College Policy Number/Title:
In compliance with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of July 2010, Howard Community College (HCC) is required to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime, public safety policies and procedures, campus law enforcement policies , emergency response procedures, and registered sex offenders. HCC must publish an annual report by October 1 that contains three years of campus crime statistics and certain public safety policy statements. Howard Community College makes this report available to all students and employees on the college website at www.howardcc.edu/students/department_of_public_safety.
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to clarify that nothing in that act may be construed to prohibit an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders. It further requires the United State Department of Education secretary of education to take appropriate steps to notify educational institutions that disclosure of this information is permitted.
The sex offender registry for Maryland provides information on registered sex offenders enrolled or employed at all Maryland institutions of higher education. This information may be accessed via the internet at www.dpscs.state.md.us/sorSearch or on HCC’s website public safety page listed above.
The supervisor or hiring manager is responsible for reviewing this website prior to approving the hire of any employee since convicted sex offenders are not permitted to work for HCC. The college will not hire a convicted sex offender; therefore, sex offenders should not apply for vacant positions. HCC job applicants are required to complete a college application for employment, which requires reporting criminal convictions. A sex offense conviction will make the applicant not eligible for employment or an employment interview.
Failure of an employee to report a sex offense conviction during the application process or that occurs during the term of employment will result in immediate job termination. Appropriate campus notifications will be initiated as deemed necessary.
Convicted sex offenders are required to register at the college’s public safety office prior to registering for any course or program at HCC. Disclosure of information provided to the public safety office will be provided to the vice president of administration and finance and the vice president of student services accordingly. Additional campus notifications will be initiated as deemed necessary. Failure to register with the college’s public safety office will result in disciplinary action including expulsion, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
The college is committed to providing a safe campus for its students, employees, and visitors. The HCC public safety department provides 24-hour surveillance to protect its community. Surveillance by public safety officers occurs on foot, by vehicles, and through use of camera and security systems. Emergency policies and procedures have been developed and are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Public safety and emergency response teams collaborate with state and local law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to situations that impact the safety of the campus community.
Policies and procedures have been established to encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all incidents to public safety and, if necessary, local law enforcement agencies. Public safety will respond immediately to a call, take a report, and, if necessary, initiate an investigation and notify the local police to investigate.
The college encourages immediate and accurate reporting of crimes and incidents at all times. Students, employees, and visitors to campus should immediately report all incidents to public safety. Individuals can report an incident by calling the emergency phone number 443-518-5555 from an exterior phone or extension 5555 from any interior phone located on campus. In addition, any RED interior emergency phones or any BLUE exterior emergency phone located in the parking lot can be used.
The college's public safety department has the overall responsibility for campus security and safety. In the event that a situation arises that, in the judgment of the director of public safety and the crisis communication manager, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus-wide timely warning will be issued. Immediate emergency notification to the campus community is done through a redundant system of communication channels. The college issues an immediate notification to the campus community upon confirmation of a significant event involving the immediate threat to the health or safety of students and employees, unless issuing a notification will compromise the efforts to contain the emergency.
A "significant event" is an incident or situation that threatens the loss or injury of life; the loss or destruction of property; and disrupts normal operations. A "timely warning" is an emergency notification disseminated through campus-wide communication channels; the timeliness of the warning will be reasonable under the specific circumstances of the event.
Effective Date: 02/28/14