Campus Crime Reports and Registered Sex Offender Information Procedure - 63.06.09
College Policy Number/Title:
In compliance with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), and all regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education, 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 publishes 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 on the public safety webpage.
Signed into law in 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) expands the Clery Act and other regulations. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance documents and regulations to comply with the statutory provisions as written. HCC demonstrates compliance with the requirements under VAWA and the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 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 U.S. Department 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 the public safety page on HCC’s website.
HCC job applicants are required to complete a college application for employment, which requires the reporting of criminal convictions. Sex offense conviction will make the applicant ineligible for employment or an employment interview, therefore, sex offenders should not apply for vacant positions. Prior to approving the hiring of an employee, the human resources employment manager reviews the Maryland sex offenders registry or includes this as part of the background investigation required for the new employee, as convicted sex offenders are not permitted to work at HCC. Additionally, a designated individual from the college’s emergency operations team or department of public safety reviews the Maryland sex offender registry monthly for updates and changes. The college also receives automatic notifications from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services on convicted sex offenders. Failure of an employee to report a sex offense conviction during the application process or failure to report during the term of employment will result in immediate job termination.
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.
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. In accordance with the Clery Act, HCC has designated certain employees as Campus Security Authorities. Their function is to collect and report “in good faith” all identified crimes. To access a list of campus security authorities, please review the Annual Security Report located on the HCC website. 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 and is a Clery crime, a campus-wide “timely warning” is issued. Similarly, the college issues an “emergency notification” to the campus community upon confirmation of a significant event involving the immediate threat to the health or safety of students and employees. 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.
The timely warning or emergency notification is issued as soon as the information is available, unless issuing a notification will compromise the efforts to contain the emergency. Both the timely warning and the emergency notification can be issued through a redundant system of communication channels. Depending on the particular circumstances of the incident, the appropriate communication channels are implemented.
The college is committed to providing a safe campus for its students, employees, and visitors. The HCC public safety department provides 24-hour staffing to protect its community. Surveillance by public safety officers occurs on foot and by vehicles. The college also maintains a camera security system. 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 and well-being of the campus community.
Effective Date: 05/10/19
President's Office Use: VPAF/VPSS - CAT