MAKING THE GRADE:UHDPS to distributer vehicle security report cards
February 9, 2010
The University of Houston Department of Public Safety (UHDPS) isn’t an academic unit, but it always aims to educate faculty, staff and students on campus security.
Now, UHDPS officers will begin issuing grades to UH community members using Vehicle Security Report Cards.
These cards will be left on vehicles parked on campus. They are designed to alert drivers to visible items that might attract attention from thieves, as well as other security hazards (unlocked doors, open windows).
“It doesn’t matter whether the thief needs a textbook, change or a calculator,” said Brad Wigtil, UHDPS assistant police chief. “Regardless of what the item is, a thief will try to take it. Always leave personal items out of sight. Any visible item can prompt a break in.”
Officers who observe security hazards in vehicles can issue a failing grade. No fine or penalty is assessed, but faculty, staff and students will realize that their vehicles are possible targets for thieves.
Those vehicles that do not have visible items on the seats, have locked doors and rolled up windows will receive a passing grade.
“The goal of these report cards is to encourage teamwork between UHDPS and the campus community,” said Malcolm Davis, UHDPS police chief and UH assistant vice president for public safety and security. “We are committed to maintaining a safe, secure campus. The community can help us do that by making sure they lock their doors and not leave valuable items in their vehicles.”
Davis recommends that faculty, staff and students not leave any items in their vehicles.
“If you’re not taking your belongings to class or work, I suggest you place them in your vehicle’s trunk,” he said.
Another function of the Vehicle Security Report Card is that can be used as reference material whenever someone needs instant information regarding UHDPS. The department’s phone number (713-743-3333) and Web address (www.uh.edu/police) are listed on the back of the card, as well as a list of all the services available to the campus community.
“We encourage everyone to keep this card in their glove compartment for easy access and to put our number in their cell phones,” Wigtil said. “Just as much as we want to work with the community to keep the campus secure, we want them to be able to have easy access to us.”