Crime Prevention

The New York State University Police Department is committed to investigating all reports of alleged crimes within the campus community.

We examine each alleged crime to determine if they should be additionally classified as hate or as bias crimes. Hate crimes are those crimes which are motivated by a bias against a particular individual or group based on perceived or actual personal characteristics such as ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Please feel free to navigate this web-site for crime prevention and safety tips.

Tips for SAFETY:

  • Attend a New York State University Police Department personal safety workshop for incoming Freshmen.
  • Report any suspicious persons or activity to the New York State University Police by calling directly (914) 251-6900.
  • Report any suspicious persons or activity by using one of the many Emergency Blue Light Phones.
  • Keep your room and suite doors locked at all times.
  • Prevents unwanted visitors.
  • Prevents theft of property.
  • Do not place coins in door latches: this prevents the door from locking.
  • Walk in groups of two or more and walk / jog in well-lit areas.
  • Lock your vehicles: avoid leaving items such as cell phones and laptops in plain view and consider bringing such items with you or placing them in the trunk.
  • Don’t leave purses / wallets / backpacks and laptops unattended.
  • Secure bicycles to bicycle racks throughout campus, using a bike chain / lock.
  • Utilize R.A.V.E. or a walking escort provided by fellow students or the New York State University Police.
  • Keep car keys ready while walking to your car at night.
  • Permanently mark your property
  • Read about the Operation Identification Program, which permanently engraves your property.
  • Avoid touching or interfering with wildlife
  • Read more about wildlife and rabies.
  • Avoid drinking and driving: have a designated driver or take a cab.
 Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission is the main resource for preventing identity theft. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information (social security number, credit card information, bank accounts) without your permission.
This in information is then used to commit fraud and a multitude of other crimes. For more information, pick up “A Guide to Identity Theft” available at the New York State University Police Department or go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website at:

To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

  • Shred documents with your name and address, account numbers, et cetera, that you no longer need.
  • Use secure web-sites when ordering online.
  • Keep your credit card and bank account information away from others.
  • Don’t fall for online scams or phone calls that ask for personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and account numbers. If you’re not sure of the company, don’t provide your information. Most banks and legitimate organizations don’t ask for that information over the telephone.
Traffic Stops 

Every year, thousands of officers are injured or killed while conducting traffic stops or traffic related duties.
No traffic stop is “routine.” Officers, no matter where their area of employment, come across things such as suspended or revoked drivers’ licenses, drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, illegal firearms or drugs, individuals with arrest warrants, and more.

These are just some of the reasons why officers are trained to place a great deal of emphasis on their safety while ensuring the safety of the vehicle’s operator, passengers and the immediate public. Initially, officers often appear to have a defensive posture and they will maintain this posture as they assess the threat level and the risk of injury is determined.

If you are stopped by any Police Officer, here are some helpful tips that you as a driver or passenger can follow to reduce the risk of danger to the Officer:

  • When you are being asked to stop, find the nearest place to safely position your vehicle.
  • Use your turn signal and pull to the right and out of the traffic lane whenever possible, unless directed otherwise.
  • After you have stopped, remain in your vehicle, keep the seatbelt fastened and exit the vehicle only if instructed to do so (Officers have the right to request that you exit the vehicle).
  • Roll down your window and keep all other movement (driver and passengers) to a minimum. Do not duck down, make sudden movements or reach into the glove box. Keep your hands in view.
  • Please discontinue using your cell phone so that the Officer may speak with you.
  • Understand that at times officers may speak loudly as they must speak over traffic. They are not yelling at you.
  • If it is nighttime, you may consider turning on the interior lights so that the officer may see you.
  • Always carry a valid driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle registration. Most Officers will ask you for these documents prior to explaining the violation.
  • Other Police Officers often stop to see if the initial officer requires any assistance. This is not a sign that you have done something which requires additional units—so do not be alarmed!
  • Do not argue with the Officer on the side of the road. Discuss it later with the law enforcement agency or in court. 
  • Drivers beware! Pedestrians often enter crosswalks unexpectedly or enter the roadway while walking along its edge. Watch out for bicyclists; they often ride two abreast or may enter the lane while attempting to ride along the edge of the road.
  • Stay off your cell phones; talking or texting contributes to a high percentage of often fatal motor vehicle accidents as well as collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Refrain from programming a Global Positioning Device while driving.

Pedestrians / Joggers

  • Always walk against traffic; there may be occasions when it is safer to walk with traffic (i.e. bad curves; better lit areas). Use caution when walking with traffic.
  • If you walk or run at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight so that drivers may see you.
  • Consider NOT using your cell phone; even though you are walking, it is still a source of distraction and may lead to walking into a vehicle’s land of travel.
  • Always be mindful of traffic; drivers cannot always see you.


