In an effort to reach out to the college community, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Office of Public Safety plans to launch its first College Safety Educational Program in the Winter 2017 semester.
Working with the Office of Student Affairs, a BMCC Public Safety assistant director and officer will be available one day a week at a table in the lobby at 199 Chambers to meet with students, answer questions and address concerns related to public safety both on campus and off.
“It’s an effort to build a better relationship with the student body,” said Robert Licamara Jr., a retired deputy chief police officer who was recently hired to be BMCC’s Deputy Director of Public Safety. “This is a campus that has extended study hours, as late as midnight. Students are vulnerable as they leave campus to commute home. The presence of Public Safety helps ensure their comfort and security.”
He says the weekly open sessions are based on community policing programs similar to the one he helped launch in his former career in law enforcement. The program will give students and officers a chance to meet each another, and will also provide public safety an opportunity to explain some of the other things they offer such as CPR training and first aid courses.
“I’m hoping this program helps form a relationship between the BMCC student body and public safety where students understand what we do and most importantly, why we do what we do,” said Licamara. “It might inconvenient, to be asked for ID, but that is one the ways we ensure that no unauthorized people gain access to our campus and facilities.”
For example, a student attending one of the public safety open sessions, days or weeks later, might see that same officer on campus, and feel more comfortable sharing problems or personal issues where that officer could be of assistance.
And, in an effort to prepare the college community for the holiday season, BMCC’s public safety office released its new list of safety tips.
“Crime often does go up during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years,” said Licamara who said the list is part of a bigger effort to help keep students safer in the coming year.
Safety tips for holiday season and beyond include;
- If possible avoid walking alone. Walk in well-lighted areas.
- While walking to your vehicle have your keys ready.
- If you are confronted with a dangerous situation press your vehicles key alarm to attract attention to you.
- Always carry your purse tucked closely under your arm.
- Carry your wallet and cash in your front pocket.
- Do not leave your personal belongings unattended in public areas.
- Avoid wearing jewelry that is visible to others.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
- Never leave shopping bags visible in your vehicle.
- NEVER operate any type of vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any medication that might impair your judgment.
- Never accept drinks or food from people you do not know.
- Never leave your drink unattended in public places.
- While using online shopping only utilize trusted sites.
- Create strong online passwords.
- Never provide your social security number. No reputable store would ask for this information.
- Monitor your checking and credit card statements frequently.
- Report any suspicious activity to your bank or credit card company.
- Never give any personal information to online or phone solicitors.
- Do not respond to claims that you have won something that you did not enter or sign up for.
- Remember no federal or local law enforcement agency will ever request any type of payment via a phone call.