Reporting Criminal or Suspicious Activity

If you observe a crime in progress, or observe behavior that you suspect is criminal or even just unusual, immediately notify the University Police Department at (843) 661-1109. Report as much information as possible including:

  • What the person is doing
  • Where it is happening
  • What the person looks like and a description of that the person is wearing
  • Were weapons involved, and if so what kind (gun, knife, club, etc.)
  • If they are in a car, what is the Vehicle description and license number
  • When you last saw the person(s), what was their direction of travel

Do not approach or attempt to apprehend the person(s) involved. If possible and you feel comfortable doing so, stay on the telephone with the dispatcher or officer and provide additional information as changes occur in the situation until the first officer arrives at your location.

Keeping Your Vehicle Secure on Campus

  • Lock your doors and roll up your windows. Most thefts from vehicles aren’t because the thief breaks into the car, it is because the thief pulls on door handles till they find one that is unsecured and then grabs whatever they can. Lock your car and roll up your windows!
  • Don’t leave your keys in your car. Take them with you.
  • Park in well-lit areas. If you notice a light out, contact Campus Police or maintenance so they can get it fixed.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. This means bookbags, purses, iPads, phones, money, etc.  Don’t leave them in your car and especially don’t leave them where people can see them.
  • If you see something, say something. You know who belongs on campus and who doesn’t. If you see someone suspicious, give Campus Police a call at 843-661-1109 so your FMU Police Officers can check it out.

What To Do if Stopped by Police Officer

Students often make a difficult situation even worse by responding inappropriately when confronted by a law enforcement officer. We want to help you understand what to do when stopped by the police in an effort to help them reduce potential problems. At some point in your FMU career, you may be stopped and questioned by a police officer, either on campus or off. This could happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The person may have committed a traffic violation
  • The person or the vehicle may fit the description of a crime suspect
  • The person might appear to be in trouble or need some type of assistance
  • The person may have witnessed a crime or may be in an area of risk due to a crime or emergency
  • Another citizen may have made a complaint against you and the officer is trying to determine if the complaint has merit
  • The officer may be stopping you for Campus access control reasons

It is natural for students and others to feel confused, anxious, or even a bit angry if they are confronted by police. Law enforcement officers may be anxious as well, as they never know when a “routine” matter can get out of hand or create a risky situation, particularly after dark. The best advice for students in this situation is to cooperate fully with police. Law enforcement officials suggest the following things for people to try to remember when stopped by police:

  • If driving and you see the overhead red and blue lights and/or hear the siren, stay calm and pull over to the side of the road
  • Remain in the vehicle unless asked to exit by the officer
  • Avoid sudden movements and keep hands visible
  • Encourage any passengers to remain calm and cooperative
  • Avoid being argumentative or confrontational – if you want to fight a ticket, do it in court
  • Be honest in your responses
  • Remember that many departments have one-person patrol cars, so it is not out of the ordinary to have two or more police cars on a site at a time
  • In all cases, if an officer asks you to identify yourself, you are not required by law to do so. However, your cooperation will speed the process of the encounter.

If you are a student, you are required by FMU policy to carry at all times and present your FMU Identification Card to any University Official upon request. University officials include FMU police officers. You can locate the policy in the Student Handbook under FMU (ID) Card Services.

If the officer is investigating a crime or complaint, they may also ask reasonable questions to help them determine whether a crime has occurred or a complaint is valid. We encourage you to do your best to answer the questions the officer poses. Refusal to answer questions may prevent an officer from clearing you of suspicion and unnecessarily prolong the situation.

Ordinarily, a police officer may not detain you for more than a reasonable length of time. There are exceptions however, which would occur under very unusual circumstances such as public disorders, large-scale emergencies or major crimes/incidents.

If an officer asks to take you somewhere else, you may ask if you are being placed under arrest. If you are not under arrest, the officer should explain why he or she feels you need to be moved. You may refuse to go, but this may lead to an arrest or an additional charge based on the specific circumstances. If you are placed under arrest the officer must tell you with what crime you are charged.

If during any encounter with a Police Officer, you feel the officer has acted unprofessionally or treated you rudely, you may file your concern to a supervisor. If this is the case, please stop by the Campus Police office during normal working hours and ask to speak to a Campus Police supervisor.

