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Crime and Safety

Victim Support Statement

The only person responsible for sexual misconduct is the perpetrator. It is against the law to engage in sexual activities without consent. Someone incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs cannot consent to sexual activity.

With no intent to victim blame and recognizing that only abusers are responsible for their abuse, the following are some strategies to reduce one's risk of sexual assault or harassment:

  • If you are uncomfortable with someone's behavior or feel threatened, remove yourself from the situation and, if possible, notify an authority about the situation;
  • Don't allow yourself or others to be isolated with someone you don't trust or someone you don't know;
  • When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends and watch out for each other;
  • Be aware of your surroundings, avoid isolated areas, and trust your instincts;
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged; and
  • Don't leave your drink unattended and don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust.
  • In addition, bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual assaults and sexual misconduct. Bystanders may not be directly involved, but can intervene, speak up, and call for help. You can make a difference.

Crimes can also be reported confidentially through the UPD's Silent Witness Program.

If you believe a crime has been committed, call 911 or (904) 620-2800 immediately.

Sexual Battery

The State of Florida uses the term sexual battery; others call it sexual assault or rape. It is all the same thing, a violent crime that uses sex as a weapon that effects our communities and universities nationwide. Some people have the wrong idea about sexual battery. They think the attacker was overcome with sexual desire, the victim was dressed too seductively, or the victim asked for it. These ideas assume that sexual battery is motivated by sexual desire. It is a violent crime, a hostile attack, and an attempt to hurt, humiliate, and control the victim. Sex is only the weapon.

Sexual Battery is defined by Florida Law as oral, anal or vaginal penetration by or union with, the sex organ of another or oral, anal or vaginal penetration by an another with any object. Sexual battery occurs when the act involves force, threats or intimidation and is against the victim's will. There is a big difference between consent and submission out of fear. If you fear for your life, your physical safety, or the life and safety of a loved one, you may sincerely believe you have no other alternative than to submit to a sexual act. This does not mean that you have consented to it. The decision to resist or not to resist can only be made by the person who is attacked.

 

The Victim

Note: The only person responsible for sexual misconduct is the perpetrator. It is against the law to engage in sexual activities without consent. Someone incapacitated due to alcohol or drugs cannot consent to sexual activity. With no intent to victim blame and recognizing that only abusers are responsible for their abuse, the following information is presented to reduce one's risk of sexual assault or harassment:

You are a victim of a crime if you have had unwanted sexual contact. Sexual battery is no less serious if you know your attacker. Previous sexual contact with your attacker does not justify or excuse the crime. If you think sexual battery is motivated by passion or happens because the victim asked for or wanted it, look at the facts. Sexual battery can happen to anyone - you, your children, co-workers, or friends, or other members of your family. The victim can be any age, race, have any income level and live in the city or in the country. It can happen to anyone.

Anyone May Become A Victim

Sexual battery awareness is based on environmental alertness. Remember alcohol and drugs dull your senses and judgement. When uncomfortable, trust your instincts!

The Situation - Perhaps you think sexual battery happens only in certain high-risk situations such as hitchhiking, walking alone at night, or going out socially alone. It's true that sexual battery can occur in such situations, but it also takes place in ordinary, seemingly safe places. In fact, about one-third of all rapes occur in or near the victim's residence. About one-half of the rapes are by first or casual dates or romantic acquaintances.

The Assailant - It is important to be aware that most sexual offenders don't look abnormal or act strangely. In fact, perpetrators of sexual battery are not always strangers to their victims. In many cases, the assailant is an acquaintance, neighbor, friend, or relative.

Acquaintances - Date rape prevention involves educating both young men and young women. NO means NO. The only thing you should expect from a date is thank you. It should be understood that everyone has the right and responsibility to communicate clearly-to say what they mean and want. They should trust their instincts and learn to stay out of risky situations.

