Laptops, iPods and even bicycles. University of Central Florida police officers will help students protect all of those belongings and learn how to stay safe during visits to campus residence halls beginning next week.

The UCF Police Department conducts meetings each fall with students in all on-campus residential communities. Officers provide important safety tips and free engraving and registration for students’ valuables.

UCF Police patrol the campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Crime prevention programs – including the upcoming meetings – also are an important part of the university’s efforts to keep students and staff and faculty members safe.

“We urge students to attend our meetings, learn what precautions they can take to help prevent crime and have their property engraved and registered,” Police Chief Richard Beary said. “All of us need to work together and remain vigilant about safety.”

Students are encouraged to use the Police Department’s free Safe Escort Patrol Service, which operates on the main campus at night. Police also offer women’s self-defense courses throughout the semester, and officers are available to evaluate buildings and make recommendations for enhancing security.

The nationally recognized Operation ID program aims to prevent theft and help ensure the recovery of items that are stolen. Students can get their driver’s license numbers engraved on valuables, including iPods, cameras, gaming consoles, computers, bicycles and skateboards. The license number is then stored with UCF Police.

Students also can register other property information, including an item’s make and model and serial number, with the Police Department. All of the registration information is available only to law enforcement agencies.

Police will visit the following housing communities in the coming weeks:

  • Apollo Community Center:  5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31
  • Pegasus Pointe main clubhouse, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31
  • Lake Claire Community Center: 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2
  • Tower 4 Community Center: 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9
  • Hercules Community Center: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5
  • Additional meetings will be scheduled with other housing communities on campus.

    Throughout the year, UCF Police’s Community Relations Unit offers a variety of free workshops on topics such as basic vehicle maintenance and alcohol awareness.

    If you have been impacted by crime, UCF Victim Advocates provide free, confidential crisis counseling and support services 24/7. Call 407-823-5555 for immediate assistance.

    For more information about the housing meetings, crime prevention programs or safety tips, call the UCF Police Department at 407-823-0258.