Magazine

Sometimes Security is Common Sense and Doesn't Have to Cost a Penny!

Editor's note: The following memo was sent a few days after Sept. 11, 2001, by Robert Harkins, Director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Texas at Austin. He was gracious enough to share it with us.

Folks: In this time, we need to double our vigilance in and around our facilities. We all know what has happened in the last month. What would go unnoticed a month ago must now be questioned and looked at. Not to overreact or be afraid to do our job, but be vigilant. Here are a few things that I am talking about:

1. If someone requests a permit to park a truck, trailer or storage van on campus, we must obtain a lot more information than we would in the past. Anything like this must be sponsored by a department or authorized activity. It must have a permit of authorization. If it is a construction function, it should be verified by Physical Plant. Regardless, we need to get detailed information and pass it to the police. Anyone who brings a vehicle like this on campus must understand that we need to be able to contact them 24/7. Also the police may desire to inspect the vehicle before final authorization is approved. In any case, err on obtaining too much information rather than less information.
2. If we see vehicles without license plates or plates that do not look right, or inspection stickers that look strange, we should question that and report it to your supervisor or the police. We can run a 28 to check the plate.
3. If we have trucks that are trying to access our facilities, we need to be extra alert. When we walk through the garages or lots, look at the vehicles. If it doesn't look right or if it doesn't belong or if you have doubts, ask questions, check with your supervisor, and or notify the police. I don't want trailers in the garages.
4. Delivery trucks on which the logo doesn't look right, the driver is looking lost, or in an area that they should not be in should be reported to your supervisor or the police.
5. Any disabled or abandoned vehicle must have the plates run and within our regulation we need to get it off campus.
6. If we see anyone "hanging out" or loitering around our facilities, alert your supervisor or the police.
7. If anyone questions you about who parks where or who or what is in a facility or building, alert your supervisor or the police.
8. If anyone sees an abandoned package, backpack or briefcase at one of our bus stops, in a garage, in a parking lot, or on a bus, notify your supervisor and/or call the police.
9. On the buses or in our facilities, if anyone is overly inquisitive, alert your supervisor.
10. If someone calls requesting detailed information about the numbers of vehicles in a lot or garage or the hours of greatest occupancy or that type of stuff, get as much information as possible and notify your supervisor. Just get their phone number and we can call them back when we are certain that it is OK.
A short while from now, we will know better the threat that we face. For now, just be more alert and ask questions. Thanks.
-- Bob

Article Abstract from January, 2002




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