UT Police to host safety chat with students

February 24, 2014 | Events, UToday
By Staff

With a primary goal of the University the safety of its students, UT Police Chief Jeff Newton wants to make sure all are familiar with the many procedures in place to ensure their safety.

The UT Safety Chat, organized by UTPD and Student Government, will be Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Student Union Room 2592. The free event will include pizza and prizes for participants, with a Twitter chat leading up to it with a prize for those participating as well.

“Safety is our top priority, and we need to make sure students are receiving information about campus emergencies,” Newton said.

The police chief will explain resources such as the UT Alert that texts the mobile phones of people who sign up about campus emergencies or canceled classes. Those messages also are shared on the UTPD Facebook and Twitter accounts to reach people active on social media.

Just this year, UTPD began working with LifeLine Response EDU to offer the free smartphone application that puts help at your fingertips by immediately notifying emergency personnel with your real-time GPS location and sounding an alarm when help is needed.

In addition, all residence halls have an internal public address system to share emergency news with those on campus. When alarms sound and the yellow lights flash in the hallways, be sure to listen to a message with instructions of the emergency.

“You can never over-communicate in an emergency. Everyone needs to know what is happening,” Newton said. “While we work to reach people on their phones, email and through the PA system, it doesn’t do us or you any good if you don’t get the message. We want to hear from you about what more we can do to keep you informed.”

A question-and-answer session will follow the police chief’s brief remarks before participants break into two groups for training sessions — alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate (ALICE) training and healthy boundaries training. One participant from each session will receive a prize for completing the program.

ALICE training will help prepare participants for an active shooter situation. It will be led by Sgt. Doug Perry and will take place in Student Union Room 2592.

Healthy boundaries training will be led by Lt. Tressa Johnson, also a certified counselor, to help students improve their romantic relationships through clear communication. That training will take place in Student Union Room 3020.

In advance of the UT Safety Chat in the Student Union, Newton will answer questions online in partnership with LifeLine Response EDU from 6 to 7 p.m.

Follow UTPD on Twitter at @UToledoPD and LifeLine Response EDU at @LLResponse, and participate with the hashtag #UTSafetyChat to join the conversation.

Participate in the Twitter chat at http://utole.do/safetychat or with the Twitter website or app.

There also will be a Safety Fair Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. The fair is sponsored by the Student Recreation Center and the University Counseling Center.

In addition, a special safety program for commuter students will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Student Union Trimble Lounge.

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