As the new Chief of Police for the George Mason University Police Department, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you how excited I am to be involved with this great institution. With just over four months on the job, I continue to be impressed with the diverse and academically talented faculty, staff and student body that we have here in our community. Moreover, I feel honored to be involved in ensuring the public safety of this institution, its community and its visitors.
The women and men of the George Mason University Police Department make it their mission to ensure the safety and security of the community so that mission of the university is realized. Our department does so through many different facets. Whether it is through law enforcement services, security services, or overall security and access technology, it is my expectation that we are community-oriented and service-driven in protecting and providing for the Mason Nation.
Having worked with several different campus public safety agencies over my career that includes both urban and suburban environments, the one constant among those agencies is the goal of reducing crime and improving the safety of those campuses. That is no different for the George Mason University Police Department. One of the department’s consistent goals is to continue to find proactive ways of reducing crime. Fortunately, Mason is a relatively safe environment and the majority of what our agency addresses are crimes of opportunity, more specifically, property crime. However, crimes do occur and it is for this reason that I would like to remind our community of several ways we can work together to reduce and prevent some of these situations.
As with most college campuses, theft of portable electronics remains a steady problem. Most of these crimes occur due to the opportunity presented when community members leave their property unattended whether in a library, academic building, or coffee shop. Thanks to modern technology, law enforcement officials and community members have the tools to prevent these types of crimes, and at times have items returned to their rightful owner. Some electronic devices have built-in GPS tracking capabilities and have downloadable applications to help track personal property. I would urge you to encourage your student to read about the capabilities of their devices and find out what features exist with the intention of deterring crime. For example, Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, has a new feature called Activation Lock. This innovated technology is intended to deter theft. Click here to read more about the Activation Lock feature.
Regardless of the situation, I would remind you to encourage your student to trust their instincts and contact us immediately if they observe any suspicious behavior or need to report a crime. Our community is an integral part in helping our department reduce and prevent crime. Individuals can contact the George Mason Police Department directly at (703) 993-2810 and/or visit our website for a full list of services provided to the Mason community.
Eric M. Heath
Chief of Police
George Mason University Police Department