Timely Warning Policy (D-51)
Original Implementation: October 30, 2007
Last Revision: October 18, 2010
A Campus Crime Alert/Timely Warning (A/TW) is designed to provide students, faculty and staff with timely notification of crimes that represent a serious or continuing threat to the campus community and heighten awareness. The alert may provide pertinent information related to a crime and/or suspect (described below in the Timely Warning Procedure section) and may seek information that will help lead to arrest and conviction of an offender.
Timely Warning Procedure
The Stephen F. Austin State University Police Department (SFAPD) is responsible for determining if an emergency exists, then preparing and issuing Alerts/Timely Warnings. As no two incidents are alike, the decision to issue an A/TW will be made on a case-by-case basis, considering the facts surrounding a crime or emergency and the perceived continuing danger to the campus community. Upon learning of an incident that could potentially require activation of an alert, the supervisor on duty will brief the chief or assistant chief of police, who will make a determination regarding issuance of an A/TW. Should the chief and assistance chief be unavailable, the supervisor on duty should brief an available lieutenant who will make the issuance decision. Should contact not be possible with any of the police officials described above, the vice president for university affairs may make the issuance decision. An A/TW may be delayed if law enforcement officials determine that such an alert would risk or compromise law enforcement efforts to deal with the emergency or rescue a victim.
Information that may require an A/TW may also originate with other law enforcement agencies or other law enforcement officers. This information may indicate there is an incident or potential incident that represents a serious or continuing threat to campus safety. When notified by these external agencies, the decision to issue an A/TW in this case will be made in the same process described above.
Information included in Campus Crime Alerts will include the following, at minimum, unless it is determined by law enforcement that such information would compromise law enforcement efforts to deal with the emergency or rescue a victim:
- A concise description of the incident and type of crime, including location, date and time of occurrence
- A physical description of the suspect, including gender and race
- Composite drawing of the suspect, or photograph, if available
- Apparent connection to previous incidents, if applicable
- Race of the victim, but only if there was an apparent bias motive
- Sex of the victim, if relevant
- Injury sustained by the victim
- Date and time the campus alert was released
- A notice to the campus community to exercise caution
Alerts/Timely Warnings may be delivered using the following means:
- Outdoor alert system
- Mobile alert system
- E-mail to students’ and employees’ campus e-mail accounts
- Web page banners on all pages hosted on the primary SFA Web server, linked to the campus alert Web site
Alternative methods for distributing Campus Crime Alerts/Timely Warnings may include, but are not limited to, media releases, campus newspaper, flyers posted in university buildings and phone message boards.
Any or all methods may be activated depending on the emergency and its circumstances.
When the incident causing the A/TW to be issued no longer poses an imminent threat to the campus community, the alert may be terminated by the chief of police or the assistant chief. Should these positions be unavailable, the alert may be terminated by an available lieutenant or the vice president of university affairs. Upon termination of an alert, an “All Clear” message will be transmitted to the campus community.
Cross Reference: 20 USC 1092(f); Policy for Reporting the Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics (D-52)
Responsible for Implementation: Vice President for University Affairs
Contact for Revision: Chief of University Police