Duke Police present to parents

August 27, 2010 By Bryan Roth, Office of Communication Services

While Barbara Reinsvold’s son took in Duke’s orientation activities this week, she made sure to get a Duke orientation too. The Joplin, Miss. native was one of about 100 parents who came to hear Duke Police Chief John Dailey talk about campus safety on Aug. 25.

Reinsvold, who has three other children in college, said she was happy to hear about text messages sent through the DukeALERT system in case of emergencies, something she wasn’t sure if her other children had available at their colleges. She added she liked hearing about Duke’s commitment to working with Durham Police to create a safer atmosphere on and around campus.

Dailey “I made sure to talk with my son about being careful while off campus because it’s important to present a positive, polite image of Duke,” she said.

That idea of safety as a shared responsibility is exactly what Duke encourages, Dailey said. During his talk with parents, he offered tips on how students can protect bikes, laptops and cell phones from “crimes of opportunity” by simply locking items away or not leaving them out in the open. Duke also offers free engraving of property to identify items that go missing.

Dailey also spoke about getting around in Durham, where there are plenty of free and safe options like the Bull City Connector, Duke buses and Duke van service. He encouraged parents to talk with their children about making smart decisions about alcohol.

“Duke and the city offer lots of opportunities for students to get where they want to go without drunk driving being involved,” Dailey said. “But there’s also no need for people to think they need to walk around alone late at night.”

During his presentation to parents, Dailey encouraged the same behavior that Reinsvold took with her son – talk openly to to students about safety and expectations. In addition to DukeALERT, the university also offers many resources to complement work by Duke Police, such as free counseling.

Dailey encouraged parents to let students know it's important to report any concerning behaviors, such as threats or relationship violence.

“Having a good time is part of the college experience,” he said. “We need the help of parents and students to make sure they do have a good, safe experience.”