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Chief Mooney: Report it, Don’t Ignore it

Tracy Mooney, Chief of Police, University of New Haven

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As the Chief of Police of the University of New Haven Police Department, I encourage the prompt reporting by students of all crimes or incidents. The cooperation, involvement, and personal support of students is crucial to the success of a campus safety program. At the University of New Haven, we embrace the mission that your success starts here; that means your safety and personal wellness do too.

Students must assume responsibility for their own personal safety and the security of their personal belongings by taking simple, practical precautions. Students’ awareness of their environment and their surroundings is the best place to start.

Last week the University of New Haven Police Department received a complaint from a female student who stated that a dark skinned male had followed her to WOW Café and had made lewd and unwanted comments to her. This complaint however, was received after the student walked back to the police department, allowing considerable time to elapse before the police could respond.

After our initial investigation and an examination of campus cameras, we realized that this individual had been on campus for almost two hours and had interacted with several other students.

That evening, I sent an email to the University community regarding the above male. I immediately received two emails from female students who described similar, unwanted unreported interactions with this male. Soon after, four more female students contacted the police department stating they too, had been bothered by this male, but had failed to report it at the time.

My point is this: If you, at any time, feel uncomfortable or unsafe on campus, it is imperative that you contact the police department as soon as is practicable. I truly believe that if, collectively, we had received these complaints as they were taking place – we would have been able to detain this individual and interview him as to his presence and purpose on campus.

The above scenario embodies the essence of – if you see something, say something.

I want to personally thank all members of the campus community for their partnership with the University of New Haven Police Department.

Safety Tips from Chief Mooney for National Campus Safety Awareness Month:

 

• Never prop open any exterior doors to dormitories, especially to areas that lead to student’s residential areas.

• Never prop open any exterior doors to dormitories, especially to areas that lead to student’s residential areas.

• Lock your room door even if you are just leaving for a short period of time and carry your keys at all times. Never loan them to anyone.

• Ask visitors to identify themselves before allowing them to enter the building or to your room.

• Call the University of New Haven Police Department at (203) 932-7014 (routine calls) or (203) 932-7070 (Emergency calls) to report anyone or anything suspicious.

• Take advantage of the college’s shuttle services, especially when traveling alone at night.• Travel together to and from off-campus events.

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Chief Mooney: Report it, Don’t Ignore it