Parking lot and garage safety during the holidays

Amid all the festive cheer that makes the holiday season so special, employees are reminded to stay vigilant in Texas Medical Center (TMC) surface parking lots and garages to help prevent theft and other criminal activity that tends to increase this time of year.

TMC manages all the lots and garages in the Medical Center. The TMC police and Texas Children’s security officers patrol the lots and garages on a near-hourly basis every day, according to Cheyne Day, assistant director of Security Services. Officers completed more than 1,000 patrols of Garage 19 in six months, with 100 more patrols added during evening hours when many employees are ending their shifts. The Meyer North and South surface lots were patrolled 700 times over the same six-month period.

The frequent patrolling and close proximity of several intertwining police jurisdictions help to make the Medical Center one of the safest areas in all of Houston, with one of the lowest incident rates in the city. By taking a few simple precautions in TMC lots and garages, employees can assist security efforts and help keep themselves safe – especially during the holidays, when additional distractions can make all of us less cautious and more vulnerable to crime.

Safety tips to remember
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Phone calls and texts can wait until you are home.
  • Always lock your vehicle and be sure to keep packages and valuables out of sight.
  • If you have an emergency in any TMC parking garages or surface parking lots, activate one of the Code Blue phones located in the garage elevator lobbies and various spots in the lots. TMC police will respond immediately.
  • Consider using the buddy system when returning to your car after your shift, or contact Security Services for an escort at 832-824-5400. Escorts are available to accompany you to your car 24 hours a day.
  • If you see anything suspicious or notice someone exhibiting unusual behavior anywhere at Texas Children’s, report it to Security Services at 832-824-5400.

Day noted that Security Services works diligently to resolve employee complaints and concerns by partnering with TMC to find solutions. TMC is currently looking at ways to improve the lighting in the Meyer North and South lots, and exploring the possibility of increasing patrols during late-night hours.

“We take your safety and security very seriously,” Day said. “We’re constantly trying to get better.”