“Citizens Are Encouraged to Remain Alert and Be Aware”
The Champaign Police Department is continuing to investigate the recent Aggravated Batteries and Assaults that have occurred on campus and sporadically throughout the City of Champaign over the past several months. “The Police Department has taken a proactive approach to suppress the violent crimes in the community,” says R.T. Finney, Chief of Police. “In light of the recent attacks, the Champaign Police Department has identified specific areas of concern and have directed the enforcement activities to those areas,” he added.
Compared to this time last year, the Department has seen an increase in reported Aggravated Batteries by 10.1%, Robberies 73.9% and Armed Robberies are up by 27.3%. However, the total number of violent crimes is down by .08%.
“The City is taking these attacks very seriously,” says Champaign’s Mayor Jerry Schweighart. “We want all of our citizens to feel safe in our community and encourage them to remain alert and be aware of things that are happening in their neighborhoods,” he added.
The Department’s Community Action Team (CAT) was deployed approximately two months ago when attacks became more prevalent on campus. Since deployment, officers have been instrumental in identifying crime suspects and thwarting other crimes in progress. Champaign Police Officers will continue to provide extra patrol near parks, and other identified areas of Champaign.
The Department will continue to work closely with the University of Illinois Police Department in investigating the crimes and developing effective crime prevention strategies for our residents and visitors.
Police are asking for assistance from the community. Information can reported to the Champaign Police Department by calling (217) 351-4545 or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-TIPS. Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going to: www.373tips.com or by text tip: Tip397 plus the information to CRIMES (274637).
Citizens are reminded to:
- Be alert when out and about.
- Find a friend to walk with you and plan the safest route to your destination and use it. Choose well-lighted busy streets and avoid passing vacant lots, alleys or construction sites.
- If you must be out after dark call Campus Police/Safe Walk at 217-333-1216 for an escort or MTD Safe Rides 217-265-RIDE (7433).
- If you have a cellular phone, always carry it with you, and be ready to dial 911, if you have an emergency.
- Avoid jogging and biking at night; don’t wear headphones. It’s safer to be alert.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash or credit cards you won’t use.
- Whether you’re a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near an entrance.
- If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
- If you are verbally or physically harassed, attract attention by talking loudly or screaming.
- Be alert to who gets off the bus with you. If you feel uncomfortable, walk directly to a place where there are other people.
If you become a victim, remember to:
- Remain calm, try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
- If the attacker is only after your purse or other valuables do not resist. You do not want to escalate a property crime into a violent confrontation
- Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of your attacker: age, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
- Call the police immediately, identifying yourself and your location.
-National Crime Prevention Council