Campus security is moving off campus

18 Dec

The Curry School of Education’s Youth Violence Project posted College Campus Violence:

The shootings at Virginia Tech, understandably, have generated questions about the safety of college campuses. A brief overview of what we know about violent crime on college campuses can give some perspective on this tragic event. On May 15, 2007 the House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing entitled “Best Practices for Making College Campuses Safe.” Click here for information on this hearing and Dr. Cornell’s testimony.
There are approximately 16 million students attending 4,200 colleges and universities in the United States (Carr, 2005).
There was relatively little information on college crime until passage of the Clery Act of 1998, which required colleges to publish annual crime statistics for their campuses. All college students should be able to obtain annual reports on crime rates for their campus, although the Clery Act excludes larceny, theft, vandalism, threats, and harassment.
In 2005 the American College Health Association (ACHA) released its Campus Violence White Paper (Carr, 2005) to address violence patterns on college campuses and identify promising prevention and response practices. This report noted that there are often questions about the accuracy and completeness of college crime data, because colleges are motivated to present a favorable image in order to recruit students and attract donors. Nevertheless, college crime reports generally indicate a lower rate of violent crime than is found in the general community.
A further problem with college crime reports is that many crimes go unreported to college authorities. A study by Sloan, Fisher, and Cullen (1997) found that only 35% of violent crimes on college campuses were reported to authorities. Students interviewed for this study gave various reasons for not reporting crimes; for example, many regarded the crime as too minor or considered it a private matter. Victims also might be too ashamed or embarrassed to report a crime. However, crime under-reporting is a common problem and can be found outside of college campuses as well. It is not clear whether under-reporting is greater on college campuses than in the community at large….
Sources: (1) U.S. Dept of Education (2010). Summary of Campus Crime and Security Statistics 2002-2004, (2) Summary Crime Statistics for 2004-2006, and (3) Summary Crime Statistics for 2007-2009.
The Virginia Tech shootings raised particular concern about the homicide rate on college campuses. Fortunately, data on homicides are considered more reliable than most crimes because they are intensively investigated and publicly reported events. According to the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Education (2010), there were 335 murders on college campuses in the thirteen years from 1997-2009, an average of 26 per year. Since there are approximately 4,200 colleges in the United States, this means the average college can expect to experience a murder on campus about once every 166 years.
Also, it may be useful to note that there have been more than 16,000 homicides per year in the United States since 2001. Murders on college campuses represent far less than one percent of the total homicides in the United States. These statistics can help place the problem of college homicides in perspective; nevertheless, campus safety is an important concern and we want to prevent all college homicides.
Baum, K., & Klaus, P. (2005). Violent victimization of college students, 1995-2002. (NCJ Publication No. 206836). Washington , DC : U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Carr, J. L. (2005). American College Health Association campus violence white paper. Baltimore , MD : American College Health Association.
U.S. Department of Education (2001). The Incidence of Crime on the Campuses of U.S. Postsecondary Education Institutions, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Education (2001-2004). Summary of Campus Crime and Security Statistics. Washington, D.C.

As crime increases on campus, so does the role of campus security both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Eric Tucker of AP posted the article, College Police Forces Increasingly Expand Reach:

The police officers who patrol America’s colleges are empowered these days to do far more than respond to campus emergencies.
Campus police around the country are increasingly expanding their jurisdiction beyond the school and into the surrounding neighborhoods, blurring a town-gown divide that colleges say is arbitrary when it comes to crime. Proponents say the arrangement allows schools to keep closer tabs on students who misbehave off-campus—making it easier to refer them for disciplinary proceedings, if necessary—and gives university officers greater flexibility to investigate campus crimes committed by community members. It can also ease the workload of resource-strapped municipal police departments.
“It used to be we were responsible for the campus. Now there’s an expectation, I think, especially with parents, but to a large extent among students, that we’re also responsible for these areas off campus,” said Jeff Corcoran, interim chief of the University of Cincinnati police force, where officers patrol areas near the school. “We’re getting pushed to ignore those imaginary lines on the map and be more proactive in that area.”
Still, a proposed expansion of authority has stirred concerns in Washington, D.C., where residents say university police don’t have the same level of training or transparency requirements as the city police. Campus police officers in the city have arrest powers on campus but participate in a separate, shorter training academy. And because private colleges generally aren’t compelled by public records law to release the same information as public institutions and government agencies, some are concerned about a lack of accountability to the city and its residents.