On the other hand, if you have observed an officer act in an exceptionally professional and admirable manner and you would like that officer to receive public and professional recognition, please contact a Campus Police supervisor in person or by phone. We appreciate all feedback.

If you wish to write us, please do so at:

Francis Marion University Police
PO Box 100547
Florence, SC 29502-0547

Identity Theft Prevention Tips

Identity theft crimes continue to grow each year in the United States and around the globe. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that 29% of identity theft victims are between the ages of 18 and 29. Students and other young adults are prime targets because they are likely to have a clean credit report and are less likely to regularly monitor their credit history. Identity Theft can have a severe impact on a student’s financial future. Victims can spend a significant amount of time trying to recover from the damage to their credit reports and reputations. It can take months or even years to restore their good name. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports it takes an average of 177 hours and up to two years to repair your credit. As a result, students could miss out on job opportunities or be denied loans for mortgages, cars or even education.

Identity theft occurs when an unauthorized individual acquires some of your personal information — your bank and/or credit card numbers, your income, your social security number, or even something as simple as your name, address, and telephone numbers — and uses it to commit fraud or theft. Specifically, the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 makes it a federal crime when someone “knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.”

How can a thief get my information?

Identity thieves may use a variety of methods to secure personal information about another individual, both hi- and low-tech. The Identity Theft Assistance Center offers tips on minimizing the risk of identity theft by keeping a watch for some warning signs.

  • Lost/stolen wallet or checkbook. The most commonly reported source of information used to commit fraud is a lost or stolen wallet, purse or checkbook. These items usually contain credit and debit cards, along with other personal documentation. Using these items, a criminal can get enough information to obtain credit under your name, or sell the information to someone else.
  • Dumpster diving. Criminals rummage through trash cans for pieces of non-shredded personal information that they can use or sell.
  • Mail theft. Crooks search mailboxes for pre-approved credit offers, bank statements, tax forms, or convenience checks. They also look for credit card payment envelopes that have been left for postal carrier pick-up.
  • Inside sources. Half of all identity fraud is committed by friends, family members, relatives, employees and live-in caregivers with access to privileged information. Information like personnel records, payroll information, insurance files, and account numbers can be a great help to crooks.
  • Imposters. Many have fallen victim to identity theft by individuals who fraudulently posed as someone who had a legitimate or legal reason to access the victim’s personal information. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, criminals posing as emergency workers obtained information from victims seeking financial aid.
  • Documents in the home. Identity thieves can gain legitimate access into someone’s home and personal information through household work, babysitting, healthcare, friends or roommates.
  • Online data. In most cases, criminals get access to personal information by methods as outlined above but risks also exist online. Be cautious when sending information electronically over the Web. Account information sent through email, or online chat rooms, can easily be intercepted by thieves.

Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

In order to help you keep control of your good name and reputation Bank of America offers the following important prevention tips:

