Safety/Security

It takes a community to protect a community.

ICGC takes your safety and the safety of your children very seriously. Through ongoing engagement with local law enforcement, training and education for volunteers and staff, and improvements in security methods and technology, the ICGC is working hard to increase your level of safety.

In light of nationwide incidents of violence targeting Masjids and Muslim individuals, we would like to share some preventative actions you can take and safety tips you need to know. Working together as a community, we ask that you remain alert, report any out of ordinary activity, and please read through the following information.

Community Safety

  • When engaging in worship and activities on campus, we ask you to follow these simple guidelines, be watchful, aware and report!
  • When reporting a non-emergency situation to the police it is OK to call 9-1- 1 if you do not know West Chester police’s local number. The call goes to the same dispatcher whether you call the local number or 9-1-1. Just tell the dispatcher it is not an emergency.
  • If you see someone loitering, passing out literature or holding a sign, no matter whether the message is positive, negative or neutral, report it to staff or police immediately. This is NOT allowed in any form as per recommendations by police.
  • Do not ever park in the drop off zone! If you see a car parked in this area, please report it to the office or staff immediately. 
  • Do not leave packages, bags, boxes, etc. anywhere on the property and report any unattended package immediately to staff. If staff is not available, please call WCPD at 513-777-2231 and invite them to investigate the package. No collections of donation items are being accepted at this time. Do not leave any package, anywhere on the property.
  • Learn where the emergency exits are in the buildings on campus. ∙ Mentally map a plan of action that you would take in the event of an emergency (i.e. fire, tornado, act of violence, etc).
  • If you see a vehicle parked in an odd location, whether occupied or not, report it.
  • If you see a vehicle parked along the Interstate in view of the campus, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If you encounter someone who seems hostile or negative, do not engage with them. Leave the area and call 9-1-1.
  • Eliciting information: If a person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc. report it to staff AND the police immediately.
  • Observation/surveillance: Call 9-1-1 to report… Someone paying unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc. Suspicious person wearing overly bulky clothing.
  • Report damage (e.g., significant holes or cuts) to perimeter fence or gate, perimeter lighting, doors, windows, or security devices.
  • Follow your instincts. If something seems strange do not hesitate to report it.
  • If you call 9-1-1 while on campus the call goes to West Chester dispatch. They have expressed repeatedly that they welcome all calls of anything suspicious. Some of these activities could be innocent—it’s up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation—so do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

When You Report Something:

    • Whether reporting to the police or staff, provide as much detail as possible, including: Who or what you saw;
    • When you saw it;
    • Where it occurred; and
    • Why is it suspicious.
    • Physical description of individuals or vehicles, if possible.

Personal Safety Guidelines When in Public or at Home:

    • If someone makes a negative comment or gesture to you, do not engage them. The best action is always to remove yourself from the situation. Report harassment to the police.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Move or leave if you feel uncomfortable or if something does not seem right. ∙ Do not accept packages from strangers. Be observant when collecting your mail and be suspicious of any package without a postmark or postage label. ∙ Promptly report unusual behavior, suspicious or unattended packages to the police.
    • Learn where emergency exits are located in buildings you frequent. Plan how to get out in the event of an emergency.
    • If you think you are being watched or followed, call 9-1-1.

Emergency Plan of Action:

The Islamic Center can take every precaution but you need to be prepared on an individual level as well. These steps are applicable anywhere, anytime. In the case of an emergency, please do the following:

    • Do not panic. Look around you and determine the best action to take (hide, evacuate, etc) to get out of harm’s way.
    • As soon as you are in a safe place, call 9-1-1, state your location and nature of the emergency.
    • Follow the direction of staff, security and volunteers who are known to you. ∙ When fleeing an area during an active violence situation, be sure to hold your hands high and visible and follow law enforcement commands so they know you are not a threat and can move quickly past you to respond.
    • If you are in a safe zone, stay there until 9-1-1 dispatch, law enforcement, and other first responder tells you it is safe to leave.