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Between keeping up with academics and your social life, it can be tempting to put concerns about your personal safety on the back burner. While UMBC is generally a safe campus, we are not a sanctuary from crime or accidents. Residential Life staff works with the UMBC Police and other campus offices to reduce risks to your personal safety and security. Like anywhere else in the world, personal safety is largely dependent on your preventive and precautionary efforts.

The UMBC Police Department publishes material in the form of lectures, films, bulletins, crime alert posters, brochures, and university staff and student newspapers about various topics which include police services, general crime operations, rape awareness, and sexual assault. UMBC Police Officers are available to give presentations on these topics. For more information, please check out their website at

Crime Reporting Procedures back to top
All crimes should be reported directly to the UMBC Police, x5-5555. If you are the victim of a crime, you should call the Police or stop by the police building to initiate a written police report of the incident. If you are the victim of a crime committed by another UMBC student, you may bring University judicial charges against the student in addition to criminal or civil action.

Walking and Running on Campus back to top
Be aware when walking alone or in isolated areas at any time of the day that you can call x5-5555 (University Police) to request an escort from the escort service. Emergency phones are located throughout the campus. Take time to note the location of emergency phones. When walking in parking lots and walkways, stay in well-traveled and well-lit areas, especially at night. Know where you are going ahead of time and walk with a purposeful step near the curb, away from bushes or dark entrance ways. Be aware of your surroundings, checking often to see if you are being followed. If you are being followed, head for a well-lit area where there are likely to be people or use an emergency phone. If you walk or run on Hilltop Circle, try to vary your exercise routine, changing your time or route periodically. Varying your schedule may make you less vulnerable to a planned assault.

Emergency Phones back to top
Emergency “blue light” phones are located around the campus grounds and are marked by a blue light which makes them visible at night. An emergency phone is also located in most campus elevators. These emergency phones ring directly to the UMBC Police department when the button is pushed. In an emergency, simply pick up one of these phones to contact the Police. The Police operator will be able to identify the location of the phone from which you are calling and dispatch an officer to that location, even if you are unable to provide him or her with this information.

Rape and Sexual Assault back to top
The Residential Life staff and University Police work cooperatively with University Health Services (UHS) and the Counseling Center to provide support for survivors of rape and sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, the UMBC Police can assist you in reporting the crime and contacting on-call staff in other offices to support you. If you report an incident of sexual assault to University Police, you do not need to press criminal charges or ask for University judicial charges to be made against the alleged perpetrator. You may, instead, report the incident merely to have it on record. UMBC Police will respect your decisions regarding the alleged perpetrator whether you wish to file charges or not. The Counseling Center staff is on call through the police for emergency counseling support. If you have been sexually assaulted and would prefer to receive assistance from an off-campus victim’s advocacy program, you may contact “Turnaround” (410) 372-8111.

In addition, it is important to remember that many rape victims know their assailant. Take a self defense class. Check out new acquaintances carefully. Do not go anywhere alone with someone you have just met. Double date or spend time in public places with a new interest. Stay in control when out socializing... stay sober and make sure you are in control of your way home. Most of all trust your feelings. If you do not feel safe, leave. For more information on rape and sexual assault, contact University Health Services (UHS) at x5-2542 or stop by UHS to pick up literature.

Theft back to top
While UMBC’s crime rate is relatively low, theft (especially unattended items left in public areas) is one of the most frequently reported crimes. Follow the tips below to reduce your risk of theft.

  • Engrave your driver’s license number on valuables such as stereos and TVs with engravers available from UMBC Police.
  • Close and lock your room or apartment door whenever you leave...even if you are just running next door! It takes only a few seconds for a theft to occur.
  • Don’t leave items unattended in lobbies, lounges, or other public areas such as the Dining Hall or the Commons.
  • Don’t leave valuable clothing unattended in the laundry room.
  • Lock your car and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Park in well-lit areas. Travel on well-lit busy streets, and know the area in which you are traveling. Think about where you would go for help when selecting a route.
  • Look around before leaving or returning to your vehicle. Before getting into your car, always look in your back seat. Lock your door and windows the minute you enter your car.
  • Lock your door when you are asleep.
  • Do not prop doors open.
  • Use special precaution during move-in and move-out days when it is easy for someone to walk off with your belongings without drawing attention.
  • Report thefts, property losses or any crime to the UMBC Police immediately.

Be Proactive back to top

  • Ask for Staff I.D. All maintenance and residential staff should have I.D. Allow only staff with proper I.D. and authorization to enter your room. Deny access to others and report to the police.
  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS—Report suspicious behavior to UMBC police immediately.
  • If you enter your room and find a stranger, call UMBC Police regardless of the explanation offered.
  • Door to door soliciting is not permitted in University residential facilities; report any incidents to the UMBC Police.
  • Learn to take care of yourself. Take a self defense class. Participate in security seminars. There are several offered on campus.
  • Register for E2 Campus - UMBC's emergency text alert system. You can register your cell phone to receive these messages through MyUMBC.