  • Credit Reports: Get your credit report regularly. You are entitled to a free credit report each year from all three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Go to for more information. Keep an eye out for fraudulent accounts opened in your name. Even a misspelled name or wrong address could be a sign of trouble.
  • Shredders: Shred all papers that have identifiable information such as bank statements, phone bills, medical statements, pre-approved credit offers, etc. using a cross cut shredder. Many thieves get personal information from carelessly discarded papers.
  • Unauthorized Charges: Watch your credit and debit card statements for unauthorized charges. If you see something suspicious notify your financial institution immediately.
  • Secure Information: Keep identifying information such as your social security card, or credit or debit card numbers private and in a secure location. Don’t give out this information on line or over the phone unless you trust the company and you initiated the call. Don’t be pressured into releasing something to take advantage of a “limited time offer.” Remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is not true.
  • Secure Web Sites: Whether shopping, banking or paying bills make sure that the information you share online is secured and will not be shared with anyone else. Before sharing personal information make sure the site is secure by looking for a “s” on the end of “http” in the URL line of your browser. When shopping online use only web sites that offer a privacy policy so you know how your personal information will be handled. Print out a copy of the privacy policy, warranties, price guarantees, and other important information.
  • Signature: Consider writing “See ID” on the back of credit or debit cards so if they are ever stolen, thieves will not be able to use them as easily. At the very least sign all new credit cards immediately with permanent ink. Put your picture on your card if your financial institution offers this service.
  • List of Numbers: Keep a list of all credit/debit card numbers along with the phone numbers to call of the issuing institution to report a lost or stolen card. Avoid writing a PIN number, Social Security Number (SSN) or pass code on any of your credit cards or on anything you plan to throw out.
  • Mail: Check and empty your post office box on a daily basis. Often pre-approved credit offers contain persona information and have “special offer” codes that anyone can use to misrepresent themselves as you when calling the toll-free number. Shred these offers before disposal.
  • Residence Rooms:
    • Always lock your residence room. Don’t leave your doors propped open for easy access.
    • Never leave personal information in writing or on your voicemail
    • Don’t share your keys or access cards with anyone. Report any lost or stolen keys immediately.
  • Computers:
    • Always secure personal information on your computer. The best way to protect information is with an “encrypted” password. Use a mix of numbers, special characters and letters; both upper and lower case. For example T@5*rOSe. Try to memorize your password(s) instead of recording them on paper or computer. Avoid using easily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
    • Secure your laptop with a cable lock or place the unit in a locked closet out of view when not in use.
    • Use firewall and antivirus programs on your computer, especially if your computer is connected to the internet 24 hours per day.
    • Never download or open files sent by people you don’t know.
    • Do not click on hyperlinks or provide personal information to strangers.
    • Keep antivirus programs up to date weekly and apply all recommended updates to your computer operating system at least once per month.

What can I do to manage my ID information?

Manage your personal information cautiously and wisely by taking the following steps:

  • Only carry the identification and cards you need at any given time. Carry only the identification information and the number of credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need. Secure your Social Security card and birth certificate in a safe place at home; do not carry it in your wallet or purse.
  • Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work. Never leave these items in unsecured places.
  • While making a purchase in person, keep your eye on the cashier – never look away while your card is being processed. Never leave your receipts behind after making a purchase. Destroy all carbons.
  • If you have applied for a new credit card and it does not arrive within a reasonable time, contact the issuer.
  • Be sure someone you trust collects your mail in your absence. If you are leaving town for a week or more, ask the post office to hold your mail until you return. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you’re planning to be away from home and can’t pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold.
  • Don’t give out personal or account information to anyone without verifying their identity. Never give personal information to telephone or door-to-door solicitors. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with. Identity thieves may pose as representatives of banks, Internet service providers (ISPs) and even government agencies to get you to reveal your SSN, mother’s maiden name, account numbers and other identifying information.
  • Be aware of “shoulder surfers!” Shield your numbers when using an ATM.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.

Reporting Identity Fraud

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, take the following four steps to start restoring your good name:

  • Fraud Alert: Contact one of the consumer credit reporting agencies, their contact information is listed below. Each company is required to contact the other two. Ask them to place a “Fraud Alert” on your file because you believe you are an ID theft victim. This alert prevents a thief from opening additional accounts using your personal information. Obtain and carefully review your credit reports to make sure there are no fraudulent accounts or balances.

PO Box 740241
Atlanta, Ga. 30374

Experian (Formerly TRW)
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX. 75013

TransUnion Corp
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA. 92834

  • Affected Accounts: Close the accounts from credit card companies, utilities, banks, and other lenders that you know or believe may have been compromised or opened fraudulently. When you call each creditor to close suspect accounts speak with the security or fraud department. Open new accounts using new personal identification numbers and passwords.
  • Police Report: File a report with campus police if the fraud happened on campus or with the local police or sheriff’s department in the community where the ID theft took place. Get a copy of the report for your records in case your creditors ask for proof of the crime.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Complaint: The last step is to file a complaint with the FTC by phone or through the mail:
    • Call the Identity Theft Hotline: 1-877-IDTHEFT
    • Write to: The Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580

Additional Web Resources for Students

Fighting Back Against Identity Theft, Federal Trade Commission

U.S. Department of Education

ATM Security & Credit Card Protection

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of anyone who does not appear to be there for banking purposes.
  • When you enter your PIN, position yourself so that people around you cannot see the keypad.
  • After completing your transaction, use discretion when counting money.
  • When using the machines in a low traffic area or late at night, try to bring a companion with you.
  • Don’t give out your PIN to anyone. Even if it’s someone stating they are from your bank and need to verify your PIN, do not give it to them.
  • Don’t lend your card to anyone, not even your roommate.
  • Report lost or stolen cards to your bank and to the police.
  • Don’t leave credit cards or personal checks unattended.
  • When writing a check, never let the sales person write down a credit card number.
  • Destroy all carbon copies from a credit card purchase. Shred the receipt to preclude someone getting the information.
  • Shred or tear up unused applications, especially those received in the mail stating you have been pre-approved.
  • If you receive a letter stating that you have received a credit card in the mail and you have not received it, notify the company immediately.

