For your awareness: I-ACT Safety Message

The Indiana Area Collaborative Team (I-ACT) was formed in 2014 in response to concerns of mass gatherings and dangerous behaviors in the community—at that time, related to students and their visitors to IUP during the spring semester. I-ACT includes representatives from law enforcement, government, and IUP, who meet on a regular basis throughout the year.

For the last decade, I-ACT has maintained its focus on proactive measures to mitigate large gatherings and disruptive behaviors leading to potential safety concerns in the community, inviting participation from community stakeholders and agencies who are actively working on safety and security issues every day in our communities across Indiana County.

It has become clear to I-ACT, especially during our community-wide meetings held in the fall and spring, that a safe and secure community doesn’t happen by accident, and we are not immune from the rest of the world.  The responsibility for a safe community falls well beyond professionals in emergency services agencies.

Fortunately, we are a community that recognizes this and needs the help of every citizen, recognizing that we all have a role to play, including making responsible choices to keep ourselves and our families, friends, and neighbors safe and secure no matter where they are in the world, but especially during times where you may be engaged in large events and/or large gatherings.

To that end, I-ACT, on behalf of the agencies and organizations that we represent, want to remind you of the following proactive safety measures we ask you to consider putting into practice, especially as we look forward to the spring and summer months:

  • Please continue to enjoy events and our beautiful community and its businesses, but always be aware of your surroundings, including entrances and exits. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t go. If you are at an event and it doesn’t feel safe, leave the area as soon as possible.
  • If you are invited to an event and you are not sure of the host or organizer, think very carefully before you attend. Do not automatically trust social media posts about events, even if they look to be from friends or acquaintances.
  • Let family or trusted friends know of your plans for attending events, especially if they are ones that you’ve not attended before.
  • Keep your cell phone charged before attending events in the case that you need help or need to contact law enforcement or medical personnel (for yourself or for others).
  • If you are with a group at an event, stay together and look out for one another. If one of you needs to leave, or feels uncomfortable, don’t let them leave alone.
  • If you see something, say something – including if something concerns you on social media. Law enforcement representatives agree that they would rather be informed of a potential incident or situation and find it to be harmless than react to a dangerous situation impacting community safety which could have been stopped by proactive intervention.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you see anyone needing immediate medical attention, including if medical attention is needed because of illegal activity. Laws exist in Pennsylvania to protect people who call for emergency assistance for those they believe to be injured or otherwise in danger.
  • If you are hosting an event that draws out-of-control or uninvited guests, or if guests exceed the capacity where your event is being held, contact law enforcement. It is better to “break up” a party than to have a tragedy occur.
  • If your business is approached with a request for use of your property for an event, ask questions to confirm the legitimacy of the event and the identity of the person making the request. When discussing the use of your facilities, it is important to include questions about security and how capacity regulations will be maintained. It is also important to confirm claims about “official sponsors;” for example, there have been recent occasions when IUP has been falsely represented as an event sponsor. Law enforcement can assist you in this vetting process.
  • If you are traveling, please take appropriate precautions to secure your home: stop your newspaper, your mail, alert trusted neighbors, keep lights on to discourage break-ins.
  • In addition, if you are traveling, make sure to share your itinerary with family or trusted friends and arrange for check-ins so that they know you are safe. If you miss check-ins, your contacts at home can raise concerns with the authorities in that area.
  • When you travel, especially in areas unfamiliar to you, do not assume that any area is safe; again, be aware of your surroundings.

Additional information about crime prevention and safety is readily available from the Indiana Borough Police, IUP Police, or the Pennsylvania State Police. Your local law enforcement agencies are committed to providing the best possible service to the citizens of the county and appreciate all of your support. Law enforcement also would like to thank everyone for all their assistance throughout the years and for helping us make Indiana County a great place to live.

If you experience a crime or tragedy, Indiana County offers many resources to help and support you; law enforcement is a place to start to get this information. Citizens can follow law enforcement on X (formerly Twitter) for updates about programs and investigations –@PSPTroopAPIO. Citizens can follow the Indiana Borough Police on Facebook at Indiana Borough Police Department and can get information about IUP Police on the IUP website:

Indiana County can take great pride in its ongoing efforts to create and maintain a safe community for all of its residents and visitors. Members of our law enforcement and emergency services agencies are dedicated, experienced, and well trained; our local regional medical center has top-notch doctors, nurses, and technicians, who provide quality care through proactive wellness programming as well as  emergency care, 24/7, right here in our community; community leaders, businesses, neighborhood watch group volunteers, human service agencies and support organizations including our churches and clergy, all come together to provide support to our community residents and visitors.

Thank you for all that you continue to do to maintain a safe – and a wonderful — life in Indiana County.

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