Campus law enforcement is becoming higher profile as the number of criminal incidents on campus increases.

Nina Bernstein reported in the 2011n New York Times article, On Campus, a Law Enforcement System to Itself:

On most of these campuses, law enforcement is the responsibility of sworn police officers who report to university authorities, not to the public. With full-fledged arrest powers, such campus police forces have enormous discretion in deciding whether to refer cases directly to district attorneys or to leave them to the quiet handling of in-house disciplinary proceedings.
The Penn State police did investigate a complaint in 1998 about Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach who was charged last week with sexually abusing eight boys, and turned it over to the district attorney, who declined to prosecute.
But many serious offenses reach neither campus police officers nor their off-campus counterparts because they are directly funneled to administrators.
That is what happened at Penn State in 2002, according to a grand jury report, when a graduate assistant to Mr. Paterno reported that he saw Mr. Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the locker room showers.
“I think we’re just on the cusp of breaking the silence,” said Colby Bruno, the managing lawyer at the Boston-based Victim Rights Law Center who specializes in cases of sexual assault on campus. “But there are a lot of very invidious ways that a school can go about squelching these reports. This is everyone’s problem; it’s not just a sports problem or a sports-icon problem….”
The department is investigating whether Mr. Paterno and other Penn State officials violated the reporting and disclosure requirements of one of the laws, known as the Clery Act. Separately, the scandal puts Penn State on the radar of the department’s Civil Rights division, which this April issued a tough letter to all 6,000 colleges and universities that accept federal money, spelling out how they must handle cases of sexual violence under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act to prevent the creation of “a hostile environment” for accusers that would violate equality of access to education…
Paul Verrecchia, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, defended the professionalism of campus officers, who, just like other police officers, he said, “raise their hand and swear to uphold the laws and protect the Constitution.” Local law enforcement officials can also be influenced by the power of the university, he added….

The Major Chiefs Association wrote a 2009 Report on campus security

Here are the key findings of Campus Security Guidelines: Recommended Operational Policies for Local and Campus Law Enforcement Agencies:

Key Findings
Some of the most important suggestions that resulted from this project are as follows:
1. Policies and Formal Agreements: Local and campus law enforcement agencies should have both policies and formal agreements to define general and specific roles for all types of incident response.
• Policies assist local law enforcement in defining roles and enforcing a culture of respect and cooperation with campus public safety. For example, if a local law enforcement department has a policy describing the campus public safety chain of command and which officers have the authority to make decisions, this policy provides guidance to officers and highlights the authority of campus public safety.
• Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) should be developed to formalize responsibilities and protocol (i.e., an MOU on roles during critical incident response).
• MOUs should be tailored to the needs of individual campuses in the jurisdiction. Local law enforcement should work with campus public safety in determining what issues need to be addressed in the MOUs.
2. Coordination Plans: Local and campus law enforcement must coordinate with each other in order to be prepared to respond to critical incidents.
• Local law enforcement should designate a Campus Liaison Officer to serve as the primary point of contact with campus public safety.
• Regularly scheduled meetings, joint training, exercises, and patrols on campus must take place to promote cooperation and prepare for critical incident response.
• Local law enforcement and campus public safety should coordinate in developing, reviewing, and implementing emergency response and business continuity plans.
3. Interoperable Communications: Local and campus law enforcement must find solutions to achieve interoperability.
• Local law enforcement should work with campus public safety to acquire the equipment necessary for interoperable communications between the agencies.
• Local and campus law enforcement should address the governance issues with interoperability (i.e., identify a coordinator for law enforcement communications).
• Campus public safety should be included in all planning sessions and exercises regarding interoperable communications in the region.
4. Potential Risks and Threats: Local and campus law enforcement should work together to improve information-sharing and threat assessments in their jurisdiction.
• Local and campus law enforcement should collaborate to address potential threats on and off campus.
• Law enforcement must be allowed to share records with other departments in order to fully evaluate potential threats.
• Campus public safety must be included in area fusion centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces as a means to share intelligence and information. Campus Security Guidelines 3
5. Media and Public Relations: Local and campus law enforcement should plan and practice joint media and the public relations scenarios, as perceptions of competency and coordination are paramount during a critical incident on campus.
• Preparation and plans should be made to work with the media before, during, and after incidents.
• Messages released to the media should be coordinated between local law enforcement and campus public safety.
• Local and campus law enforcement should reach out to members of the campus in order to build trust and improve relationships with students.