Internet Safety Tips

General Safety Tips

  • Be careful about giving out personal information on the internet, in chat rooms, public postings, e-mail, etc.
  • Do not give out credit card numbers on un-secure sites. NEVER use credit cards for ID or age verification.
  • Do not post personal profiles in public messaging systems.
  • Use caution when someone you meet online wants to meet you. Until you are certain of an online acquaintance, restrict contact to e-mail, chat rooms, or public postings.
  • Never pay money to get money. These are usually scams.
  • Do your online shopping from a reputable business.

E-mail Safety

  • Change your password often. Utilize passwords that incorporate both numbers and letters.
  • Do not share your password. Don’t write it down and leave it lying around next to your computer.
  • Never open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Invest in good anti-virus protection software and use the latest version of your browser to ensure you have the latest security features.
  • Do not reply to unsolicited (spam), harassing or offensive e-mail. You should save the offensive material and forward a copy to your e-mail provider or the customer service department of the offensive e-mail.

Be wary of the following scams and others:

  • Business Opportunities: (get rich quick schemes, work at home schemes, pyramid schemes, chain letters, sending bulk e-mail, etc.) – these offers make it sound like it is easy to earn a lot of money without much effort, and of course, a “small” investment. If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.
  • Health and Diet: – miracle cures, herbal formulas for weight loss, scientific breakthroughs related to burning fat, secret formulas, etc.
  • Investment Opportunities: – promises of high returns and no risks, promises of being privy to inside information, Ponzi Schemes (like a pyramid scheme in which early investors are paid with money from later investors, but as you invest more you will lose your money).
  • Loans and Credit-loans regardless of credit history, easy term scams, credit repair scams, etc.

Fire Safety

Upon discovering a fire, explosion, or smoke in a building, activate the fire alarm system. Find a red pull station located on a wall and pull down on the lever. After sounding the alarm, call the Campus Police Department at 843-661-1109. Tell the officer who you are, what you have and where the problem is.

If you are trained to do so, after sounding the alarm you may attempt to contain a small fire by using available fire extinguishers. If the fire is beyond your control, or involves potentially explosive materials, evacuate the building.

When a fire alarm sounds, complete evacuation is required. Close doors and windows as you leave. Walk, do not run, to the nearest stairway exit and proceed to ground level. Do not use the elevator. Leave the building and move away from it. Leave sidewalks and drives open for arriving fire and police personnel. Notify police or firefighters on the scene if you suspect someone may be trapped inside the building.

The alarm may not sound continuously. If the alarm stops, continue the evacuation and warn others who may attempt to enter the building after the alarm stops. Do not return to the building until directed to do so by the Campus Police Department.

Planning ahead can save your life. Here are some things that you should know about your apartment or residence hall:

  • Know the layout of your floor.
  • Know the location of pull stations on your floor.
  • Know the location of stair exits.
  • Know the number of doors between your room and the exit stairs. You may need to find the stairs in the dark.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers near your room and on your floor.
  • Know where the alternative exits are in the event one is blocked.

Before the fire, Things To Do…

  • Keep a flashlight ready and in a handy place.
  • Report fire hazards to your RA.
  • Keep your hallway clean and free of trash, furniture, etc. Make sure these items are stored properly and collected regularly.
  • Be careful not to overload electrical circuits and use approved electrical extension cords. Short circuits are the cause of many fires.
  • Cook with care. Double check the stove to make sure it is turned off before you leave the area. DO NOT LEAVE FOOD UNATTENDED WHILE COOKING.
  • Never smoke in bed, and make sure there are no smoldering butts when you empty ashtrays.
  • Make sure you exit from your room during a fire drill…to a designated area.