  • You are obligated to follow the same “rules of the roads” as drivers; this means stopping at stop signs, and riding with traffic.
  • Do not ride two or more abreast; you must remain as close to the right edge of the road as possible or, if available, on the shoulder.
  • Do NOT use your cell phone while on a bike.
  • Consider wearing a helmet.
 Security Cameras
 Following several tragedies at college and university campuses, Purchase College has authorized the use of security cameras as part of its crime prevention strategy.
These cameras are meant to promote public safety and to protect personal and college property. Please note that information obtained from the cameras shall be used exclusively for law and / or policy enforcement. Cameras are not placed in areas where there is reasonable expectation of privacy. Because Purchase College respects the privacy of the entire college community and the students’ need to feel safe and secure, a Security Camera Policy is in place. Please consult the College’s web-site for more information.
 Sexual Assault Prevention

SUNY strictly prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
You have the right to make a report to the University Police or Campus Security, local law enforcement, and/or State Police or choose not to report; to report the incident to your institution; to be protected by the institution from retaliation for reporting an incident; and to receive assistance and resources from your institution.

Please visit the office of Sexual Violence Prevention & Response page for more details.

Wildlife & Your Safety

The SUNY Purchase campus is home to a diverse group of wildlife including but not limited to deer, rabbits, song birds, birds of prey, fox, skunks, raccoons and even the occasional coyote.
We ask that you respect and protect wildlife by showing them no harm and by refraining from feeding them. NEVER approach or attempt to pet wildlife. It is important for wildlife to remain “wild.” Please make sure your garbage is placed in trash bags and then in the dumpsters or trash cans. Wildlife in general are opportunistic feeders and will look for food in any place that someone leaves it!


  • NEVER approach a wild animal.
  • Just because an animal is cute does not mean it is nice and wants you to touch it, especially baby or juvenile wild animals.
  • Animals we know to be normally active at night are now often seen during the day.
  • Animals seen in the daytime are not automatically “sick.”
  • Animals may be out during the day for several reasons, some of which include:
    -Looking for food; they are opportunistic feeders.
    -During Spring / early Sumer, animals will come out when looking for food for their young.
    -Animals are habituated to the environment and the people around them.
    -They are simply going from one place to another.

Q: How do I know when an animal is sick?
A: Animals that are out during the day AND are acting abnormally (i.e. staggering, falling over, biting at the air, having a seizure, circling, you notice flies hovering above the animal, or generally “looking ill”) MAY need to be captured and humanely euthanized. Call University Police so that they can determine if an animal needs immediate attention.

Q: What do I do if I’ve been bitten by a wild animal?
A: If you come in contact with or are bitten by a wild animal, immediately wash the area with warm water and soap. Contact the University Police so that the animal may be captured and seek immediate medical attention via your private physician or if necessary, the emergency hospital. You should also contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000.

Q: How do I know if an animal has Rabies?
A: There are other viruses that mimic Rabies in animals. The only definitive way to know if an animal has Rabies is to have it tested. Unfortunately, the only way to test an animal is to test the brain after the animal has been humanely euthanized. Although Rabies can cause an animal to act aggressively (“furious or aggressive form”), it may also cause a wild animal to behave in a tame or overly friendly manner (“dumb form”). An adult wild animal who comes up to you is probably ill while a baby animal may simply be confused or not yet afraid of people. In any case, DO NOT HANDLE the animal and resist any urge to pet it. Contact University Police so that they can assess the animal.

Q: Why would an animal act aggressively? Does that mean it is sick?
A: An aggressive animal is automatically acting that way as a result of being sick. Many things cause an animal to behave aggressively:

  • It is defending its young.
  • It is defending its territory.
  • It just secured a food item and is protecting its meal.
  • You startled the animal.
  • You have missed the subtle signs the animal displayed in an effort to keep you away and it now feels threatened.

Since you can’t know the normal behavior for each wild animal, it is best to LEAVE IT ALONE. For more information on Rabies: The Westchester County Department of Health and the The Center for Disease Control

Q: Will a sick animal be tested for rabies?
A: A sick animal will NOT be tested for Rabies unless it has come into contact with or has bitten someone.

Q: What if there is a bat in my room?
A: Any bat found inside a residence MUST be tested. Call New York State University Police so that they may contact a Nuisance Control agent to remove the bat.


What is harassment? Harassment is any unwanted forms of communication, actions or patterns of behaviors that are annoying, alarming or threatening to you as an individual. Harassment is a crime.
What is online harassment? Online harassment is also a crime; it is a course of conduct directed at a person which cause emotional distress and which serves no legitimate purpose.

Harassment may include:

  • Unwanted or unsolicited e-mail.
  • Disturbing messages on online bulletin boards.
  • Unwanted or unsolicited instant messaging.
  • Unsolicited comments about you in chat rooms or via online methods to others.
  • If you feel you are the victim of harassment or on-line harassment:
  • You must FIRST advise the person who is harassing you to STOP. They must be specifically told to stop approaching you or contacting you in any form. Note the date and time that you did this.
  • If you have a social media account contact the site and advise them of the situation.
  • File a police report, print copies of unwanted text messages, e-mails, et cetera are helpful for the police to include with the report.
  • Log all communications or threats you have received or behaviors / actions by the individual doing the harassing to which you have been subjected.