Yale University

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Fall public safety message from Chief Higgins

HigginsYale's Police Chief, Ronnell Higgins, sent out his fall public safety update on Thursday, August 22.
To the Yale Community:

On behalf of the men and women of the Yale Police Department, I write to wish you a great start of the semester, and to remind you how you can help keep the campus safe.

Like many universities, Yale is located in a city that provides exceptional opportunities for cultural and social events.  Our hometown of New Haven engages in many partnerships with Yale, including a joint effort to ensure the safety of our community.  Thanks to the determined efforts of public safety professionals throughout this city and the entire Yale community, violent crime continues to decline, on campus and in New Haven. Most crimes that do occur on campus are thefts of property, particularly laptops, portable phones and bikes.

The new school year is a good time for all of us to remember that taking some simple precautions, and learning about available safety services, can really make a difference in keeping crime down.

Your safety is our top priority:

The University’s commitment to maintaining safety can be seen in the daily work of the uniformed Yale police officers who patrol campus and have full police powers, and in the presence of uniformed security officers who manage the access controls to campus buildings, oversee the University’s alarm systems, provide security escorts and rides, and maintain safety in and around campus buildings.  Yale has an extensive system of “blue light” emergency phones,  door-to-door safe rides at night and fixed-route shuttles throughout the day.  The Yale and New Haven Police work in close partnership. New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman and I work together to solve problems and build upon the city's community policing initiatives.  We do our utmost to keep you safe, but you can help as well.

There are actions you can take to keep yourself and your property safe:

-- Don't ever hesitate to call the Yale Police if you see anything suspicious that concerns you, or if you see a crime in progress. Call the Yale Police at 203-432-4400 or dial 911 in an emergency.

-- Pay attention, don’t be distracted. This sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how often this advice is ignored.  Quite a number of crimes we see involve people who were talking, texting or listening to music while walking, and generally unaware of their surroundings.

-- Cell phones and other digital devices that are visible are top targets for thieves. Set the "find my phone" apps if you have an iPhone.

-- Don't display cash or your cell phone on the street.

-- Lock your room or apartment doors.  Again, you'd be surprised how often we hear that a laptop has been stolen after someone left their door unlocked for "just a minute."

-- Lock your bike!

-- Don't leave valuables unattended, even for a minute.

-- Don't walk alone at night, and you may also call for a security escort or ride at night on campus:  call 203-432-6330.

-- Become familiar with the shuttle routes, blue phone locations, night-time safe rides, Bulldog Mobile app and other safety services:  publicsafety.yale.edu

A little action on your part will go a long way towards preventing crime.

When and why you will hear from me:

Throughout the year, you will hear from me through public safety updates, and also through “Messages from the Chief” that alert you to campus crimes that pose an ongoing or imminent threat to the campus community; these messages are required by Federal law and are designed to provide you with information to help you stay safe. They are not meant to alarm you; they are meant to share critical information to help you stay safe.

I am a proud resident of New Haven and I often have the pleasure of meeting and getting to know many residents in the city’s many neighborhoods.  You can expect to see me out and about on campus. I look forward to seeing you on campus.


Ronnell A. Higgins
Chief, Yale University Police