Chief’s Corner: February Edition

Welcome to the February Chief’s Corner. First, I would like to thank you all for the positive feedback on last month’s column.

A lot has taken place during the first month of the spring semester. Winter showed up in force, resulting in a campus closure. Afterward, we received many questions asking how campus closure decisions are made.

The university’s Incident Management Team has representatives from Facilities and Campus Services, Dean of Students, University Advancement and Administrative Services, which includes the University Police Department. On days the forecast is questionable, IMT gets up bright and early to discuss and assess road conditions, weather forecasts, campus conditions and accident reports/warnings issued by the Anchorage Police Department and Alaska State Troopers. We consider the safety of our students, faculty and staff when making a campus closure recommendation to the chancellor, who ultimately makes the final closure decision.

Once a campus closure decision is made, the team distributes a message via multiple platforms, including your university email and UAA’s Facebook and Twitter. UPD also places the announcement on the UAA SAFE app.

In order to receive UA Alerts via text message, please opt-in at uaalert.alaska.edu. The university needs permission to send text and phone messages to you in non-emergency situations, such as campus closures. You can always call UPD Dispatch for the latest information, but keep in mind, we may be answering an emergency call.

Upcoming UPD events

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UPD Chat with Dispatch is scheduled for Feb. 28, 7-9 p.m. Download the UAA SAFE app from the App Store or Google Play. Use the chat function to ask your questions of our emergency communications officers.

UPD is offering Rape Aggression Defense training March 19-21 in the Gorsuch Commons. Register at [email protected]. If you have questions, contact Officer Smock at [email protected] or 786-1120. This class is free to UAA students.

Safety tips   

In today’s society, online safety is paramount. If you get an email request referencing a job you did not apply for, asking you to cash a check, asking you to purchase gift cards for them or asking for personal information, block it, delete it and report it.

Be careful with online dating. Never give your address to someone you just met online. Only meet in a public place. Let a friend know your plans regarding where and what time, and make sure to let your friend know you are safe when the date is over. If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts.

Send any questions or comments to [email protected]. We will see you around campus.

Interim Chief Beckner
UAA University Police Department