Vanderbilt Police Department offers safety tips for your holiday season

As we begin to approach the holiday season, the potential for thefts can become more frequent, partly because of an increase in opportunity. With all the distractions the holiday season brings, sometimes we forget the basics about safety, no matter where we are. By staying alert and following a few crime-prevention tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

As part of Vanderbilt University Police Department’s continuing effort to provide a safe and secure environment, we would like to remind employees and students that personal safety and security are the shared responsibility of everyone here at Vanderbilt. The following safety tips can help keep you safe and secure.


  • Wear your ID with photo showing at all times.
  • When entering “Card Access Only” areas, be careful not to allow non-ID employees or visitors to enter behind you.
  • Download the SafeVU mobile safety app and stay connected directly to VUPD from the touch of your cell phone. Contact VUPD for emergency services with two easy taps. In an emergency situation, you can hit “GET HELP” and have the options to: call VUPD, text VUPD, or call 911. All 911 calls route to the nearest 911 call center.
  • Always lock your office or work area when you leave for any period of time.
  • Keep your purse, wallet, keys and other valuables with you at all times or locked in a drawer or cabinet.
  • Always let someone know where you will be, whether you are coming in late, working late, or going out to lunch or to a meeting.
  • Leave valuables such as expensive leather or fur coats, expensive jewelry, large sums of cash, or personal laptop computers at home.


  • Stick to well-lit, well-traveled areas. Avoid shortcuts, and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not use cellphones or iPods while en route to your location; they can distract you and make you less alert.
  • Become familiar with the locations of emergency phones on your travel routes.
  • Travel with a friend or in a large group whenever possible. Use the shuttle services or request a VUPD walking escort after dark.
  • Have your car or building key in hand before you reach the door.


  • Store gift packages out of view; keep them in the trunk of your car.
  • Don’t flash large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Keep your wallet or cash in an inside pocket, not a back pocket.
  • VUPD has designated an “Exchange Area” or “Safe Deal Zone” to provide a safe environment for Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff to trade legal new or used items bought or sold online through various applications such as eBay, Craigslist, Letgo and OfferUp.

Immediately report suspicious activity to VUPD at (615) 322-2745.


Download the poster: VUPD Holiday Theft Prevention Poster