Public Safety Message from Chief Ronnell Higgins

November 21, 2014

To the Yale Community:

On behalf of the men and women of the Yale Police Department, I write to share a few useful  steps you can take to prevent crime, stay safe, and support the efforts of the Yale and New Haven Police departments. I am pleased to report that violent crime continues a downward trend citywide.  There have been  recent instances where teenagers on bikes and, in some cases, wearing Halloween masks were riding in groups and have intimidated pedestrians. YPD has deployed additional uniformed and some plainclothes patrol officers throughout the campus in response to this and leading up to the holiday season. Both Yale and New Haven Police remain highly flexible to meet community expectations to safeguard our open urban campus, but we need your assistance. 

A little action on your part will go a long way toward preventing crime. Never display cash or cell phones on the street and remember that phones can be an easy target for thieves. Avoid handing your phone to a stranger to use as thieves have used this scam to steal phones. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to where you travel when listening to music on headphones, texting, or talking on a phone. Many street robberies occur when individuals are distracted with these activities. Avoid walking alone, look for well-lighted areas and make use of the many safety resources that Yale provides.

While enjoying the campus and this city, avoid walking or jogging in parks or on trails alone or at night and seek populated areas. It is also a good idea to note the location of emergency blue phones along your route and make use of security services including shuttle services and door-to-door rides at night by calling (203) 432-9255. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and trust your instincts if you feel unsafe—never hesitate to call the Yale Police. 

I would like to remind community members that motorists need to be vigilant of pedestrians and bicyclists traversing our campus daily. Watch for cyclists on the road and remember to yield to pedestrians in the cross walk. Pedestrians and bicyclists need to be vigilant of motorists, especially now that the days are shorter and we have turned the clocks back an hour, making it darker earlier in the evening. Even the brightest high visibility clothing becomes hard to see in low-light conditions, so make sure your riding apparel has plenty of reflective details. Although motorists have more responsibility under the law when operating a motor vehicle on city streets, pedestrians and bicyclists have more at stake if struck by a motor vehicle.  
As always, call the Yale Police immediately (203) 432-4400 when you experience or witness a crime or something that seems suspicious; or use YaleTip by texting to 67283; begin the stream with yaletip.   For a full list of our safety services including locations of Yale’s emergency blue phones, door-to-door safe rides, and shuttle services, visit the Public Safety section of this website.

Ronnell A. Higgins
Chief, Yale University Police