Prevention Info
skip to main content


One of the essential ingredients of any successful crime prevention program is an informed public. It is the El Camino Police Department's intent to inform students and staff of any criminal activity or security problems that may pose a reasonable threat to their physical safety. Such information will normally be distributed to students through this brochure and other campus publications. Because a critical element of a campus safety program is training, the El Camino Police Department Community Oriented Policing Unit will present safety programs, seminars and discussions on such topics as sexual assault awareness and personal safety on and off campus. You may reach the Community Oriented Policing Unit by calling (310) 660-3100. All effective crime prevention programs include some measure of people watching out for one another. All staff and students are asked to stay alert and aware of what is going on around them, and remain security conscious and involved. People Aren't Suspicious, Behavior Is!


General Tips 

On Campus  ·  ATM Machines  ·  In an Apartment or at Home  ·  Driving a Car  ·  On the Telephone
On an Elevator  ·  Public Transportation  ·  While Biking  ·  While Jogging  ·  If Attacked


Faculty and Staff (Handout)

In the Campus Office  ·  District Computer Systems  ·  Personal Items  ·  General Guidelines


On Campus

  • Be especially aware of your surroundings at times when you may be less alert and more vulnerable to an attack; e.g., during exams, when you are upset, sick, or tired.
  • Use discretion and caution when taking shortcuts through isolated parts of campus.
  • Know the location of emergency phones on routes to and from class.
  • Keep personal belongings in view while in class, the library or lab.
  • Wherever you are, on campus or off, if you see or hear someone who might be in trouble, your options include running, yelling, confronting, and calling the police.
  • Learn self-defense techniques by enrolling in a self-defense class.
  • Use the Escort service by calling Campus Police.
  • Ride the campus courtesy shuttle from 6:00 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. Monday through Thursday evenings.

Return to top



Using ATM Machines

  • If you feel threatened while using the ATM, push the cancel button to cancel your transaction.
  • Just walk away and complete your transaction later.
  • Avoid using an ATM at night.
  • Most ATM crimes occur between 7:00 PM. If you must use an ATM at night take another person with you.
  • Check around the ATM first to make sure no one is lurking in the shadows.
  • Use machines that can be clearly seen from a street or public area.
  • Use machines that are inside buildings or in well-lighted areas.

Return to top



In an Apartment ... At Home

  • Install and use locks on your doors and windows.
  • Have your locks changed, re-keyed or add a new lock when you move into a new house or apartment.
  • Keep doors locked day or night whether you are home or not.
  • Know who is at the door before opening it.
  • Demand I.D's from anyone you don't know.
  • If someone comes to your door and asks to use your phone to call for help, offer instead to make the call.
  • If you live in an apartment, be alert when in the laundry or garage area by yourself.
  • Close your blinds and shades at night.
  • Give your home a "someone home" look.
  • Put radio and lights on a timer.
  • Have good lighting around entrances.
  • Develop an escape plan for use in case of an intruder or fire.
  • Leave spare keys with a friend, not in accessible places.
  • Know your neighbors and know which ones you can trust in an emergency.
  • Keep emergency numbers near the phone.
  • Act confident. Look and be alert about the people around you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Cross the street or change direction if you think you are being followed.
  • Be careful when people ask you for directions.
  • Reply from a distance rather than getting too close to a car.
  • Travel with a friend whenever possible to reduce the chances of being attacked. This includes going to public restrooms.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that give freedom of movement.
  • Vary your route if possible.
  • Consider carrying pepper spray for personal protection.
  • Know how to use it and have it readily available when out in public.
  • Notice cars that pull up beside you or pass you more than once.
  • Keep one hand free when walking.
  • Carry change for bus fare or a telephone call.
  • Do not hesitate to get attention however you can if you are in trouble. Do not be afraid to make a scene.
  • If you travel a regular route at night, become familiar with stores that stay open, gas stations, and other places where there will be people.
  • If you use a wheelchair, try to check your destinations ahead of time for accessible entrances.
  • For an emergency, use a public phone to dial 911 (no coin is necessary).

