Year-End Safety

November 12, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- With the holidays approaching, the Office of Public Safety and the Macomb Police Department would like to remind University employees and students to guard personal property by locking offices, desks and room doors, as well as their vehicles and homes off campus, when leaving, even for a few moments, to avoid becoming a victim of the "Five Finger Discount."

"Help us to help you from becoming a victim," said OPS Director Scott Harris.

• Students should lock their residence hall rooms and homes when they leave, even if it's just for a few minutes.
• Don't leave backpacks, purses, bags or books unattended.
• Avoid leaving items in plain view in a vehicle overnight.
• Don't leave laundry unattended in the laundry rooms.

In addition to securing belongings, individuals should -- just like any other time of the year -- safeguard themselves:

• Trust your instincts and use good judgment.
• Use common sense. Avoid being alone or with someone you do not know.
• Communicate to others where you are going and with whom.
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Walk in groups whenever possible.
• Travel in populated, well-lit areas.
• Use Go West, the University's transit system, or the after-dark OPS Student Patrol escort service.
• Avoid the use of alcohol and drugs -- they impair good judgment.

Western's Student Patrol is available to provide escorts on campus during the evening to early morning hours. Student Patrol can be reached by calling OPS at (309) 298-1949. If a Student Patrol member is not available, OPS officers will also provide escorts on campus.

There are 48 emergency callboxes at strategic locations throughout campus. Without dialing, the caller is immediately in contact with OPS; the location of the call is automatically recorded and response is almost immediate. Public Safety may also be reached in an emergency by dialing 9-1-1 from any campus phone. In a non-emergency, the number is (309) 298-1949.

If you have concerns or questions or need to report a crime or suspicious behavior, please call OPS immediately or visit Mowbray Hall at any time. Individuals who have a comment or an issue can also file a report at You can also find additional campus security information at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations