UT police warn students about crime and safety




Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 11:00 AM

Getting ready for the first day of class at the University of Texas means much more than buying books and paying tuition. It also takes a serious warning from University of Texas police about crimes committed both on and off campus.

KVUE's Olga Campos reports
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Finding their way around campus is not the biggest hurdle facing new UT students. Instead, the biggest challenge is protecting their property and themselves.

"We'd like to educate them before they get to school," said Officer Darrell Halstead, UTPD.

Halstead says too many students come to campus with no clue from their parents about the reality of crime.

"Some parents chose not to listen. They don't want to know. They don't want to be scared," Halstead said.

Online, Officer Halstead tracks crimes committed by and against students. Topping the list are illegal drinking and drug use.

"Using things as simple as Benadryl or sleeping pills all the way up to obtaining illegal narcotics like rohypynal and GHP, oxycontin things that would render a person unconscious," Halstead said.

Unconscious is how Jasmine Velasquez' friend ended up after someone slipped something in a drink.

"Something might have been put in them and they were to the point of oblivion because they just picked up a drink," said Velasquez.

Another crime that happens on and off campus is theft of property.

"You can sit your laptop down for a second and then there's a lot of people here and it'd be gone," said Demetric Alexander, a freshman student.

Students who live in dormitories are also being warned not to allow strangers to come and go. With 135 call boxes around campus and 65 police officers on patrol, University of Texas officials hope to make it easy for students to call for help 24/7 during an emergency or if they see anything suspicious.

UT police provide escort service for female students after dark as well as free self defense classes. They also provide equipment to engrave items and free bicycle registration.

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