'If You See Something, Say Something®’: Keeping Baylor’s Campus SafeSept. 23, 2019
Sept. 25 is "If You See Something, Say Something®" National Awareness Day
By Cacey Vigil, student news writer, Baylor Media & Public Relations
WACO, Texas (Sept. 23, 2019)- "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign was launched in July 2010 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice to encourage citizens to report suspicious activity. Since its launch, Baylor University has adopted the principles of the campaign to create a safer campus for students, staff and faculty.
The "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign works year-round to inspire, empower and educate the public on suspicious activity reporting. Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping the nation safe. While DHS’s primary focus for the campaign is terrorism, Baylor University’s Department of Public Safety and its emergency management team initiated a partnership with DHS by integrating it into safety issues on campus.
“We work hard to create a safe environment for our community,” said Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil. “Safety on the Baylor campus is really a partnership between Baylor University Department of Public Safety and all the Baylor community members.”
Baylor DPS works hard to keep the campus safe, but in order to create a safe environment, the entire community needs to be involved to enhance safety on campus, Wigtil said.
The Baylor Police Department, Waco Police Department, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety have partnered to launch If You See Something, Say Something® in Waco and on Baylor’s campus, Wigtil said.
“Involvement in the campaign includes calling the police department when you observe unsafe conditions on campus,” Wigtil said. “It could be suspicious activity, a crime in progress, a friend or even a stranger who is in a vulnerable situation and by calling us, help us remove the opportunity for crime to occur.”
Community involvement also includes situational awareness and applying basic personal property safety prevention methods. Being more aware of what is going on while walking around campus and not being so immersed in cellphones help keep Baylor’s campus safe, Wigtil said.
He also said the “Lock It, Hide It, Take It” posters found in parking garages across campus are a part of a campaign to prevent burglary of motor vehicles. They serve as a reminder for individuals to always lock their car, take their keys and not to leave valuables in their car. Instead, they need to put their items in the trunk or take their items with them.
Wigtil said it is important to evaluate the program and how they can expand it.
In early September, Baylor DPS launched the Avoid.Deny.Defend. active attack training video to prepare students, staff and faculty for a threat on Baylor’s campus. The video demonstrated the proper way to be prepared in the event of an active shooter on campus.
“Being prepared in the event of an emergency is vital. Members of Baylor’s Department of Public Safety have many proactive measures in place to keep the Baylor community safe,” said Baylor Assistant Police Chief John Kolinek at the end of the video. “You play a vital role in campus safety as well. ‘If You See Something, Say Something®’. If you notice any concerning activity on campus, please call the Baylor University Police Department. We are here to protect and serve.”
“We emphasize that message, ‘If You See Something, Say Something,®' no matter the magnitude of what you observe, heard or found out from a third party or through social media. We can’t emphasize that message enough in our community outreach program,” Wigtil said.
For more information about the "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign, visit the Homeland Security website. Contact the Baylor Police Department 24 hours, seven days a week at 254-710-2222.
ABOUT BAYLOR DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Baylor University Department of Public Safety serves as an umbrella department for the Baylor University Police Department, emergency management, fire safety, global safety and security, technical security and parking and transportation. The DPS is set on providing students, faculty and alumni with excellent security and safety through instant notification systems, extensive surveillance cameras and highly-trained staff.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.