Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities use timely warnings to inform the campus community of potential threats against which they can take preventive measures. These ongoing disclosure requirements, when implemented, can help to create and promote a safe campus environment.
Timely Warning Notices are typically issued for the following Uniformed Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident Based Reporting system (NIBRS) crime classifications: major incidents of arson, aggravated assaults, and murder/non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, burglary, hate crimes, sex offenses, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Cases of aggravated assault, sex offenses, and stalking, dating and domestic violence are considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts of the case and the information known by the college. For example, if an alleged assault occurs between two students who have a disagreement, there may be no on-going threat to the college community members and a Timely Warning Notice would not be distributed. Cases involving sexual assault are often reported long after the incident occurred, in which case there is no ability to distribute a “timely” warning to the community. Thus, whether to issue a Timely Warning Notice based on a reported sex offense will be determined on a case by case basis depending on when and where the incident occurred, when it was reported, and the amount of information known by the college. Similarly, the college will assess reports of property crimes and will distribute a Timely Warning Notice in the event of a pattern of crime that poses a serious or continuing threat to the community. The Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Management or designee reviews all reports to determine if there is an on-going threat to the community and if the distribution of a Timely Warning Notice is warranted. Timely Warnings also may be posted for other crime classifications and locations, as deemed necessary. Timely Warning Notices will be issued to students and employees in a manner that is timely, that withholds the names as confidential, and in a manner that aids in the prevention of future similar crimes.
Timely Warning Notices are typically written and distributed by the Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Management. The Office of Marketing and Communications is also authorized to distribute Timely Warning Notices at the discretion of the Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Management or designee. Timely Warnings are generally issued via email, but may also be distributed through text messages, posters, desktop alerts and with messages on CSC’s website when appropriate.
The following information is typically included in a Timely Warning if available:
- The date and time or timeframe of the incident;
- A brief description of the incident;
- Physical description of the suspect, when deemed appropriate and if there is sufficient detail;
- Other relevant and important information (e.g., gender of the victim, student/non-student, etc.);
- Information that will promote safety and potentially aid in the prevention of similar crimes (crime prevention or safety tips).
The Department of Campus Safety generally does not issue timely warnings if:
- The subject(s) apprehended and the threat of imminent danger to the CSC community has been mitigated by the apprehension.
- The college will withhold details of a timely warning that may lead to the identification of a victim of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and or stalking, who does not wish to be identified.
- The college may withhold information from a timely warning so as not to jeopardize an ongoing investigation and or the apprehension of a suspect.
- If Campus Safety was not notified by Campus Security Authorities in a manner that would allow the department to post a timely warning to the community.
- Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a report that is filed more than seven (7) days after the date of the alleged incident may not allow the Campus Safety Department to post a timely warning to the community. This type of situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the Department of Campus Safety, by telephone (526-3300) or in person at James House.