Parking Lot & Street Safety Guidelines

Each of us is personally responsible for getting ourselves to and from Johnson Rags Dance Club safely.  To be safe, we all need to be aware, be prepared and be vigilant especially in the parking lots and on the streets surrounding the YWCA.

The YWCA neighborhood is historic and quiet. But it can be too quiet and isolated at night. The YWCA is on the path between bustling downtown and the rowdy North-end bars. There is almost always pedestrian traffic on 6th Street in front of the YWCA on dance nights. Most of this is welcome neighborhood traffic. But not all the traffic is welcome.

Occasionally, someone not attending our dances will enter the building without a reason. Once, a small group of teenage boys entered the building and left only when the YW attendant called the police. A couple years ago, the YWCA initiated a policy of locking the building at 9:00pm on our dance nights, a policy with which JRDC has cooperated.

In December 2012, a JRDC member was approached outside the YWCA by three people asking for money. It was toward the end of the dance. The member was going to get his car in the West lot (the one across 6th Street). The three said they had been drinking at “The Varsity” and had run out of money. The member refused to give them money. As you can imagine, the situation was pretty tense. Fortunately, the three drinkers took-off when other club members began to exit the YWCA.

The following guidelines were compiled with the assistance of Lieutenant James Taul, Community Resource Officer, Lafayette Police Department. Most of the recommendations are common-sense measures that we all should use everyday: church, work, school, shopping, leisure.  These are standard parking lot/parking garage safety recommendations for anyone, anywhere. The standards have been adapted to our club’s specific situation.

Arriving At A Dance:

  1. Don’t come and go to the parking lots or the streets alone.
  2. Arrive around dance start time when most members will be entering the YWCA.
  3. Before leaving your car take a few seconds to observe the parking lot and
    the street.  If you see anyone you don’t know, wait for them to pass or wait for other members.
  4. Consider using the South parking lot (the one across Cincinnati).  The South lot is more open and visible from 6th and Cincinnati Streets. The West lot is less visible from the street.
  5. If you are arriving at the YWCA after 9:00 pm:
    1. Notify Harry in advance if possible:
      2. 765 426-4850, voice or text (Keep this number in your cell phone, shoe bag, and/or car).
    2. Call the YWCA from the parking lot and tell the attendant you are a JRDC member and that you want to enter the building.
      1. 765 742-0075 (Keep this number in your cell phone, shoe bag and/or car.

Departing From A Dance:

  1. Don’t come and go to the parking lots or streets alone.
  2. Depart around dance end time when most members will be departing.
  3. Don’t approach your car if a suspicious vehcile is parked next to it.
  4. Don’t approach your car if someone you don’t know is between you and your car.
  5. Stand tall!  Walk with purpose.  A quick, purposeful walk signals that you are not an easy mark.
  6. Have your car key in-hand and ready.  Don’t stand by your car searching for your key.
  7. Have your possessions in order and ready for the car.  Don’t stand by your car dealing with your possessions.
  8. Once in your car, lock the doors.

Report Suspicious Activity To LPD:

If you see something or someone out of place or unusual, call Lafayette
Police Department at (765) 807-1200.  (Keep this number in your cell

Dial 9-1-1 In An Emergency:

  1. Dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
    1. If someone is injured, it is an emergency.
    2. If you believe you or someone else is in danger, it is an emergency.
    3. If a crime has been committed it is an emergency.
  2. Lieutenant Taul offers this advice for emergency situations:
    1. Don’t resist.  If the bad guy wants your purse, wallet or other valuables, surrender these.  Your safety is far more valuable than your
    2. Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of the bad guy.
      If you are able to do so, write down as many details about the bad guy
      as possible.
    3. Dial  9-1-1 immediately and report the crime.  You may have money returned and prevent further theft from yourself and others!
    4. Never pursue a bad guy.

We will continue to enjoy the safety and security of our dances at the YWCA if we each do our part!

Other References:
If you are interested knowing more about safety in your community, check out:

Nextdoor: a free private social network for your neighborhood.

Nixle: local law enforcement notifications.

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