Campus, city police offer advice for spring break safety

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Spring break is right around the corner and some students are hitting the road for the first time with friends instead of family.

Alice Ickes, crime prevention officer with Kent State police, said students could keep some safety tips in mind for spring break travel.

She said it’s a good idea for students to share as much information as possible with people they are traveling with and their families.

Car emergency kit:

• flashlight

• “Call Police” sign

• tire gauge

• work gloves

• first-aid kit

• Auto Club card

• maps

• hand cleaner

• insulated blanket

• rock salt / chemical de-icer

• spare tire and jack

• battery cables

Source: Kent State Police Department

Ickes recommended picking up a real map, instead of just the standard Google or Mapquest directions.

“If you get off your map, you have no reference,” she said.

Ickes said students should get a reputable mechanic to do a “vacation check” before every road trip.

Angelia Niederhelman, a graduate student in pure mathematics, said she always brings jumper cables and a jack, but only gets the car checked if it needs an oil change.

Derick Marken, freshman justice studies major, said his wallet was stolen when he was robbed at gunpoint in Seattle.

“I was walking back to a hotel room from a bar, and I was alone,” he said.

Marken said students should always travel with friends.

“Think about what you would do if your wallet were lost or stolen,” Ickes said. “Make a copy of your credit card and driver’s license – front and back.”

Senior conservation major Justin Smith said he’s notorious for losing his wallet, so he doesn’t keep all his money there.

For spring break, he’s going to visit Arizona. Smith said he keeps at least $50 in his pocket when he travels, in case he loses his wallet.

“One of the big things is to pack smart,” Ickes said. “Make your luggage manageable. Don’t take everything in your purse or wallet. Only a credit card or two and your ID.

“Don’t just let strangers into your hotel rooms. Be sure doors and windows are locked,” Ickes said.

Lt. Jayme Cole of Kent Police Department said the easiest thing for students who live off campus to do when leaving their homes for spring break is to make sure their houses are completely secure by locking all the doors and windows.

He suggested letting neighbors know about out-of-town trips. Cole said not to leave valuables such as laptops sitting in plain view.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].