PRP 5202 – Timely Warnings

PRP 5202 – Timely Warnings

Document History

Date Activity Organization
11/16/15 Issued as Interim Policy Vice President for Administration and Finance
2/23/16 Recommended General Administrative Committee
4/20/16 Endorsed University Forum
5/06/16 Issued University President

1. RATIONALE FOR POLICY

To ensure compliance with the Timely Warning requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act and to provide the University Community, including students, faculty, and staff, with timely information about current or on-going threats. To report crimes occurring on campus call Bloomsburg University Police at 570-389-2211 or Columbia County 911.

2. KEYWORDS/DEFINITIONS

Clery Geography – Physical parameters defined by the Clery Act for the purposes of crime reporting, specifically:

A. On campus -
1. Any building or property owned or controlled by Bloomsburg University within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the university in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the university’s educational purposes, including residence halls.

2. Any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to paragraph (A) of this definition, that is owned by the university but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports university purposes (such as food or other retail vendor).

B. Non-campus - Any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the university; or any building or property owned or controlled by the university that is used in direct support of, or, in relation to, the university’s educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the university.

C. Public Property - All public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that are within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

Confirmation - When a University official has verified that an immediate threat exists. Confirmation does not necessarily mean that all the pertinent details are known or even available.

Designee - A person selected to carry out a role for a specific period of time.

Notification Systems - Public address system, mass text messaging, university emails, social media, Safety website and paper postings at common entrances to residential, academic and administrative buildings.

Official - Any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the university.

Safety Alerts - Communications provided to specific individuals for the purpose of providing those individuals with information deemed necessary to avoid undo concern or anxiety and promote safety.

3. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Bloomsburg University, as a recipient of Federal Title IV student financial aid, is required to adhere to provisions of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policies and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly referred to as the Clery Act. The Clery Act requires all postsecondary institutions receiving Federal Title IV financial aid to issue Timely Warnings to the campus community for certain crimes that occur within our Clery Geography, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes. The intent of a warning regarding a criminal incident is to enable people to protect themselves.

4. POLICY

Crimes can be reported to Bloomsburg University Police directly, through a Campus Security Authority, or other police agency. Timely Warnings are provided to give the students, employees and others timely notification of crimes that may represent a serious or on-going threat to the campus community and to heighten safety awareness.
Information to be included in Timely Warnings is date and time of the crime, nature of the crime, a general location (at minimum), information that promotes safety such as safety tips, and any information that will assist individuals in protecting themselves.
Timely Warnings shall withhold any information that will identify victims. Timely Warnings may be issued by some or all of the identified notification systems. Updates will be provided as necessary.

The following criteria will be used when determining the need for a Timely Warning:
1. Nature of Crime
2. Continuing danger to the campus community
3. Possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts
4. Crime occurred within our Clery Geography

A. Timely Warnings and Clery Designated Crimes

With the above listed criteria as a guide, Timely Warnings may be issued for the following crimes as classified by the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program/National Incident Based Reporting System:
1. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter
2. Sex offenses
a. Rape
b. Fondling
c. Statutory Rape
d. Incest
3. Robbery
4. Aggravated assault
5. Burglary
6. Motor vehicle theft
7. Arson

B. Notification Systems

Timely Warnings may be issued by some or all of the notification systems. Paper postings will not be placed on individual dorm rooms or apartments. The Police webpage also has a clearly identifiable link to Warnings.

C. Communications Process:

Bloomsburg University’s process for communicating Timely Warning information to the campus community includes, but is not limited to, the BU Alert System, public address system, the Safety website, and social media. There is also a clearly identifiable link to notifications on the University Police website. As determined by the Emergency Notification Committee, Timely Warning may be issued using some or all of the above communication systems.

1. Communications to Students

Students are automatically enrolled in the BU Alert System and will be sent text, email, and phone messages based on the information provided in their student account. Students can log into the system and add any phone numbers they would like to use to receive voice and/or text alerts, such as their parents'/guardians’ cell phones.

The parent/guardian cell phone and the parent/guardian email address entered on student accounts under the Emergency Contact Information page are specifically NOT included in the warning system by default.

2. Communications to Employees
Employees are not automatically enrolled in the BU Alert System and are not required to sign up for any type of notifications. Participation in this service is voluntary for BU employees. Employees are not required to sign up for any type of notifications, but those who do may choose to be notified by voice, text and/or e-mail. While participation is voluntary, employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for at least one method of notification.

To sign up, log into the system at http://rave.bloomu.edu use your HuskyID (full BU Email address {username@bloomu.edu}) and your login password.

New employees are provided written instructions from Human Resources for signing up for Emergency Notifications and time is allotted for them to do so.

Bloomsburg University is not responsible for charges applied by cell phone providers.

D. Expiration of Issued Timely Warnings
All warnings and alerts will remain posted for a minimum of 3 days.

E. Timely Warning Committee and Procedures

The issuing of Timely Warnings will be decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all the known facts, surrounding the crime. The Timely Warning Committee is responsible for determining the appropriateness of issuing a Timely Warning. The Director of Bloomsburg University Police and the Assistant Director Communications/Media Relations, Marketing and Communications make up the Timely Warning Committee. In a situation when one or both committee members are not available, they may assign designees. For redundancy, there are also pre-designated alternates, listed below.

Primary Committee Member - Director of BUPD
Alternate 1 - Assistant Director of Police
Alternate 2 - Sergeant/Officer in Charge

Primary Committee Member - Assistant Director for Communications/Media Relations, Marketing and Communications
Alternate 1 - Director of Sports Information, Athletic Marketing and Promotions/Assistant Director Marketing and Communications
Alternate 2 - Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Upon confirmation by a university official, information is shared with the Timely Warning Committee. A determination is made by the committee whether a Timely Warning will be issued and the information it will contain. If an agreement is not reached, within the committee, the Director of Police or designee or alternate will make the final decision. The warning is written by the representative from Marketing and Communications and if time permits, reviewed by the police representative. Marketing and Communications is responsible for disseminating the warning. BUPD is responsible for the paper postings and may call upon Resident Life Staff to assist.
In instances when communication cannot be established with the Timely Warning Committee, the police shift sergeant or officer in charge will make the determination as to the issuance and content of the warning. The warning would then be sent by police dispatch personnel.

F. Safety Alerts

In circumstances that the Timely Warning Committee determines an incident does not meet Timely Warning standards, they may decide to issue a Safety Alert using one or more of the notification systems. The Jeanne Clery Act does not require a Safety Alert, however, Bloomsburg University has elected to provide this service as a commitment to keep the campus community informed and promote safety.