Personal Safety


Want to make life harder for criminals?

These tips can help you avoid becoming a victim of crime when you are out and about, or working at your job.

This information has been prepared for your protection so that you will not take unnecessary risks. By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself, and also discourage those who commit crimes.

Be Prepared

  • Always be alert and aware of the people around you.

  • Do not walk with headphones or earbuds that prevent you from hearing outside noises e.g., sirens, gunshots, people calling for help.

  • Do not drive with headphones or earbuds (see above).
  • Be aware of locations and situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots.

Street Precautions

  • Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you – especially if you are alone or it is dark.

  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend.

  • Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.

  • Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.

  • Walk confidently, at a steady pace.

  • Make eye contact with people when walking.

  • Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street – continue walking.

  • If you carry a purse, carry it securely between your arm and your body. Although a purse snatcher’s intent is to steal the purse, your personal safety may depend on not clinging to it.

Car Safety

  • Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.

  • Park in well-lighted areas.

  • Have your car keys in your hand so you don’t have to linger before entering your car.

  • Check the back seat before entering your car.

  • If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place or a police or sheriff’s station.

  • If your car breaks down, put your hazard lights on and call AAA (if you are a member) or 9-1-1.
    If someone stops to help, stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police, or sheriff, or a tow trucking service if you are unable to do so yourself.
    Do not exit your vehicle. If the person tells you to open the hood of your car for them to try to fix the problem tell them that you have called 9-1-1 and help is on the way.

  • Don’t stop to aid motorists stopped by the side of the road. If you want to help, call 9-1-1 and request help for them.

While Waiting for a Bus or Metro Train

  • Try to avoid isolated bus/train stops.

  • Don’t open your purse or wallet while boarding the bus/train—have your pass or money already in your hand.

  • Don’t invite trouble—keep gold chains and jewelry out of sight; turn your rings around so the stones don’t show.

On Board Buses and Metro Train

  • Whenever possible ride as near to the bus/train operator as possible.

  • Stay alert—and be aware of the people around you.

  • If someone bothers you, change seats and/or alert the driver.

  • Carry your wallet inside your coat, or in a front pocket.

  • Keep your purse, backpack, and packages in front of you.  Hold them close to your body with both hands.

  • Check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding, or pushing you.

  • If you see any suspicious activity, alert the driver.

Office Security

  • Never leave your purse or billfold in plain view or in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a door or behind your chair.

  • Personal property should be marked with your California Driver’s License number. Don’t leave cash or valuables at the office.

  • If you work alone or before/after normal business hours, keep the office door locked.

  • If you are working late and alone in the office or building contact SMCPD dispatch 310-434-4300 to let them know you are alone in the building/office.
  • If you work late, try to find another worker or Campus Safety personnel to walk out with you.

  • If you are in an elevator with another person, stand near the control panel. If attacked, press the alarm and as many of the control buttons as possible.

  • Be alert for pickpockets on crowded elevators.

  • Report all suspicious persons and activities to the proper authorities (campus police, office manager, co-worker).

  • Be aware of escape routes for emergencies and post the police and fire department numbers near telephones.

  • You can find all building evacuation maps on the SMC Website: www.smc.edu/StudentServices/EmergencyPreparedness/Printed-Materials.aspx 

Finally, if a crime does occur… Report it!

Stay Informed

  • Download the LiveSafe safety app onto your mobile phone and receive alerts via email and text message through the campus emergency notification System.

  • Become a fan of the SMC Police Department on Facebook and Instagram page.

Everyone should consider it his/her responsibility to report crime. Many criminals have favorite places for committing crimes, as well as predictable methods of operation. When you report all the facts about a crime, it helps the police assign officers in the places where crimes are occurring or where they are most likely to occur, and your report may help prevent a crime reoccurring.

At least one out of two crimes in the United States goes unreported, either because people don’t think the police can do anything about it, or because people don’t want to get involved. If you don’t report the crime, this allows the criminal to continue to operate without interference.

In many cases, it is the information provided by victims and witnesses that leads to the arrest of a criminal. So tell the police as much as you can; no fact is too trivial. The police need the eyes and ears of all citizens.

For further information contact the campus police main office at 310-434-4608.

See Something... Say Something.

SMC Police Department
1718 Pearl Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405