Return to top



Driving a Car

  • Have your keys in your hand as you approach your car.
  • Lock your doors when driving and after parking.
  • Check the back seat and floor.
  • Always keep at least a half tank of gas in your car.
  • Maintain the car in good running condition.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight, under the seat, in the glove compartment or trunk.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Try to be especially alert in parking structures.
  • Avoid parking next to vans, as you can be pulled in through the sliding door.
  • If you have car trouble, signal for help by raising the hood or tying a handkerchief to the door. Remain in the car with doors locked until identifiable help arrives.
  • Should another motorist offer to help, roll down window only an inch and ask him or her to call the Police or the Auto Club.
  • Keep an emergency kit containing a flashlight, flares, telephone change, distress signs and other essentials in your car.

Return to top



On the Telephone

  • Be wary of telephone surveys.
  • List only your first initial and last name in the telephone directory.
  • Think about the information you give out over the telephone and to people you don't know well. Tell roommates and housemates not to give information by phone about who is home, who is out, how long anyone is expected to be out.
  • Never reveal your number to a wrong number caller.
  • If you receive a threatening or obscene phone call, hang up. Blow a loud whistle or leave the phone off the hook.
  • Contact the police and make a report.
  • Answering machines may be used to screen calls. Your outgoing message should not say that you are away from home.

Return to top



On an Elevator

  • Check the inside of an elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if you are unsure of the people inside.
  • When riding an elevator, stand by the control board.
  • If you feel in danger, press all the buttons and get off the elevator as soon as possible.
  • All elevators on the El Camino College campus are equipped with emergency phones.

Return to top



On Public Transportation

  • Check the bus schedule to avoid long waits at the bus stop. Become familiar with routes and timetables in your area.
  • Wait for buses at well-lighted stops.
  • If possible, join other people at a nearby stop.
  • If someone bothers you on the bus, say loudly, "Leave me alone" or 'No". Get up and find another seat.
  • Tell the driver.
  • Stay awake on public transportation if you are alone.
  • Notice who else gets off at your stop.
  • If you feel someone is following you, walk towards a populated area.
  • Be aware that hitchhiking can be very dangerous.

Return to top



While Biking

  • Use reflectors, reflective tape, or other similar devises on cycling shoes, fenders, belts, frames, pedals and handlebars.
  • Keep to the right. Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping.
  • Ride defensively.
  • Use bicycle paths whenever possible.
  • Walk your bicycle across busy intersections.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks.
  • Wear appropriate clothing.
  • Park your bike in an open, well lighted, frequently traveled area.
  • Secure it properly.
  • The "U" bolt locks provide the best protection.
  • Consult the Community Oriented Policing Unit of the El Camino College Police Department for more information.
  • Report any suspicious person you may see loitering around bicycle racks.
  • Always use a bike light and rear tail lamp when riding at night.

Return to top



While Jogging

  • Be aware of your environment.
  • If possible, consider jogging with a friend.
  • Choose well-traveled running paths and be aware of any isolated areas you will run through.
  • Vary your route.
  • At night, wear light colored clothing or wear reflective markings.
  • Tell your roommate or friend your route and expected time of return.
  • If approached by a car while running alone, do not stop to give directions or answer questions.
  • Leave the road and head for a populated area.
  • Don't let yourself be surprised.
  • Listening to your headset may make you unable to hear approaching traffic, emergency sirens or any other danger signals.

Return to top


If Attacked... Self-Defense

  • If someone tries to grab your purse, let it go.
  • Most injuries from robberies occur when people resist and refuse to comply with the robber's demands.
  • If you are attacked, whether you resist and how you resist will depend on your personal resources and your personal values. Give some thought right now to what you would do in various situations that could arise. The more you have thought ahead, the more likely you will be to act in the way you've planned.
  • Have you taken a self-defense class? Do you think you could hit or kick someone who is attacking you?
  • Do you know how to get away from someone grabbing you? What objects could you use to defend yourself?
    1. In considering your reactions to different situations, keep these three basic rules in mind:
    2. Trust your instincts.
    3. Don't be afraid to be impolite or make a scene; this is especially important, even if it is someone you know.
    4. Try to remain calm--use your imagination and good judgment give yourself time to think.

