** Stay Safe at College. By Rodnie L. Williams; produced by 360 Stay Safe, www.360stay safe.com (Web); 55 minutes; $995 (DVD, two copies), $1,595 (unlimited online access).
Millions of young people transition to college every year. The experience will often be the student’s first long-term separation from family and friends, giving adults reason to be concerned for the safety of these young students. This crime prevention video training course, Stay Safe at College, is a resource that can help educators address such concerns.
The video is available in several formats and includes a customizable workbook and a facilitator’s guide that addresses each of the security topics covered in the video. Issues include everyday safety, protecting possessions and your identity, stalking, and “commonsense” self defense. The video is fast-paced and professionally produced. The presentations are credible and include generally accepted security advice throughout.
The video is aimed at and sculpted to meet the reputed reduced attention spans of today’s youth; as such, no chapter exceeds 11 minutes. Each topic could be the single focus of a workshop lasting hours, so, inevitably, there were significant content tradeoffs made to meet this video’s shorter format. Potential buyers should consider whether the level of content provided by the video and supplemental facilitator’s guide is sufficient for their anticipated audience.
One of the video’s unique strengths is its use of comments from college students, coupled with video of situations that support the teaching points.
Intriguing statistics are bandied about in the video, but none of their sources are cited. However, the majority of the content contained within the video and the accompanying written materials are both commonsensical and aligned with accepted security best practices, especially those found at most residential college campuses.
This course could serve as an off-the-shelf product to be included as an introduction to personal safety as part of a college crime-prevention presentation. But as with most off-the-shelf products, especially those aimed at campus safety and security, specific campus context and audience composition must be carefully considered.
Reviewer: Thomas E. Engells, CPP, CPM (Certified Public Manager), is the assistant chief of The University of Texas at Houston Police Department. He is a member of ASIS International.