|Welcome Message From UFPD|
On behalf of the University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), I would like to welcome all of our new and returning students, faculty and staff to campus for the start of the fall semester.
Today, I ask all of you to start thinking about safety as a shared responsibility. The UFPD operates 24-hours-a-day, every day, but officers cannot be everywhere to protect you. You can do your part by being a partner with us to keep campus safe.
There are safety risks when large numbers of people convene on campus for sports activities, and other big events. Take note of the list of prohibited items found on www.gatorzone.com and alert law enforcement of potential dangers, such as unattended bags or packages and suspicious individuals.
Additionally, a daily concentration of students, employees and visitors on campus can attract criminals looking to steal unattended purses, backpacks, laptops and bicycles. Thieves also have been known to strike area neighborhoods during scheduled breaks and holidays.
It is important that we all work together to help make our campus safe and reduce security risks. Here are a few things you can do:
One additional note about the climate of this and all university campuses:
You may encounter individuals or groups espousing ideas you disagree with. Events such as global political disputes, religious feuds and acts of terrorism can sometimes produce emotional reactions. Students must have the opportunity to express themselves and to debate difficult issues with their colleagues. We believe this is an essential part of a university education. At the same time, we expect everyone on campus to behave lawfully.
Unfortunately, some people may resort to harassment and intimidation or disrupt UF events as a means to express their controversial views. Recently, a few UF researchers were targeted by a small group of animal rights extremists, whose leaders were trespassed from campus for conduct that disrupted an event. This group has said it plans to further disrupt activities, possibly even off campus. If this occurs or you feel physically threatened, you should notify the police.
We hope all of you will join us in ensuring a vibrant, active and safe university climate this coming year.
Thank you for your time and once again, I would like to welcome all of you to the University of Florida. I look forward to partnering with you for enhanced campus safety and hope that your experience here is a safe, positive, and rewarding one.