DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Safety is what North Carolina Central University Police Chief Damon Williams preaches to the students on campus. 

Building relationships is something he practices.

“They’ll report things when they trust you.  If they trust you and they know you, students will tell you everything you need to know to help prevent crime from happening on this campus because this is their home environment,” he explained.

Williams said it’s through those relationships that he and his officers develop with students that helps them get the message across.

“Because I want them to understand you can’t walk around campus with your earbuds in your ears looking at your phone in the middle of the night walking by yourself.  You can’t do that.  When we bring students to orientation, I give them real talk.  I don’t sugar coat it for them,” he stated.

“Listen, you are coming to an urban environment.  Know your surroundings.  Know where your buildings are.  Know where your blue-light phones are.  Know where your safety equipment is.  Know how to reach us,” Williams said.

This week, students across central North Carolina, including at N.C. Central, have started moving back on campuses for the spring semester.

Williams said in recent years the school has updated technology like cameras.

However, he always keeps an eye on what’s going on, not only locally, but nationally.

“I tend to track what’s going on on other campuses and I stay in contact with those other chiefs.  Like if something goes on, even out of state, and I think I might need to track that a little stronger.  I’ll make a phone call to that police department,” mentioned Williams.

Williams said the school will do a campus safety walk on Jan. 25.