October 29, 2009 — The University of Virginia Police Department, in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Affairs, want to remind students and members of the community about Halloween safety. These safety tips are important to practice at all times, but perhaps come into focus more sharply when incidents occur within the community.
The disappearance more than a week ago of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington reminds everyone that no community is safe from potential harm. While many questions remain about Harrington's disappearance, law enforcement officials continue to search for her and for information leading to her whereabouts.
In an anticipation of Halloween festivities and this Saturday's home football game, the University of Virginia Police Department will increase patrols. Students, faculty, staff and the community can expect to see more police patrolling on foot and by vehicle around the U.Va. Grounds.
In addition to increased police patrols, University Police urge members of the community to take a few minutes to think about personal safety when celebrating this Halloween week:
- Report suspicious or criminal activity immediately by calling 911.
- Stay in an environment where you can easily get help or move away from someone who is threatening your safety. Be aware of your surroundings.
- If you go to a costume party, go with a group of friends you know and trust.
- Always carry a photo ID and make sure your friends carry identification and phone numbers with them in case of emergency.
- Consider your costume and avoid wearing one that inhibits your ability to see and move freely. Use special caution when crossing the street and be sure motorists see you before you cross.
- Never leave an intoxicated friend alone, and do not hesitate to call 911 if medical attention is needed.
- Motorists should remain cautious and drive slowly. Adult party-goers should have a designated driver, use the UTS buses or call Yellow Cab.
- Keep in mind that the weather is changing and it is getting darker earlier.