If There Is A Fire…

  • Stay calm and don’t panic!
  • Check your door before exiting your room. Feel the doorknob. If it is hot, do not open the door. Seal the cracks under the door with sheets or towels. If there is smoke in the room, crack the windows at the bottom and at the top, if possible for ventilation. Call Campus Police at 1109.
  • If the doorknob is not hot, brace yourself against the door and crack it open. If there is heat or heavy smoke, close the door and stay in your room. Call Campus Police at 1109.
  • Activate the fire alarm or call Campus Police at 1109.
  • Exit the building and shut all door and windows as you leave.
  • Alert others by knocking on doors.
  • Exit by using the nearest stairwell. Do not use the elevator and do not run.
  • If your hall is filled with smoke, stay low while exiting.
  • If the fire is small, use the fire extinguisher to put it out. If you are unsure that you can put it out with the extinguisher, evacuate.
  • If you can exit, be sure to wear shoes and a coat as appropriate.

General Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities…

In all emergencies, after an evacuation has been ordered, the following applies:

  • Check on people with special needs during an evacuation. A “buddy system,” where people with disabilities arrange for volunteers (neighbors/classmates) to alert them and assist them in an emergency, is a good method.
  • Always ASK someone with a disability how you can help BEFORE attempting any rescue technique or giving assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • Evacuate or assist people with disabilities to get to the nearest stairwell if possible.
  • DO NOT use elevators, unless directed to do so by police or fire personnel. If the evacuation has been ordered due to a fire, elevators could fail during a fire. Police or fire personnel will know if the elevators can be used.
  • If the situation is life threatening, call 1109 or 911 from any campus telephone.
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation ONLY if you have had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance.

Aiding Persons with Specific Disabilities during Emergency Situations…

  • Blindness or Visual Impairment
    • Give verbal instructions to advise about safest route or direction using compass directions, estimated distances, and directional landmarks.
    • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person’s arm. Ask if he or she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.
    • Give other verbal instructions or information (i.e., move to the stairwell, elevators cannot be used, etc.).
  • Deafness or Hearing Loss
    • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.
    • Offer visual instructions to advise of safest route or direction by pointing toward stairwell exits or evacuation maps.
  • Mobility Impairment
    • It may be necessary to help clear the exit route of debris (if possible) so that the person with a disability can exit to a safer area.
    • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should move to a safer area such as the nearest stairwell. If that is not possible, they should move to an office or other room with the door shut which is a good distance from the hazard.
    • Notify police or fire personnel immediately about any people remaining in the building and their locations.
    • Police or fire personnel will decide whether people are safe where they are, and will evacuate them as necessary. They may determine that it is safe to override the general rule against using elevators.

General Safety Tips

Personal safety and property security are everyone’s responsibility at FMU. The FMU Campus Police Department urges all members of the University community to participate in making our campus as safe as possible. If you develop good security habits, you can assist us in safeguarding your property and University property.

Although the Francis Marion University campus is relatively crime free, and University Police officers patrol the area frequently, it is still vulnerable to some criminal activity. The most likely crime sites are the student housing complex, campus buildings, and the campus parking  lots.

If a crime is going to occur, the offender must have three things to accomplish the task: desire, ability, and opportunity.

There is not very much you can do about the offender’s desire and ability. However, you can take steps to control the offender’s opportunity.

The following are some general safety measures that could prevent you from becoming a crime victim. If you observe unusual, suspicious or criminal behavior, call FMU Police immediately at 843-661-1109. We encourage Campus Community members to program our phone number into your phone so it will be readily available if you have any questions or if you see something to report.