The Clery Act outlines the reporting requirements for colleges and universities.

The Clery Center provides this summary of the Clery Act:

Summary Of The Jeanne Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law, originally known as the Campus Security Act, that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. The law is tied to an institution’s participation in federal student financial aid programs and it applies to most institutions of higher education both public and private. The Act is enforced by the United States Department of Education.
The law was amended in 1992 to add a requirement that schools afford the victims of campus sexual assault certain basic rights, and was amended again in 1998 to expand the reporting requirements. The 1998 amendments also formally named the law in memory of Jeanne Clery. Subsequent amendments in 2000 and 2008 added provisions dealing with registered sex offender notification and campus emergency response. The 2008 amendments also added a provision to protect crime victims, “whistleblowers”, and others from retaliation.
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities:
Publish an Annual Security Report (ASR) by October 1, documenting three calendar years of select campus crime statistics including security policies and procedures and information on the basic rights guaranteed victims of sexual assault. The law requires schools make the report available to all current students and employees, and prospective students and employees must be notified of its existence and given a copy upon request. Schools may comply with this requirement via the internet if required recipients are notified and provided exact information regarding the on-line location of the report. Paper copies of the ASR should be available upon request. All crime statistics must be provided to the U.S. Department of Education.
To have a public crime log. Institutions with a police or security department are required to maintain a public crime log documenting the “nature, date, time, and general location of each crime” and its disposition, if known. Incidents must be entered into the log within two business days. The log should be accessible to the public during normal business hours; remain open for 60 days and, subsequently, made available within two business days upon request.
Disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to or running through the campus and at certain non-campus facilities including Greek housing and remote classrooms. The statistics must be gathered from campus police or security, local law enforcement and other school officials who have “significant responsibility for student and campus activities.” The Clery Act requires reporting of crimes in seven major categories, some with significant sub-categories and conditions:
1. Criminal Homicide
a. Murder & Nonnegligent manslaughter
b. Negligent manslaughter
2. Sex Offenses
a. Forcible
b. Non-Forcible
3. Robbery
4. Aggravated Assault
5. Burglary, where:
a. There is evidence of unlawful entry (trespass), which may be either forcible or not involve force.
b. Unlawful entry must be of a structure – having four walls, a roof, and a door.
c. There is evidence that the entry was made in order to commit a felony or theft.
6. Motor Vehicle Theft
7. Arson
Schools are also required to report statistics for the following categories of arrests or referrals for campus disciplinary action (if an arrest was not made):
1. Liquor Law Violations
2. Drug Law Violations
3. Illegal Weapons Possession
Hate crimes must be reported by category of prejudice, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. Statistics are also required for four additional crime categories if the crime committed is classified as a hate crime:
1. Larceny/Theft
2. Simple Assault
3. Intimidation
4. Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Institutions must provide timely warnings in a manner likely to reach all members of the campus community. This mandate has been part of the Clery Act since its inception in 1990. Timely warnings are limited to those crimes an institution is required to report and include in its ASR. There are differences between what constitutes a timely warning and an emergency notification; however, both systems are in place to safeguard students and campus employees.
Devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy. Institutions are required to inform the campus community about a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus.” An emergency response expands the definition of timely warning as it includes both Clery Act crimes and other types of emergencies (i.e., a fire or infectious disease outbreak). Colleges and universities with and without on-campus residential facilities must have emergency response and evacuation procedures in place. Institutions are mandated to disclose a summary of these procedures in their ASR. Additionally, compliance requires one test of the emergency response procedures annually and policies for publicizing those procedures in conjunction with the annual test.
Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report. Similar to the ASR and the current crime log, institutions with on-campus housing must report fires that occur in on-campus housing, generate both an annual fire report and maintain a fire log that is accessible to the public.
Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students. This requirement is intended to minimize delays and confusion during the initial stages of a missing student investigation. Institutions must designate one or more positions or organizations to which reports of a student living in on-campus housing can be filed if it’s believed that student has been missing for 24 hours.
Download Additional Information:
Jeanne Clery Act Full Text.pdf