Plan Ahead

  • Find out about a new date. Ask others who know or have dated the person. Date with friends before accepting a single date. Make definite plans in advance. Inform a friend, roommate or someone else you trust of your plans, who you will be with and when you plan to return.
  • Take your own vehicle or meet at the destination. Carry money for a phone call or fare home.
  • Avoid parties where men greatly outnumber women. Don't leave a group setting with a person you don't know.
  • Attend parties in small groups where possible.
  • Be wary of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable. If it persists, leave. Stand up for yourself.
  • Avoid secluded places where you are put in a vulnerable position.
  • Be careful when inviting someone to your residence or accepting an invitation to theirs.
  • It's O.K. to refuse a date. Trust your instincts!

Prevention Strategies

Prevention of any crime begins with awareness. Become aware of your surroundings and stay tuned in for possible danger or threats to your safety. Here are some tips for adding this awareness to your daily life.

AT HOME

  • Be sure the doors of your residence are locked when you are there as well as when away.
  • Use peepholes to identify people before opening the door.
  • Make sure that all windows are properly secured.
  • Never indicate to anyone that you are alone.
  • Never let strangers inside your residence to use the phone. Offer to make the call for them.
  • Use blinds or draperies for privacy.
  • Avoid being in isolated areas such as laundries or parking areas alone, especially at night.
  • List your initials instead of your first name on your mailbox and in the telephone directory.
  • Always have your key ready for quick entry.
  • Have a telephone with a lighted keypad readily available near your bed for quick use at night.
  • If you find a door or window open or signs of forced entry upon arriving at your residence, don't enter. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.

WHEN WALKING

  • Avoid walking alone! If you feel uncomfortable walking on campus, call the UPD at 904-620-2800 and request an escort from a safety ranger or police officer. We are always glad to offer this service!
  • You can also use the Safe Osprey "Mobile Blue Light" feature to request immediate help from UPD or the "Friend Walk" feature which allows your friend or parent to monitor your location as you walk.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes, and entryways.
  • Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.
  • If a driver stops to ask directions, avoid getting close to the car.
  • If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction and find a populated location to get assistance. Also, be sure to call police.
  • Don't hitchhike and only accept rides from people you know well.
  • Always be alert and aware. If someone bothers you, don't be embarrassed to attract attention to yourself. Yell!
  • Always try to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

TRAVELING IN YOUR CAR

  • Have your keys ready when you approach the vehicle.
  • Check inside your vehicle before entering.
  • Always lock your doors, both when driving and when parked.
  • Park in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid isolated roads and shortcuts.
  • Keep your vehicle in good repair and make certain you have enough fuel.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, raise the hood or display a sign. Stay in the vehicle with the doors locked and the windows rolled up. If someone stops to offer you help, roll the window down slightly and ask the person to call for assistance.
  • If you are followed, drive to the nearest open business for help, or go to a police or fire station.
  • If involved in a minor collision at night or in an isolated area, do not exit to inspect the damage or contact the other driver. Signal the other driver with your lights and proceed to the nearest lighted and occupied business or police station.

KNOW YOUR DEFENSES

Because all people and all situations are different, there is no ONE way for you to protect yourself. People have different capabilities, and you must decide for yourself the best defense method for you.

Ways to react to a sexual battery

PASSIVE RESISTANCE

  • The goal of passive resistance is to think and talk your way out of the situation. With passive resistance you can:
  • Try to calm the attacker. Try to persuade them not to carry out the attack.
  • Try to discourage the attacker. Pretend to faint, cry hysterically, and act mentally incapacitated or insane.
  • If you are at your residence, tell the attacker a friend is coming over or that your spouse or roommate will be back soon.

ACTIVE RESISTANCE

Active resistance is intended to distract or temporarily injure your attacker to create an opportunity for escape. Nobody can tell you whether or not active resistance will be the right thing to do. A decision to resist actively, however, is irreversible. Your goal is to escape. Here are some considerations regarding the most common types of active resistance:

YELLING

Yell don't scream: Screaming comes from the throat and can be mistaken for playful banter. Screaming is also associated with fear. Yelling comes from the diaphragm, the center of your power. It is an empowerment action, attracts attention, and cannot be mistaken for a playful scream. Yelling also prepares your body to accept a blow, if necessary, without having the wind knocked out of you. A yell can surprise or frighten an attacker away if they fear people will come to help.

