UVM police prepare for return of students

As students flood back into Burlington for a new school year, UVM police are making efforts to prevent student-related crime. This year UVM police are partnering with city officials to deliver welcome bags to off-campus students that contain messages on how to be respectful neighbors and community members. Jenny Davis, a community development specialist in Burlington, told the Burlington Free Press that the goal of these welcome bags is to reduce noise and trash problems among off-campus students. Besides noise and trash, Officer Sue Roberts said that theft is a big problem that the UVM police confront each semester. “Theft prevention is one of our top priorities,” Roberts said. “Students need to be careful by locking their doors when they leave and keeping cash and other valuables hidden.” She said that bike theft is especially prevalent at the beginning of each semester because bikes are randomly thrown on racks and not locked properly in the rush of getting settled on campus. “I use my bike all the time,” sophomore Eden Pirog said.  “It would be a real pain [to have it stolen] especially since I live off-campus.” Roberts suggests that students write down their bike’s serial number, located on the bottom bar near the pedals when the bike is flipped upside-down. “If a student’s bike is ever stolen, the serial number is very helpful for the police during an investigation,” she said.  “We even send a hot sheet to local bike stores in Burlington so that owners are aware of the serial numbers of stolen bikes in case the thief attempts a trade-in.” While students take precautions to avoid theft and stay safe this semester, Roberts welcomes them to say hello to UVM police officers around campus. “We aren’t here just to be the bad guy,” she said. “We care about student safety and are here to help.”