The issue with campus security often involves jurisdiction.

Bradley Silverman of Brown University wrote in the 2012 Washington Monthly article, Under Color of Law: What rights do college students have against campus police?

In Klunder v. Brown University Klunder charges Enos, Brown and its President, Ruth Simmons, with violating his civil rights. He is bringing suit under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 , which allows individuals to seek damages from persons who violate their constitutional rights while acting “under color of state law. ” The statute normally applies exclusively to government agencies or employees, but Klunder argues that Brown is liable under the law because it operates a police department exercising “full police powers, ” a public function traditionally reserved for the state. Klunder underlines the hazy status of campus security officers under the law.
The Constitution only protects citizens from actions undertaken by government, not private entities. Americans’ constitutional rights during police encounters – such as the right against unreasonable searches and seizures or the prohibition on detention without trial – do not apply during interactions with private law enforcement officers. At the heart of this case lies the question of whether safety officers at private universities are state actors operating under color of state law, purporting to act in the performance of official duties under the law “regardless of whether or not the act is within the limits of [their] authority.” If so, their behavior may become subject to constitutional restraints on state action. At many schools, security agents play a dual private/public role, acting as both institutional guardians and sworn police officers exercising state powers, sometimes simultaneously.
This question is increasingly pertinent in a nation where an ever-expanding population of students pursuing higher education requires increasing numbers of security officers to protect them. The percentage of schools nationwide employing armed guards increased from 66 percent to 72 percent between 1995 and 2005 , while the percentage of schools using sworn police officers also increased.
Brown Police Chief Mark Porter says the move toward greater on-campus security began in the late 1960s in response to campus demonstrations and accelerated after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. University police departments can respond to on-campus incidents more quickly than their municipal counterparts, Porter says, and give schools greater discretion in adjudicating misdemeanors and minor policy infractions. Police officers must meet higher training and educational standards than ordinary security forces, and can develop stronger relationships with students and faculty than city police. To be sure, many of these benefits undoubtedly accrue to students as well.
Brown’s Deputy Counsel James Green asserts that the university is not subject to Section 1983 jurisdiction. The school insists Enos operated as a Brown security agent, not a sworn police officer, throughout his dealings with Klunder. Green notes that Klunder originally filed claims against eleven Brown faculty, most of which were dismissed before trial. On July 13, District Court Chief Justice Mary Lisi dismissed complaints against nine defendants, but permitted those against Enos, Simmons and the university to move forward, declaring that there was insufficient information to determine whether Public Safety officers act under color of law.
Sheldon Nahmod, a professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, believes Klunder makes a compelling argument that Brown’s Public Safety officers are indeed state actors. The issue depends on whether Rhode Island delegated its traditional law enforcement function to Brown. Nahmod says Brown police may be constitutionally liable for actions taken in the line of duty if they are found to be the legal equivalent of police officers. Under Rhode Island law, the superintendent of state police may “appoint qualified employees of those institutions [of private education] as special police officers, ” who “may exercise… the same powers and authority of a police officer.” The case, Nahmod says, “is quite important going beyond this particular decision,” because a favorable ruling for Klunder would almost certainly subject private university security officers to constitutional limits on state action. “The stakes are pretty high,” he said.

The role of campus security is evolving as more challenges confront universities regarding the issue of student safety and protection.


Campus Law Enforcement Can Challenge Managers

Arming Campus Police: Managing the Risk

Staying Safe Off Campus

College Discipline Extends Off-Campus

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