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Chief Keener encourages vehicle safety for all at Clayton State

(October 18, 2023) - As the fall semester continues in Morrow, Chief John Keener – Clayton State’s director of public safety – recently provided the university with safety tips and advice to ensure that all are better educated on how to keep their vehicle safe from potential theft and criminal activity.

Clayton State patrol cars on standby

“First, take your vehicle key with you every time, all the time, even if you’ll be out of the vehicle for just a moment,” Keener said. “That moment is more than enough time for someone to take that advantage and ride off with your vehicle.”

Keener further advised that Lakers “always leave vehicle windows up” and vehicles locked at all times, saying that such thefts are often referred to in law enforcement as “thefts of opportunity.”

“That’s somebody looking for an easy score,” Keener said. “They will go through a parking lot and hit all the driver’s side doors looking for an unlocked vehicle to get into.”

Keener continued on by advising Clayton State to park in well-lit, populated areas whenever possible, never leave visible valuables in their cars, and ensure that vehicles on campus have working alarm systems.

While he said some may shrug off the sound, “it does still scare off the casual thief.”

“There are also items you can get to physically immobilize your vehicle,” Keener said. “One of those items is a steering wheel lock. It’s just a long pole you lock onto the steering wheel – sometimes, to your brake. That will actually prevent someone from being able to steer the vehicle or apply the brake to get it out of gear to move the vehicle, even if they can hot-wire it.”

Keener said that he and his staff are always ready to respond to such acts, he added that his team still needs the continuous aid from all Lakers, both on and off campus.

“I would like to ask the community to remember that we need their help to keep campus safe,” Keener said. “Every member of our campus community is a member of our public safety team. If you see suspicious activity or are the victim of a crime – please contact us immediately so we can step in to assist you.”

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