Campus quiet over winter break

Kellie Munts

Aside from several burglaries and one robbery, the campus saw very little criminal activity after students left for the winter break in December, UAPD Officer Andy Liles said.

Nine burglaries were reported to the University of Alabama Police Department in the month of December. Liles said he expects the number of reported incidents could continue to grow as students settle into their homes for the semester. The majority of the burglaries that took place in the residence halls were not forced entries.

“Students need to continually stay in the habit of locking their doors,” Liles said. “That’s the number one thing they can do that will dramatically cut down on the amount of crime on campus.”

UAPD is working with UA Security Resources and Housing and Residential communities to help educate students on how to keep their property secure in their residence halls. Liles said that it’s important for students to constantly be on guard about their safety and to be aware of the best steps to take in order to prevent crime.

Both UAPD and the Tuscaloosa Police Department expected football fans to return to Tuscaloosa to celebrate the national championship game and the departments prepared for large crowds, Liles said.

“We did our background on other college campuses and what they experienced in their celebrations,” Liles said. “Where you could expect rowdiness and destruction, we just didn’t have any like some other college campuses do.”

However, the delay in the start of classes and cold weather discouraged many fans from venturing into town, he said.

“They were forecasting snow and for the weather situation our administration prepares the police department,” Liles said. “We were prepared for a heavy crowd and had officers available and on standby to respond to the needs of the community whether the were weather related or national championship related.”

One reported robbery took place the night of Jan. 7 on Grace Street when a suspect drew a gun on three individuals, according to an advisory on the UAPD web site. The victims complied with the suspect’s demands and no one was injured.

The advisory documenting some details of this crime and others can be found on the UAPD website. Crimes that take place on campus or in the fringe areas surrounding campus are posted on the website for public viewing and to make students aware of issues that may be threats to them personally.

The Crimson Watch program is an additional resource to potentially increase safety for students living around campus. Liles said that the program is intended both to educate residents on safety habits as well as to address the concerns of residents directly. More information can be found at sga.ua.edu/watchhome.cfm