The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Pro Who Knows-Sgt. Tony A. Woolum

Sgt. Tony A. Woolum of the NE Campus TCC Police Department.
Sgt. Tony A. Woolum of the NE Campus TCC Police Department.
Sgt. Tony A. Woolum of the NE Campus TCC Police Department.
Sgt. Tony A. Woolum of the NE Campus TCC Police Department.

Sgt. Tony A. Woolum of the NE Campus TCC Police Department offers advice on staying safe on a TCC campus.

Q. Is it safe to walk to your car alone at night on TCC campuses?
Yes, but like anywhere, there is still a risk. You want to be cautious always. When you leave the building, have your key in hand, know what parking lot you’re in and know our (TCC’s) emergency number. It’s really simple: 817-515-8911. If you know you will be leaving late, try and park near a source of light, and just be extra careful.

Q. If you see anything suspicious, what steps should be taken?
Turn around and go back inside the building. Call us and report it. We will come out to investigate. Don’t second-guess us. Don’t say, “Well, the police won’t think it’s suspicious.” Anything you deem suspicious, we will be more than happy to go investigate.

Q. What kind of action should be taken to ensure your vehicle is safe while unattended?
Take your keys, always lock your car and never hide a spare key on your car. If you have an expensive radio or something, conceal it. The same goes for any valuable. Keep anything worth money out of sight. If you make modifications to your car that include expensive brand name equipment like “Flowmaster” or something, don’t put a sticker on your back windshield. That’s just a target sticker for thieves. Other than that, just make sure you have a working car alarm and steering wheel locks are effective as well.

Q. What shouldn’t you do when walking out to your car?
Don’t be on your cell phone when you leave the building. Talking diverts your attention, and then you have a loss of hearing in one ear and generally you’re talking with your face down and not looking around. It’s been determined that talking on the cell phone impairs you to the same degree as being legally drunk. So we don’t want people doing that. But if you want your phone in your hand with our number on speed dial and keys in the other hand, hey, that’s great. 

Q. What are some things to look for when walking out to your car?
Watch for somebody hanging around your car or messing with another car. We do have vehicle break-ins, not often, but it does happen. Just look for people lurking around. They may be looking for their car or they may be looking for a victim. If you see a vehicle driving up and down the lanes and obviously passing up parking spaces, get a vehicle description and license plate and call us right away.

Q. What should you do if you’re already in an emergency situation?
People need to think about a course of action. Back away from your car and call the police if you can.

A professor on NE Campus by the gym was heading to his car when he noticed somebody in the passenger side. The person had already taken the ignition off and was trying to hot wire the car. He ran off, left his screwdriver and everything, and the professor called us right away.

Most of the time people run away and don’t want a confrontation. No matter what, try and get away and call, also a good scream wouldn’t hurt. I encourage both men and women that when you leave class, go with somebody. If you feel comfortable enough, they can give you a ride. Also, I encourage carrying mace. It’s not considered a weapon, so you can carry it on campus.

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