FIGHTING BACK

A forceful struggle may also discourage an attacker. If you are not afraid to hurt someone, and can land a strong kick or hit, fighting back may give you the opportunity to escape. All hits and kicks must be forceful and aimed at vulnerable areas, such as the groin, eyes or the instep.

Could You Effectively Defend Yourself If Attacked?

Self Defense

Have you trained enough, are you fit enough to successfully defend yourself if attacked? Only you know your capabilities. Take a self-defense course. Learn, practice and then decide if it is for you. The UPD offers Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training for students, faculty and staff. Call 904-620-2800 to request this training.

Submitting to an Attack

If you believe you might get hurt defending yourself or if you're afraid to fight back, don't. Victims who do not resist should never feel guilty; it is the assailant who committed the crime.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN ATTACKED...

Many victims of sexual battery don't know where to turn for help or what to do. You may be afraid or ashamed to talk to anyone or want to act as though nothing has happened.

If You've Been Sexually Battered:

  • Go to a place of safety.
  • Do not douche, change clothes, shower, or do anything to change your appearance. If you do, you may destroy evidence (seminal fluid, hair, clothing fibers, etc . . .) that the police may need to arrest and convict your attacker.
  • Do not disturb the physical surroundings in which the attack took place. If you do, you may destroy valuable evidence.
  • Report the crime to the UPD at 904-620-2800 or the appropriate law enforcement agency. This does not mean you must proceed with prosecution.
  • Contact the UNF Women's Center Victim's Advocate 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at 904-620-1010
  • Contact the UNF Counseling Center at 904-620-2602. If after regular office hours, call 904-620-2602, wait for the voice prompt then select Option 2.

Dating and Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Under the provisions of Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, domestic violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. Family or household members are spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

What is Dating Violence?

Under the provisions of Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes, dating violence is violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

  • A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months;
  • The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and
  • The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

Dating & Domestic Violence may include:

  • Physical Abuse—Pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, choking, and beating
  • Emotional/Verbal Abuse—Verbal intimidation, credible threats, following and stalking, acting out in anger
  • Sexual Abuse or Battery—Any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his or her will

If YOU are being abused by a spouse or partner:

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Contact the UPD at 904-620-2800 to file a report.
  • If you are hurt call 911 or a friend and get to a hospital as soon as possible.
  • Contact the Victim’s Advocate at 904-620-1010 (24-hour Crisis Helpline)
  • Contact the Counseling Center at 904-620-2602 (after hours wait for the voice prompt and select option 2)
  • Plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship and pack an escape bag. A victim advocate can help you to do this.

If SOMEONE YOU KNOW is being abused by a spouse or partner:

  • Don’t be afraid to offer help.
  • Suggest that the victim speaks with the Victim’s Advocate (904-620-1010) and make the call for them if necessary.
  • Approach the victim in an understanding, non-blaming way.
  • Acknowledge that it is scary and difficult to talk about domestic violence.
  • Share information about local resources. All of this information may be obtained from the Victim’s Advocate.
  • Support the victim as a friend.
  • Ask if they have suffered any physical harm. Go with them to the hospital to check for injuries.
  • Help the victim report the assault to the police and inform the victim about legal protection. The Victim’s Advocate can help you do this.
  • Help the victim plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship.

Power and Control Wheel - description below

Power and Control Wheel

Using IntimidationMaking you afraid by using looks, gestures, actions – smashing things – abusing pets – displaying weapons - using looks, gestures, actions to reinforce control – standing in front of the door or exit

Using Emotional Abuse
Putting you down – making you feel bad about yourself – calling you names – playing mind games – making you feel guilty – humiliating you – questioning your identity – reinforcing internalized phobias and isms

Using Isolation
Controlling what you do, who you see or talk to – limiting your outside activities – making you account for your whereabouts – saying no one will believe you – not letting you go anywhere alone