Personal Safety Suggestions

  • You should never walk alone! Walk in groups to class and to and from parking lots. However, if you must walk alone, have a plan and choose open well lighted and well traveled areas. Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. Consider using the Campus Escort Service. Call 661-1109 for an escort to your destination.
  • When walking, you should walk facing traffic. Be cautious of drivers that stop to talk to you. Never get into a stranger’s vehicle. Never hitchhike.
  • BE AWARE of your surroundings! Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what offenders look for in a victim.
  • Always tell someone where you’ll be and what time you expect to return.
  • Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging.
  • Do not read while walking or standing on the street.
  • Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in. Capes, scarves and long necklaces are easy to grab. Consider modifying your clothing.
  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • If you are being followed: cross the street, change directions, keep looking back so the person knows you can’t be surprised. Enter a residence hall, library, etc. Go to a well-lighted populated area and ask for help. Notice as many physical details as possible, so you can describe the person to the police.
  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS: If something “feels wrong,” something probably is wrong.
  • If you feel you are in danger, attract attention anyway you can. Don’t be reluctant to scream and run. Don’t be afraid to loudly call attention to what the assailant is doing (“Help!”, “Get your hands off me!”,  “This man is bothering me!”, etc. ).
  • Never work alone in an office or classroom on campus at night. Use the buddy system. If you are alone in an office or classroom keep the door locked, always ask who is knocking before opening the door and never prop open locked exterior building doors. Let Campus Police know where you are and when you intend to leave.
  • Always report an incident or suspicious persons to University Police at 843-661-1109.

In Your Room or Apartment

  • Always lock your door when you leave the room, even if you will be gone only for a minute or just “going down the hall for a moment.” It takes about eight seconds for someone to walk into an open room and remove an item.
  • Lock doors and windows when you are alone or sleeping.
  • Do not prop open doors to your building; this potentially puts everyone at risk.
  • Keep emergency numbers near your phone.
  • Do not leave messages on your door, or voice mail, etc., indicating you are away or when you will return.
  • Report suspicious persons on your hall to your RA or Campus Police. Never let a stranger into your room.
  • Be cautious of telephone surveys and NEVER give out any personal information to persons who call you. Never give your phone number to a stranger.
  • Never leave purses, wallets, jewelry and other valuables unattended in laundry rooms, kitchen areas or around a swimming pool.
  • Make a list of your valuables with a description and serial numbers and keep it on file in your room. Write your name on or in textbooks to reduce theft. Consider enrolling your property in Operation ID. Contact Campus Police at 843-661-1109 for more information.
  • Keep ATM cards, credit cards, etc., in a safe place. Do not leave them lying out in the open. Never leave them on a dresser near your door. It takes less than 10 seconds to look into your open room and steal items from a dresser near the door.
  • If someone is prowling outside your residence or loitering in the vicinity of your building or room, turn on several lights, call Campus Police (1109 or 911) and Residence Life staff.
  • Never light candles or use open flames in your room. This is prohibited by Housing Policy and has been linked to campus fires on a number of occasions.
  • Do not enter your home or apartment if you find a door or window open, or if it has been burglarized.

In Your Vehicle

  • Always keep your car doors locked, especially at traffic signals.
  • Always close all windows, especially the vent window, lock them and activate the anti-theft device when you leave your car.
  • Control your keys. Keep your car keys and house keys on separate rings. Never have an identification tag such as a miniature license plate or nameplate on your key ring. Never hide an extra key in or on the car, criminals know where to look for extra keys.
  • Never pull up to the bumper of the car in front of you in traffic. Leave yourself room to drive off if confronted by someone while stopped.
  • Keep your purse, tapes, valuables, etc. out of sight when your vehicle is parked. Always lock your vehicle so entry to the trunk cannot be made from the inside. Secure all valuables in the trunk of your car or remove them. Leaving expensive items in full view invites theft.
  • Never leave the title or registration in the car. Thieves can use these important documents to sell the car or impersonate you if challenged by the police.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers. If someone approaches your vehicle and attempts to enter it, blow the horn and/or drive away.
  • Stay alert while approaching your car in a parking lot. Be aware of your surroundings and have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle. Look in your vehicle before you get in.
  • At night, park in a well-lighted area and in lots more frequently used by others.
  • If you are confronted with an armed assailant, the decision to comply or resist is a personal decision based on the circumstances. Remember that any property you possess is not as valuable as your life.
  • Report all suspicious persons or activity to the Campus Police immediately at 843-661-1109.

Off Campus

Any monitoring of crime off campus is done by the agency of jurisdiction where the crime took place; however, we work closely with other local police agencies and offer any assistance available.

Francis Marion University's Emergency Plan

Information contained in this document ranges from general guidelines for dealing with potential emergency situations to specific information on what to do for a variety of specific situations. The information is provided in an effort to better prepare all community members in the event of a natural or man-made emergency or disaster.