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Information to enhance your success at UNL | UNL Office of Research | May 2013

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Faculty, staff and students all have role in campus security

Safety and security are front of mind for college campuses across the country.

UNL’s Police Department works to protect the campus, and the Emergency Planning and Preparedness team works with university departments and administration to develop emergency plans and procedures for adverse events. UNL faculty, staff and students also play an important role in campus safety by paying close attention to their surroundings and contacting UNLPD when a situation seems out of the ordinary, suspicious or “just not quite right.”

UNL police officer Aaron Pembleton said people are hesitant to contact authorities when a situation seems “off,” but nothing egregious has happened. That’s a mistake. He encouraged people to contact the police if they have any doubts or something seems out of place.

UNLPD officers are trained to assess whether a situation is threatening and can help diffuse a situation before it escalates.

Pembleton offered these tips for protecting labs, offices or classrooms.

Know who belongs in the lab and when. Require visitors to schedule appointments. Laboratory employees should be in the lab only during their scheduled work hours. Remember who else may have lab access, such as custodial staff. Pay attention to anyone who tests the boundaries of where they belong.

Have a security plan. Determine who controls lab access. Make sure employees know who has access. Lock the doors when the lab isn’t being used, not just after hours. Establish protocols for ejecting someone who doesn’t belong.

Pay attention to people’s behavior. Red-flag behaviors include not following the lab’s security procedures; requesting detailed information about a building’s security, exits, stairways and doors; and arriving or leaving at odd hours.

Develop an emergency plan for intruders. Have at least one escape route. Know where to shelter if escape isn’t possible. Keep emergency contact information for UNLPD and key lab personnel where it’s easily accessible to employees. Communicate the emergency plan to all employees.

Keep emergency contact information nearby. In emergencies, contact UNLPD at (402) 472-2222 or send a text message to 69050. UNL employees are encouraged to sign up for UNL Alert, which delivers information about campus emergencies via email or text message.

Be proactive. UNLPD can help departments develop a safety plan and conduct workshops for employees. For information about training opportunities, contact Pembleton at or (402) 472-8419.

Charlotte Evans, UNLPD assistant chief, said the department takes lab security seriously and is trained to handle a variety of situations that could threaten campus safety.

“If you see something, say something,” Evans said.

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