Alcohol, bikes and computers: Urban living 101

By on September 6, 2014

By Lucas Logsdon

Quick, what’s the serial number for your computer? Are you planning to throw a party in your new apartment? Thinking about commuting to school on a bike?

While speaking with Major David James, director of operations at the University of Louisville Police Dept., he provided several common sense crime prevention tips that can help students avert the criminal eye.

James calls it “Urban Living 101,” as many students may have seen on the door hangers in the dorms. The reason for this is “so many people come from many different backgrounds, and from cities whose population is half the size of this university.” James goes on to point out that “theft is the biggest crime around here, hands down.”

When it comes to driving around on campus one simple method of not making your vehicle a target is “leave no indication of any technology in your vehicle.” James says “we have had cases where people have not only left their GPS in the window, but left it on, and it’s like a glowing beacon at night, saying please come take me.”

Another common problem is laptop theft. For instance, walking away from your belongings while in the Ekstrom library, and returning to your laptop being stolen. Unless you have memorized the serial number on your laptop it will be difficult for the police to locate your laptop.

However, James said, “people purchase the software for tracking a stolen laptop, LoJack.” According to lojack.com, a 1-year subscription cost $39.99, and a 3-year subscription is $89.99. Although a bit pricey, James points out “for a $2000 laptop, it’s a good idea,” and goes on to state, “we have a 100% recovery on laptops that have had this software.”

Thinking about throwing a big party? You may want to come up with a plan for keeping track of who is in your home. James describes a common scenario when the police are called to a “giant party” and speak to the tenant that lives at the location, “we ask what are you doing? They will be like, well I don’t know most of these people, I was just having a small party, and all of these people showed up.

So, young people sometimes have a hard time saying no.” For this reason, some strangers show up and see it as an “opportunity to get stuff.” When the party guest leave the host “laptop is gone, their TV is gone, and they’re missing all kinds of stuff.” Then to add insult to injury, James says, “In many cases 3-5 days later, someone breaks into their apartment and steals their stuff.”

While on the topic of partying, the discussion moves to drinking, and again James has some helpful insight for a night of drinking.

For women going out to bars, or attending parties “leaving your drink and coming back to it is a bad idea, because it gives a person an opportunity to slip a drug in there.” It’s always better to do it with a “buddy,” make a plan, and stick to it. However, James says “if you do find yourself in a compromising situation, don’t be afraid to say no, to scream out for help, and attract attention.”

Concerning the amount of drinking James says, “it’s important for male and female students to not participate in risky behavior, I’m not saying don’t drink, but binge drinking is just asking for further problems.” To illustrate the point he says “last year we made a lot of arrest for DUI, and some of those arrest were U of L students.”

Several options are available in Louisville as alternatives for driving. Yellow cab of Louisville advocates the “arrive alive don’t drink & drive” program according to the website, and claims “the average fare from a bar to home is $20, but a DUI in Kentucky is extremely expensive.” You can call them at 502-636-5511. CityScoot is another service and “will drive you home in your own vehicle.” However, make sure to check their website, cityscoot.com, to make sure your within the pickup area. CityScoot’s contact info is 502.56.NO.DUI.

Lastly, James claims that on the day of the interview he “was listening to the radio, and had 1-2 bicycles stolen today.” Bikes are taken easily for several reasons, such as no bicycle lock, or a cheap lock is used. James encourages students to “purchase the U-shaped kryptonite locks.”

On Guard BullDog U-Locks have become popular, and can be purchased online or at local bike shops. James goes on to say that “not a single bicycle has been stolen that had one of those locks.”

James also advises that anyone planning to ride their bike to school register the serial number with the National Bike registry, nationalbikeregistry.com. According to the website “law enforcement can access the database, advise us that your bike has been recovered, and you can be notified immediately.” According to James most stolen bikes end up in pawnshops, and “Louisville area pawnshops have the responsibility to electronically report bikes into that database.”

In conclusion, James said, “UofL is a great school, it’s a safe place, but the students have to take some responsibility for their own safety, and protecting their own property.”

Helpful Contact Information:

University of Louisville Police Department:

Emergency- 911

Non-Life Threatening Emergency- 852-6111

Anonymous reporting- Louisville.edu/police, go to the Anonymous Reporting

Form tab

Taxi Services:

Yellow Taxi Cab- 502-636-5511, www.yellowcablouisville.com

CityScoot- 502-56.NO.DUI or 502-566-6384, www.cityscoot.com

About Jacob Abrahamson

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