Denying, Minimizing, Blaming
Making light of abuse – saying it didn’t happen – shifting responsibly – saying it’s your fault, you deserve it, accusing you of “mutual abuse” - saying its just fighting, not abuse – accusing you of “making” them abuse you

Using Children
Making your feel guilty about children – using children to relay messages – threatening to take the children – tell you that you have no parental rights – threatening to tell your ex or the authorities to take your children

Using Privilege
Threatening to make you a servant – making all the “big” decisions – being the one to define the rules or duties in the relationship – using privilege or ability discredit you, cut off access to resources or use the system against you – knowing “what’s best” for you

Using Economic Abuse
Preventing you from getting or keeping a job – making you ask for money – interfering with work or education – taking your credit cards without permission – not working and requiring you to provide support – keeping your name off joint assets

Using Coercion and Threats
Making and/or carry out threats to do something to harm you - threatening to leave or commit suicide - driving recklessly to frighten you – threatening others who are important to you – stalking

(Dashes are stars on the wheel)

Stalking

Florida Statutes define stalking as:

  • Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person commits the offense of stalking. This is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a maximum fine of $1000.00 and or 1 year in jail.
  • Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in fear of death or bodily injury, has committed the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum fine of $5000.00 and/or 5 years in state prison.
  • To "harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.
  • The term "stalking" is commonly used to describe specific kinds of behavior directed at a particular person, such as harassing or threatening another person. Virtually any unwanted contact between a stalker and their victim which directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can generally be referred to as stalking.

How Do I File a Complaint Under Florida's Stalking Statute?

Contact the UPD at 904-620-2800, or local law enforcement if the incident occurs off-campus, to report a suspected stalker. You will need to provide dates and times of specific behaviors in order to establish the pattern of harassing activity. This will establish "probable cause" the stalker engaged in conduct that is illegal under Florida's stalking law. If a law enforcement official does not witness such conduct first-hand, it may be up to the victim to provide the evidence necessary. Documentation of stalking should be saved and given to law enforcement. Documentation of the actions of the stalker may be useful in future complaints, for evidentiary or to establish credibility. Documentation may take the form of photos of destroyed property, photos of any injuries inflicted on the victim by the perpetrator, answering machine messages saved on tape, letters or notes written by the perpetrator. A victim should keep a written log of any crimes or suspicious activities committed by the stalker.

What Can I Do?

  • While a stalking victim may not be in imminent danger, the potential always exists. Making a contingency plan may help. Suggested items to include in such a plan are:
  • Take all threats seriously.
  • Travel with others or inform a friend of your departure and expected arrival times.
  • Report all suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  • Keep notes, answering machine tapes or other items that document the stalkers actions.
  • Alert critical people, who may be useful in formulating a contingency plan, such as: law enforcement, employers, family, friends, or neighbors, and security personnel.

Preventive Measures

  • Install solid core doors with dead bolts on all exterior doors of your home.
  • Install adequate outside lighting.
  • Trim back bushes and vegetation around residence.
  • Maintain an unlisted phone number.
  • Notify local law enforcement, but also keep a written log of harassing calls and any answering machine tapes of calls with the stalker's voice and messages.
  • Treat any threats as legitimate and inform law enforcement immediately.
  • Vary travel routes, stores and restaurants, etc., which are regularly used. Limit time walking, jogging, alone etc.
  • Inform a trusted neighbor or coworker about the situation. Provide them with a photo or description of the suspect and any possible vehicles he/she may drive.
  • If residing in an apartment with an on-site property manager, provide the manager with a picture of the suspect.
  • Have co-workers screen all calls and visitors.

For assistance with this crime or any other occurring on campus contact the UPD at 904-620-2800 or 911 for emergencies.

Active Shooter

These safety tips and guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood, reviewed and periodically practiced, can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter. 

 

Active Shooter Defined

An armed suspect(s) who is discharging a firearm at civilians or law enforcement or randomly firing into an area where it is reasonably expected that persons could be struck by suspect fire.

These situations require law enforcement to take immediate action to end the danger.

The information below provides a set of guidelines for active shooter incidents on campus. However, every incident varies, making it impossible to provide an absolute answer for every situation. 

