Community Outreach Promoting Safety C.O.P.S.

Community Outreach Promoting Safety (C.O.P.S.) is a multi-media community outreach system which uses educational PowerPoint slides designed to help the UHCL community focus on personal safety issues.  Throughout the semester, the UHCL Police will broadcast slides on campus televisions and computers in an effort to reach as many members of the community as possible.  The slides are geared to engage the community to take part in their own safety by educating them about safety related subjects such as:

  • Staying Alert
  • Knowing Where to Find Additional Safety Information
  • How to minimize chances for victimization
  • Hot Button Safety Issues on Campus
  Your Phone's Bluetooth
 
  Did you know?  
 
  • Your phone's Bluetooth can locate illegal skimmer devices.
  • Officials say the Bluetooth on your phone can uncover the nefarious devices looking to steal from your wallet.
  How?
 
  • Simply go to the settings on your smartphone and click on Bluetooth.
  • If a skimmer is present, a long string of numbers and/or letters will appear. Now that the illegal device has been located, make sure you do not connect your phone.
  Other Tips
 
  • Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and does not show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. This is part of a voluntary program by the industry to thwart gas pump tampering. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read "void," which means the machine has been tampered with.
  • Take a good look at the card reader itself. Does it look different than other readers at the station?
  • If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way, the PIN is safe and the money is not deducted immediately from your account. If that is not an option, cover your hand when entering your PIN. Scammers sometimes use tiny pinhole cameras, situated above the keypad area, to record PIN entries.
  • Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.
  • If you're really concerned about skimmers, you can pay inside rather than at the pump. Another option is to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Thieves may target gas pumps that are harder for the attendant to see.

 

  Fire Alarm or Report
 

At UHCL, there is zero tolerance for falsely pulling a fire alarm.

  What are the consequences of pulling a fire alarm?
 
  • Emergency responders rushing to scene.
  • Injuries during evacuation
  • Disregard for alarms by students, faculty and staff, believing them to be fake.
  It's against the law!
 

Falsely pulling a fire alarm is against the law.

Texas Penal Code, Section 42.06 - False Alarm or Report

An offense under this section is a Class A Misdemeanor unless the false report is of an emergency involving a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public transportation, public water, gas or power supply or other public service, in which event the offense is a State Jail Felony.

  Class A Misdemeanor
 
  • Punishable by up to a year in jail and carry fines of $500 to $5,000
  • Anyone convicted of false alarm or report faces a fine up to $5,000 and as long as one year in jail.
  State Jail Felony
  Making a False Alarm or Report can be enhanced to a State Jail Felony because UHCL is an educational institution. In Texas, state jail felonies are punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
  Did you know?
  Dialing 9-1-1 from classroom phones triggers an emergency call to UHCL PD Dispatch.

 

  Holiday Crime Prevention Tips
 

'Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, pickpockets, and other holiday Grinches.

Nothing can ruin the Christmas spirit fast than becoming the victim of a crime. 

  • Keep your vehicle's doors locked and windows closed. Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle's trunk.
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
  • Have your keys readily available in your hand before you go to your car. Check to see if you are being followed. Scan the interior of your car to be sure no one is hiding inside.
  • Don't openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it's easily visible from the stree. It's too tempting for a potential criminal to smash the window and grap the wrapped packages, or plan a later break-in based on their earlier observation. 
  • Avoid carrying large amoungs of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
  • Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away, ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or aparment appears to be occupied.
  • Beaware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • To discourage purse-snatchers, don't overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delievered whenever practical.

 

If you have ideas for slides, please feel free to share them with the UHCL Police Crime Prevention and Investigations Unit, Officer Martha Watts, at watts@uhcl.edu.

 

Contact
  • Police Department

    Phone: 281-283-2222
    Email: policechief@uhcl.edu

    Bayou Building Level 1
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Office hours:
    24/7