You’ve been studying late in the library and are ready to walk back to your room, but you see someone suspicious hanging out near the exit.
You witness a crime on campus and want to alert police without tipping off the culprit.
A stranger is lingering in the parking garage making you feel uncomfortable about walking to your car.
Now, members of the Duke community have a new means of contacting and communicating with Duke Police during such scenarios – text messaging.
Individuals can now send text messages to Duke Police using the “Emergency” icon on the Duke Mobile app, which is available for free through the Apple
app stores. All text messages are monitored 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week through a web interface in the police department’s dispatch center.
Those without a smart phone can also text Duke Police directly by texting 67283 and using the keyword “HelpMe” as the first word in the body of the message.
“Texting has become one of the most popular modes of communication, especially among students,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for Administration. “By adding this option for our community, we are better able to bring the resources of Duke Police closer to our students, faculty, staff and visitors when and where they need them.”
Duke’s Chief of Police John Dailey said that the tool is especially useful for reporting suspicious behavior or crime tips when it may not be convenient or safe to talk on the phone.
“We talk often about safety at Duke being a shared responsibility,” Dailey said. “Police and security personnel cannot be all places at all times. Text messaging creates another means by which we can extend our safety coverage through the eyes and ears of the community who can confidentially text information to us through their mobile phone and reach out for help when needed.”
Dailey emphasized that the new texting tool is not intended to replace 911. “In the event of an emergency, individuals should still dial 911 for the fastest and most effective police response,” he said.
Duke Police can also be reached by phone at 919-684-2444 or by activating any of the blue-light “Help” phones located throughout campus.
For details on how to use the new texting feature in the Duke Mobile app, download the flier