FLASHPOINT On Campus 

Each year, students become victims of violence on college and university campuses. While campus shootings are rare, assaults, intimate partner violence, and stalking are not uncommon. Violence, however, is almost always evolutionary with warning signs along the way. The purpose of this video is to help students, faculty and staff recognize these warning signs and understand how to respond to them to prevent violence on campus. 

FLASHPOINT on Campus Video (around 21 minutes)

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.

Please watch the approximately 6 minute video below prior to reading the listed tips. They will make more sense if reviewed in context with the information from the video.

 

 

RUN

  • If there is an escape path, and it is safe to do so, attempt to evacuate. 
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.
  • If in a gym, theater or auditorium and the shooter is not present, leave through external exits and toward any law enforcement personnel or police vehicle keeping your hands visible to police. Do what the police tell you!
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.
  • Do not leave the area entirely; you may have valuable information regarding the suspect or incident that responding police officers will need. Once in a safe place, stay there.

HIDE

  • If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • If you are in a hallway, get to a nearby room and secure it. Unless you are close to an exit, do not attempt to run through a long hallway to get to an exit as you may encounter the shooter.
  • Your hiding place should:
    • Be out of the shooter's view.
    • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
    • Not trap or restrict your options for movement.
  • Lock the door. If the door doesn't lock, try to blockade it with heavy objects or insert a wedge to prevent it from opening. 
  • Spread out, do not bunch up in the classroom.
  • Remain very quiet.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • If the door has a window, cover it if you can. Depending on the shooter’s location, consider exiting through windows. Have someone watch the door as you get as many out the windows (ground floor) as calmly and quietly as possible.
  • If the windows do not open or you cannot break them or you are not on a ground floor, get out of sight from the door and stay low and quiet.
  • If in an open space, stay alert and look for cover, such as brick walls, large trees, retaining walls, parked vehicles or any other object that may stop gunfire rounds from penetrating.

FIGHT

As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.

Trapped with the shooter

  • If you are trapped in a room with the shooter, do not do anything to provoke the shooter. If no shooting is occurring, do what the shooter says and do not move suddenly.
  • If the shooter starts shooting, take decisive action:
    1. Freeze: stay still and hope they do not shoot you
    2. Flee: run for an exit while zigzagging (if appropriate), or
    3. Fight: attack the shooter. Attacking the shooter is very dangerous, but may be less dangerous than doing nothing in some cases. A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one, and the last thing the shooter will expect is to be attacked by an unarmed person.
Any option (freezing, fleeing or fighting) may result in a bad outcome. 

9-1-1 - When Law Enforcement Arrives

Remain calm and follow instructions. Keep your hands visible at all times Avoid pointing or yelling. Know that help for the injured is on its way.

Shots Fired On Campus

This video provides students, faculty and staff with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter situation. 

Shots Fired On Campus Video (around 20 minutes) 

Always notify the police department as soon as it is safe to do so

Call 911 - Be clear to the operator that you are on the UNF Campus or call UPD’s 24-Hour Non-Emergency number 904.620.2800

Safety Tips

For many of you, living and/or studying on a university campus will be a new experience. During this time you will make new friends, face new challenges, and be a part of a new and ever- changing community. As with any community, safety is an important priority. The University of North Florida is a friendly, caring and trusting community, but we are not immune to problems associated with crime. It is our pledge that we, as your police department, will do everything we can to keep you safe. But for us to do our job, we need YOUR help. As a member of the University community you can help control crime by reporting suspicious activity, taking extra precautions and being aware of the crimes that could affect you. This page is a brief introduction to help you and our community stay safe. We invite you to obtain additional information by contacting the University Police Department at (904) 620-2800.

 

  

 

View the warning signs of violent behavior published by Homeland Security. Communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure; Homeland Security starts with Hometown Security.

