Coffee with Officer Bell

Campus+Police+Officer+W.+Bell+addresses+students+at+the+%27Cop+Coffee%27+Brown+Bag+Workshop+in+the+DVC+Student+Union%2C+Feb.+4

Katharine Hada

Campus Police Officer W. Bell addresses students at the ‘Cop Coffee’ Brown Bag Workshop in the DVC Student Union, Feb. 4

Chelsey Schallig, Staff member

Paying attention while on campus is important in avoiding becoming a target of theft.

That was one of the tips delivered during the “Coffee with a Cop” workshop hosted by Officer William Bell in the Diablo Valley College Student Union Feb. 4. Bell spoke to students and faculty about campus and vehicle safety.

Bell made it clear to trust your intuition, being aware and assertive with your body and voice. “A lot of students are buried in their phones and that’s going to become important when you start talking about how not to become a victim.

Bell pointed out that if you feel threatened or something does not feel right, take action immediately and change the situation. “Make yourself not be a victim. Because, honestly, criminals are lazy. They don’t want to go up to someone assertive.”

When it comes to being safe it’s important to plan your itinerary and to know your safe places where you live, work, and play. Keep your valuables concealed and make sure to be attentive with your property so someone doesn’t have the opportunity to steal it.

“Keep your wallet or phone in your front pocket. If you don’t, keep them in a backpack or purse. It’s easier to know if someone is trying to pickpocket you. And make sure to avoid dark areas if you have night classes,” said Bell.

When it comes to your vehicle, it’s important to not leave valuables or your book bag because it gives thieves an opportunity.

When walking to your car after classes, Bell highly recommends that you don’t look down, and to have your keys ready before reaching your vehicle.

“Try not to fumble with your keys while walking to your vehicle, or anywhere, because now your attention is at your keys and there are many cases where people will be watching to pin you as an easy target,” said Bell.

It’s helpful to report all suspicious behavior no matter where you are and to use anti-theft devices whenever you leave your car.

Bell continued, “A lot of people leave their windows down 5-inches, you might as well leave your car unlocked for a criminal because a lot of crime here is an opportunity.”

Fraud and scams happen often because anyone with a debit or credit card is a target. It’s important to check your bank statements regularly and to shred any paperwork with your personal or card information.

“A lot of scams are going along dealing with the IRS. People pretend to be the IRS and demand personal information over the phone and email and threaten to send the police over if the target doesn’t cooperate. The IRS does not do this. Ever,” said Bell.

“These workshops are important for anyone to get loads of important information,” said Yoko Kojima, 46, Business major, “This workshop with Officer Bell helps to remind myself to be safe because the U.S is different from Japan.”

If you’re uneasy about walking alone to your vehicle, student staff members and police officers are available to escort you all day on campus to keep students safe.