Return to top


 Faculty and Staff Safety Tips


In the Campus Office

  • CLOSE and LOCK your office door when leaving even for a short period!
  • DO NOT leave property unattended at anytime!
  • Take items such as purses, cellular phones, and wallets with you when you leave or at least lock them in a cabinet or drawer
  • When you leave for the day take valuables such as laptops, purses, etc. with you.  CLOSE and LOCK your office door, desk, and cabinets
  • Be attentive to who is in your office areas and if you do not know someone, ask who they are and how you can be of assistance
  • Sometimes letting people know that you know they are there can be a deterrent if they are there for the wrong reasons.
  • Report any broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, doors that don’t lock properly, broken windows, to maintenance
    1. Report any broken pay phones, red phones or Blue phones to campus police
    2. Report any issues with your desk phone to I.T.S Helpdesk
  • DO NOT assume someone else will watch your office or property for you!
  • Know your co-workers and look out for each other.
  1. Ask a friend to watch your desk while you’re in another room or out for lunch and volunteer to do the same.
  2. Find someone who leaves at the same time and walk together.

Return to top


District Computer Systems

  • NEVER share your password with anyone for any reason.
  • Never write down computer logons and passwords
  • If you receive an email purportedly from I.T.S. requesting your password, DO NOT give it up for any reason.  I.T.S doesn't need your password. 
    1. They will never ask you for it. 
    2. When in doubt, call I.T.S. at extension 6571.
  • Make sure copiers are turned off after hours and that all critical files are secure.
  • Do not leave USB flash drives or other data storage devices, such as external hard drives lying around in plain sight.
  • NEVER leave your computer logged on and unattended. 
    1. Secure it by pressing “Ctrl” “Alt” “Delete” and clicking on “Lock Computer.”

Return to top


Personal Items

  • NEVER share your password with anyone for any reason.
  • DO NOT carry your Social Security Card in your wallet or purse unless it is absolutely necessary!
  • Carry as few credit cards as possible!
  1. Never leave your keys lying about!
  2. If you are responsible for the office keys, don’t leave them on your desk or in the top of the drawer where they could be easily taken and copied. 
  3. Keep them with you or hide them in a secure place.
  4. Only give out keys to persons who have a legitimate need and make sure they are returned.
  5. Remember you are responsible for them 
  • If you ever are leaving work late at night, utilize the Campus Escort Service that is available. 
    1. Just call (310)660-3100 for El Camino Campus
    2. Tell the Police Communications Center if you want someone to meet you at your office or if you just want police personnel to watch you walk to your vehicle.
  • When at work on the weekends or holidays when there are not many people around, you must notify campus police to let us know you are there.
    1. Keep your office door closed and locked even when you are in the office.  This creates a barrier and gives you time to respond!
    2. When you leave, please let campus police know so we can sign you out.

Return to top


General Guidelines

  • NEVER share your password with anyone for any reason.
  • Document serial numbers, model numbers, descriptions, etc.,
  1. Do this for all property in case the information is needed to locate your property!
  2.  Including district property assigned to you, don’t rely on someone else to do this for you.
  • Always let someone know where you’ll be, whether it’s coming in late, working late, going to the computer room, going out to lunch or to a meeting. 
  1. If they have an idea about where you are someone will eventually come looking for you.
  • Be discreet. 
    1. Don’t advertise your social life or vacation plans and those of your co-workers to strangers visiting your place of work.
  • Program the Police Communications Center’s number, into your cellular phone that is appropriate for your campus, so that if there is an emergency all you have to do is hit a button! 
  1. El Camino (310)660-3100
  • Pay attention to where your cellular phone will work for you!  It is a safety tool!
    1. Not all cell phone carriers work the same in all areas of both campuses.
  • When exiting your vehicles, secure all valuables that you cannot take with you in the trunk of your vehicle.  Do Not Advertise!!

Return to top