Suspicious Activity

We encourage you to contact the University Police Department any time you see something or someone suspicious. This could include an unfamiliar person loitering around campus, a person "cruising" the parking lot or someone trying to sell things door-to-door. We are here to respond to your concerns, so please don't hesitate to call us. We would rather check out 100 "false alarms" than miss one incident truly needing our attention. And always make sure to pay close attention to your surroundings. If you do see something that looks not quite right or out of place, leave the area and give the UPD a call.

Textbooks

We don't have to tell you that textbooks are expensive. Sometimes textbooks can cost more than tuition. Because of that, textbooks can be very valuable to a thief. Incidents have occurred where organized groups come to a campus and in one afternoon steal thousands of dollars worth of books. Sadly, other students have been known to steal a single textbook to sell for gas money. To prevent you from becoming a victim of textbook theft, never leave your books unattended, even for a moment. It also helps to mark your books with a personal identifier where someone would not think to look, like a specific page toward the middle of the book.

Locking Doors and Windows

It may seem simple, but it is very important to lock your doors and easily accessible windows, even when you are gone for just a few minutes. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. It only takes a few seconds for someone to enter your room or your car and take your valuables. We recommend that you always lock your door and windows when your room or your car is unattended. Don't give someone the opportunity to make you a victim.

Letting Friends Know Where You Are and Who You Are With

This may not be seem the most cool thing, but it could save your life. If you are going out with someone you don't know very well or if you are going off campus alone, check in with a friend or your family. This way if something happens, there will be someone who can alert the University Police Department that you may be in trouble and in need of help. Remember, the UPD is here to serve you, but it takes all of us, you included, to make the University of North Florida a safe campus to live, study and learn.

Know How to Contact UPD

Dialing 911 from your cell phone will first put you in contact with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. If you tell them you are on the UNF campus, the JSO will put you through to the UPD. Dialing 911 from a landline telephone on campus will immediately put you through to the UPD. It's also a good idea to add our non-emergency number, (904) 620-2800, to your contacts in case you need us for something less drastic. And you know those blue poles with the lights on top throughout campus? Those connect straight to the UPD as well. Feel free to use them any time you need to reach us.

If You See Something, Say Something

Don't be afraid to ask someone if they're doing okay or if they need help. if you aren't comfortable asking that person, tell an RA or professor who can get them the help they need.

Watch Your Drink

GHB and Rohypnol, the two most popular date rape drugs are odorless, tasteless and colorless, meaning a stranger can easily slip them in your drink. Never leave your drink unattended and never accept a drink from someone you don't know.

Online Safety

UPD encourages the campus community to always be cautious when using social media and the internet. Below are some links to tips for configuration and reminders for safely navigating social media.

Crime Prevention Links

Online Safety

UPD encourages the campus community to always be cautious when using social media and the internet. Below are some links to tips for configuration and reminders for safely navigating social media.

Event Security

The University of North Florida Police Department is responsible for maintaining the peace and enforcing laws within the campus of the University of North Florida.  The UPD may recommend the cancellation of an event if adequate preparations are not made for the safety and security of the attendees and our students, faculty, and staff.

UPD Philosophy – The UPD is dedicated to providing the highest level of professional law enforcement and public safety services to our community.  We are committed to the community’s needs and we strive to meet or exceed them.  We do that through consultation, supervision, education, and enforcement. We seek and encourage a cooperative effort with our community.

Authority – All events on the campus are governed by State Law, Florida Administrative Codes, Municipal Ordinance, University Regulations and Residence Life Policies.  The UPD’s Police Officers are fully sworn law enforcement officers under Florida Law.  They are responsible for enforcement of all laws and ordinances of the jurisdiction.  They will also assist in the enforcement of University Regulations and rules to the extent allowable under Florida Law.

Arranging Security – Any group, club, individual or entity requiring security services may contact Lieutenant Kathleen Halstead at (904) 620-2382 to arrange an appointment. A Special Event Request Form should be completed before the meeting. If a meeting is not arranged the forms will come to Lieutenant Halstead who will make recommendations concerning appropriate security staffing. The recommendations are based on several criteria including: expected attendance, advertising off campus, the location of the event, presence of alcohol, history of the event, other campus events during the same time frame and the time/duration of the event.

