Area colleges and universities are back in session this week. If you travel around any of the campuses, you probably remembered yesterday when rushing to work in the morning or navigating the areas at lunchtime.
New semesters bring new students, unfamiliar with the campus and the community. New semesters also bring new parking issues, new jaywalking issues and new young adults who need some guidance.
Valdosta enjoys a relatively low crime rate, especially for its size, but there are still individuals in the community who will take advantage of an open opportunity.
Unfortunately, college students can be easy targets due to their hours, their habits, and the sheer fact that the number of people crowded in a small area means that a person who doesn’t belong won’t always be noticed.
As many crimes are random, it’s essential to reduce your chances of being a victim by being smart and being aware. If you see something or someone suspicious, avoid the situation, have someone you know walk or stay with you, and call police if you feel threatened.
Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people come to Valdosta, especially from smaller communities, and they don’t think to lock their car doors or the doors to their houses or apartments. And never ever leave anything of value in sight, in your car or in your house. Laptops, tablets, cell phones and other small electronics are easy prey, fast cash for thieves, and too often left in plain view.
Don’t be caught off guard. Always be vigilant in parking lots, parking garages, and while walking in dark or unfamiliar areas. Be smart, be alert, and don’t be a victim.
Valdosta loves our college students, but we want you to be smart and stay safe while you’re here!