Keeping Safe: An Interview with JMU’s Officer Conley

Madison 101 Multimedia Director Stephany Holguin talked to Officer Conley to discuss some of the questions concerning student safety on campus.

What type of advice would you give freshmen about going out to parties late at night?

Conley: First, I would advise all freshmen that consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is against the law in Virginia. Second, I would tell them to go out with people they trust and know. Third, I would advise them to stay with people they go with and don’t get separated. Fourth, if they are going to consume alcohol, don’t consume it in excess. Fifth, use the buddy system, do not party where you don’t know anyone.

How safe would you say campus is throughout the day and night?

Conley: Our campus is very safe; we have lots of things in place for student safety that you don’t have off-campus. Hall staff, JMU police cadets, emergency phones and escorts are available. While the percentage of crime is small, keep in mind this is not Mayberry. It’s a city and, unfortunately, we have crime here.

If an assault or safety issue occurs, how could a student protect themselves?

Conley: If an incident were to happen on campus, students should immediately use emergency phones, cell phones and call 911 or 6911. These numbers should be in every student’s speed dial. The sooner the police are notified, the sooner we can respond and have a better chance of catching the subject in the area.

What kind of general tips would you offer students?

Conley: Travel with friends late at night; the more people in a group, the less chance that they will be targeted and become victims. Take a university self-defense class. If you have to travel alone, take a cab, bus, use the Safe Rides program, or use the JMU police cadets for escorts. Be aware of your surroundings. Take headphones out, look ahead of where you are going for potential dangers. Use your eyes and ears to be aware of your surroundings.


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