Board of Trustee Policy
Subject: Timely Warnings
Date: December 2019
Supersedes: February 2014
Montgomery County Community College (the College), as a recipient of federal Title IV student financial aid funds, is required to adhere to provisions of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policies and Campus Crime Statistics, commonly referred to as the Clery Act. One provision of the Clery Act is that all postsecondary institutions receiving federal Title IV student financial aid funds must issue timely warnings to the campus community under certain circumstances. To comply with the Clery Act mandate on timely warnings, Montgomery County Community College has developed the policy guidelines below.
Timely warnings must be issued for the following crimes, if the crimes are reported to campus security authorities (CSA) or local police agencies; are considered by the College to represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees; and/or occur in certain geographic locations as defined by the Clery Act:
- Murder and non-negligent manslaughter
- Negligent manslaughter
- Forcible and non-forcible sex offenses
- Aggravated assault
- Motor vehicle theft
The College is required to issue timely warnings for Clery-designated crimes in the following geographic locations: on campus, public property and non-campus buildings and property.
Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls; and any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the Campus, that is owned by the institution but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes (such as food or other retail vendor). For the College, campus buildings and property (excluding The Culinary Arts Institute and the Montgomery County Training Center) would be included as on campus.
Public property, includes thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. For West Campus, public property includes; streets, alleys, sidewalks, and the bus stop that are adjacent to campus or that bisect campus, as well as the parking lot at 140 College Drive and 95 S. Hanover Street.
Non-campus buildings or property
Any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution. The Culinary Arts Institute and the Montgomery County Training Center would be included as non-campus buildings.
Geographic locations for which the College is not required to issue timely warnings
The College is not required to issue timely warnings for Clery-designated crimes that occur off campus, with the exception of those crimes committed on public property or in (on) non-campus buildings or property, as defined and described above. However, the College recognizes that in certain cases timely warnings, even if not required by the Clery Act, may benefit the campus community. The following criteria must be met for the College to issue a timely warning for an off-campus crime that does not require a timely warning under the Clery Act.
- The crime is a murder, rape, or other serious and violent assault, or the local municipality requests that the College issue a timely warning.
- The crime occurred in a geographic area frequented by College students.
- The crime represents a continuous threat to the College community.
Types of Timely Warnings
Timely warnings, whether or not required by the Clery Act, will be identified and posted as a Blanket Warnings, Targeted Warnings, or Informational Alerts.
Blanket Warnings are defined as timely warnings for the purpose of alerting the campus of a crime which affects the entire campus or a majority of the campus. Blanket Warnings will result in an “All Employees” and “All Current Students” email blast and building postings by Building Administrators. Blanket Warnings also will be posted on the College website.
Targeted Warnings are defined as timely warnings provided to specific employees and/or students who may be affected by the occurrence of a crime. Targeted Alerts will be used when it is determined that a Campus-wide Safety Alert is not necessary or appropriate. Targeted Alerts will result in a portion of the campus community receiving an email notification and postings in selected buildings. Targeted Alerts also will be posted on the College website.
Informational Alerts are defined as communications provided to specific individuals for the purpose of providing those individuals with information deemed necessary to avoid undue concern or anxiety. Informational alerts will result in the entire campus or a portion of the campus receiving an email; postings in selected buildings may also occur.
Campus Security Authority
According to federal law a campus security authority is “An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An “official” is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution”. They include any member of the Department of Public Safety, the Vice Presidents, Deans, select Directors, Athletic coaches, advisors and select counselors. Faculty members who are club advisors, department coordinators or student advisors are also considered campus security authorities.
When information involving a Clery-designated crime is received by a campus security authority (CSA), the CSA will contact the Department of Public Safety without delay to advise the Department of the information. When the Department of Public Safety receives the report, the ranking public safety officer on duty will contact the Director of Campus Safety or designee or his/her designee. The Director of Campus Safety or designee or his/her designee will then advise the President or his/her designee. The Director or designee will provide the President or his/her designee with a short description of the crime and the criteria he believes are relevant in considering whether a Blanket Warning, Targeted Warning, or Informational Alert should be published. Because the value of a timely warning usually diminishes with the passage of time, it is important to issue any warning or alert as soon as practical.
Criteria to determine the need for Timely Warnings
The following criteria will be used when determining the need for a Blanket Warning, Targeted Warning or Informational Alert:
- Nature of Crime
- Degree of continuing danger to the campus community*
- Possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts
- Crime occurred in one of the three geographical areas defined by Clery Law: On Campus, Off Campus, Public Property
* Continuing Danger will be determined by one or more of the following factors: the probability that a similar crime will occur, whether the actor(s) is still at large, and whether the crime is egregious. MCCC may issue a timely warning even if the perpetrator has been arrested.
Distribution/Publication of Timely Warnings
All Blanket Warnings, Targeted Warnings and Informational Alerts will be distributed via email and other approved communication methods as per the Emergency Notification Policy. Blanket Warnings and Targeted Warnings will be posted on the College website. All warnings and alerts will expire after two weeks. If a continuing threat exists, a new warning or alert will be released and posted.