University Police Responsibilities

An officer working a special event will be designated as the Officer in Charge (OIC). They are responsible for assigning and supervising all officers and safety rangers working an event, maintaining a liaison with the sponsor or site leader, and ensuring the safety of all event attendees and the campus community. The OIC is responsible to on-duty supervisors of a higher rank. If an Event Leader disagrees with the decisions or actions of the OIC they are able to resolve the matter by direct consultation with the on-duty supervisor or watch commander either by requesting them through the OIC or calling UPD at (904) 620-2800.

Police Officer Duties – Officers are responsible for maintaining peace and security for the event.  The OIC will assign specific areas of responsibility and will supervise the attention to their duties.  In general, officers will remain mobile without interfering with the normal safe operation of the event.  If disturbances occur officers will take the action necessary to resolve the conflict.  The UPD has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and drug use on campus. 

Safety Ranger Duties – Safety Rangers are non-sworn members of the UPD and are responsible for site security and traffic direction that does not require law enforcement action.  They are specifically forbidden from becoming physically involved in an incident unless they are doing so for the protection of themselves or another or they are directed to do so by a police officer in distress.  The rangers are not armed and therefore will not be assigned to any duty that requires the security of valuables or currency.

Sponsor Group Responsibilities

Event Leader – The event sponsor must identify a single person to be in charge of the group’s responsibilities and act as the sponsor group supervisor.  This person will be the point of contact for the senior officer and must supervise all event activities.

Student/T-Shirt Security – These are personnel supplied by the sponsoring group to assist with security of the event. To be recognized as a security asset they must wear some form of uniform or identification that makes them easily recognizable as security.  

Sponsor Group Assistance/Intervention – Experience has shown that minor issues during events can be better handled by a minimum response by student/T-Shirt security.  They should take initial action on minor incidents, disputes, disagreements and violations of event rules.  If a police officer feels that the issue exceeds the abilities of the student/T-Shirt security he will take the appropriate action to resolve the problem.

Site Supervisor – Building managers or University Representatives responsible for a facility will assist in maintaining security and safety and protecting the assets of the University.  The OIC will consult with and assist the site supervisor concerning the building and building rules during the event. 

Costs and Considerations on Security Numbers

Charges – Personnel assigned to work security by UPD will usually be experienced police officers working on overtime status.  Safety Rangers are non-sworn trained security and safety assistants. The cost for a police officer varies as they are compensated at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for University sponsored/affiliated events and 2 times their regular rate of pay for non-University sponsored/affiliated events (actual costs may vary by seniority of officers). The cost for safety rangers is $9.00 per hour.  There is a minimum charge of four hours for each person requested.  

Attendance – The estimated attendance listed on the Special Events Form is used to determine the level of staffing that will be provided for the event.  It is important that due consideration be given this prediction because the senior officer may limit attendance if the actual response exceeds a safe number of people for the location. 

Advertising – Sponsors are required to notify UPD in advance of the event of the extent and method of advertising.  Advertising may greatly affect the nature of the attendees and the level of attendance.  Any false representation by the sponsor will result in increased security levels at future events or denial of permission to hold events.

Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages will only be allowed at events when properly licensed, dispensed, and controlled in accordance with Florida Law and University Regulations.  Failure to properly check identification of drinkers or violations of licensing requirements may result in the issuance of a Notice to Appear, arrest of violators and/or closure of the event. 

Event History – The UPD will review the history of any event for which security is requested.  Events or groups with a history of violent or disruptive incidents will be required to have higher levels of security than those with no history. 

Staffing Levels – Required staffing levels will be set by the Special Operations Lieutenant with input from the sponsoring group supervisor, information on the Special Events Form, prior similar events, and any other available information source. While it is recognized that security costs can be very expensive; costs will not be a consideration when assigning staffing levels.  The greater responsibility is in maintaining public safety, protecting attendees, and the University Community. 

