Archive for Monday, March 14, 2011

Officials offer safety tips, reminders for spring break

March 14, 2011, 12:57 a.m. Updated March 14, 2011, 12:58 a.m.

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Kansas University and area law enforcement agencies are urging Kansas University students and Lawrence families to be safe, no matter what they do for spring break.

“The same rules apply at spring break that always apply, such as paying attention to your surroundings, traveling in groups and trusting your instincts,” said Public Affairs Sgt. Matt Sarna, of the Lawrence Police Department.

Law enforcement and KU officials are warning residents to take precautions on everything from keeping their homes secure while they are away to being careful while traveling and avoiding sexual assaults.

Before you leave

• Lock your residence, and arrange for someone to pick up your mail and newspaper every day.

• Record serial numbers on all of your valuable items and keep the list in a safe place.

• Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return.

While you’re gone

• Travel with groups of people you trust every day, and avoid walking or getting into a vehicle with someone you don’t know.

• Don’t walk in isolated or dimly lit areas.

• Secure your valuables in a safe place. Don’t leave them unattended, and never leave your passport or other forms of ID in an unsafe place. Keep them with you or use a hotel safe.

• If you are of legal drinking age and consume alcohol, Sarna said, keep your beverages with you and in your sight at all times.

“Be aware of what you are drinking and how much,” he said. “Keep your head clear and make sound decisions.”

Staying home

Because fewer people will be around Lawrence during spring break, which for KU and Lawrence public schools is the week of March 21, officers frequently warn KU students and Lawrence residents to be careful if staying in town. State law enforcement officers are investigating a serial rapist who is believed to have committed 13 rapes in Lawrence and Manhattan from 2000 to 2008. Police say the man in the past attacked around holiday breaks.

• Be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking from your vehicle into your house or apartment.

• Try to park in a well-lighted area and always lock your doors.

• Be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles or people. Call police at 832-7509 if you notice anything or anyone suspicious. And, of course, in an emergency, call 911.

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