Timelines – The times listed for the event are used for staffing decisions and are expected to be accurate.  Additional time may be charged before and beyond the actual times to allow for pre-event briefing and post-event activities, time expended investigating crimes/incidents and writing reports associated with the event.  Any extension of the end time will be contingent on the capability of maintaining an acceptable level of public safety during the extended period.  An event will not be considered closed or ended until any crowds have been disbursed from the area. The OIC will consult with the Event Leader on how to disburse the crowd and at what point it is completed.

General Staffing Guidelines (Rules of Thumb):

  • Alcohol sales with projected attendance over 500 – minimum of two officers
  • Advertisement outside campus with projected attendance over 500 – minimum two officers
  • Police involvement in past events by the sponsor or group, as reported in police reports or After Action Reports, One officer per every 200 people in addition to the above if either or both apply.
  • In addition to the factors above if they apply:
    1. One officer for every 500 for inside events
    2. One officer for every 750 for outside events
    3. One supervisor must be hired for every four officers

Traffic Safety

The UPD is dedicated to making the University of North Florida a safe environment for students, staff and faculty.

One of the ways the University of North Florida Police Department (UPD) promotes traffic safety is through the education and enforcement of traffic laws. The enforcement of Florida traffic laws and Jacksonville municipal ordinances is another tool that enables the UPD to better serve the university community.

Traffic control signs regulate the speed, direction of travel and overall movement of motor vehicles while on campus. Florida traffic law shall apply to every street, drive, sidewalk area, and driveway and to every other public way, public place or public parking area. All motorized vehicles that operate on university roadways must be properly licensed, insured and operated by a driver possessing a valid driver's license. Police Officers employed by the UPD may use discretion in determining whether a University Warning Ticket or a Florida Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC) will be issued. If a University Warning Ticket is issued to a violator on the UNF campus, it will not result in points on the vehicle operator's driver's license nor will the violation be reflected on the operator's State driving record. Issuance of a Florida UTC may result in both. The University Warning Ticket provides officers with an alternative method to educate drivers on the UNF campus and enforce traffic law violations less punitively.

Violators are encouraged not to ignore Florida UTCs issued by University Police Officers for equipment or moving violations. The Florida UTCs issued by UNF Police Officers are the same citations issued by the Florida Highway Patrol and every other police and sheriff's department in Florida. They are not contestable in a "student court" and are only contestable in front of a county or circuit court judge. Delinquent citations will result in the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles imposition of additional fines, suspension and or revocation of your driver's license. Florida UTCs issued on the UNF campus or anywhere within Duval County can be paid at any branch office of the Duval County Clerk of the Courts. Florida UTCs may be contested by requesting a court appearance through the Duval County Clerk or the Courts. Please bear in mind that frustration or anger over receiving a citation, forgetfulness, being late for class, lack of knowledge of Florida traffic law or the inability to recognize the authority of the University of North Florida are not prudent arguments for contesting a citation.

Please refer to the State of Florida driver handbook for additional information about Florida Traffic Laws or visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles at www.hsmv.state.fl.us.

Traffic Safety Campaigns

"Click It or Ticket"

Of the 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, 48 percent were not wearing seat belts. In 2016 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,668 lives and could have saved an additional 2,456 people if they had been wearing seat belts according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.

The University of North Florida Police Department (UPD) has joined with other state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials to crack down on low seat belt use and to reduce roadway fatalities. The Click It or Ticket campaign is an aggressive national effort to mobilize law enforcement to enforce seat belt laws and to convince more motorists to buckle up - day and night. For more information, contact the UPD or visit www.nhtsa.gov/CIOT

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" 

Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes-that's one person every 48 minutes in 2017. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year.

The University of North Florida Police Department (UPD) has joined with thousands of other law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation to take part in the Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on impaired driving.

Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL of higher). In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average over the 10-year period from 2006-2016, more than 10,000 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes. To deter this careless disregard for human life, the UPD's officers are dedicated to arresting impaired drivers wherever and whenever they find them.

Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the financial and personal costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses. Plus, offenders risk added embarrassment, humiliation and other potential losses and consequences after informing family, friends and employers.

The nationalDrunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overimpaired driving crackdown is a program organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

Traffic Safety Links