IRM-018: Issuance of a Timely Warning

Date: 09/29/2015 Status: Final
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Assistant Vice President for Clery Act Compliance (Office of the)
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division, the Medical Center, and University-Related Foundations.
Reason for Policy:

In the event of a Clery Act crime that may pose a serious or ongoing threat to members of the University community, the University Police Department (UPD) may issue a “Timely Warning” generally for the following crimes: arson; aggravated assault; criminal homicide; robbery; burglary; rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape; and hate crimes. Timely Warnings also may be issued for other Clery Act crimes as deemed necessary. The purpose of a Timely Warning is to notify the campus community of the incident and to provide information that may enable community members to better protect themselves from similar incidents.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Campus Community:

    Refers to faculty, staff, employees, students, patients, and visitors on or near campus; consisting of the administrative units and eleven Schools in Charlottesville, the Medical Center, and all Academic Centers.

  • Campus Security Authority (CSA):

    Individuals at the University who, because of their function for the University, have an obligation under the Clery Act to notify the University of alleged Clery Crimes that are reported to them in good faith, or alleged Clery Crimes that they may personally witness. These individuals, by virtue of their position due to official job duties, ad hoc responsibilities, or volunteer engagements, are required by federal law to report crime when it has been observed by, or reported to them by another individual. These individuals typically fall under one of the following categories:

    1. A member of a campus police/security department.
    2. Individuals having responsibility for campus security in some capacity, who are not members of a campus police/security department (e.g., an individual who is responsible for monitoring the entrance to University property).
    3. People or offices that are not members of a campus police/security department, but where policy directs individuals to report criminal offenses to them or their office.
    4. Officials having significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings.

    Official: Any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the University.

    Common examples of CSAs include (but are not limited to):

    Police and Security personnel
    Athletic Directors
    Athletic Coaches
    Faculty advisors to student organizations
    Housing & Residence Life Staff
    Director of Emergency Management
    Medical Center Risk Management
    Directors of Women’s Center
    Coordinators of Fraternity & Sorority Life
    Title IX Coordinators
    Medical Center Employee Relations

    CSA's are determined by criteria established in United States Department of Education’s The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, pgs. 74-81 (Feb. 28, 2011).

  • Clery Act Crimes (Clery Crimes):

    Crimes required by the Clery Act to be reported annually to the University community, including: criminal homicide (murder and negligent/non-negligent manslaughter); sex offenses (rape, fondling, statutory rape, and incest); robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; arson; hate crimes (including larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property that are motivated by bias); dating violence; domestic violence; stalking; and arrests and referrals for disciplinary action for any of the following: (a) liquor law violations, (b) drug law violations, and (c) carrying or possessing illegal weapons.

  • Clery Reportable Location:

    Property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the University which includes: (1) on campus, (2) on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and (3) in or on non-campus buildings or property that the University owns, controls, or leases, is frequented by students and used in support of educational purposes.

  • Physical Violence:

    Exerting control over another person through the use of physical force, including hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking and brandishing or using any weapon.

  • Timely Warning:

    An alert triggered when the University determines that a crime which has already been committed but presents a serious or continuous threat (e.g., a homicide, sex offense or robbery) must be reported to the campus community.

Policy Statement:

In the event of a Clery Act crime that may pose a serious or ongoing threat to members of the University community, the University Police Department (UPD) may issue a “Timely Warning” generally for the following crimes: arson; aggravated assault; criminal homicide; robbery; burglary; rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape; and hate crimes. Timely Warnings also may be issued for other Clery Act crimes as deemed necessary. The purpose of a Timely Warning is to notify the campus community of the incident and to provide information that may enable community members to better protect themselves from similar incidents.

  1. Criteria for Issuing a Timely Warning:
    UPD will issue a Timely Warning whenever the following criteria are met: 1) a Clery Act crime is reported; 2) the crime occurred in a Clery Reportable Location; 3) the perpetrator has not been apprehended; and 4) there is a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community because of this crime. The decision to issue a Timely Warning shall be made on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

    • Was the suspect identified?
    • Was the suspect apprehended?
    • If known, does the suspect have prior arrests, reports or complaints, or any other history of violent behavior?
    • If known, does the suspect have a history of failure to comply with a University No-Contact Directive, other protective measures, or judicial protective order?
    • Did the incident involve physical violence?
    • Has the suspect threatened to commit physical violence?
    • Did the incident involve multiple victims?
    • Does it appear to be an isolated incident involving a specifically “targeted” victim?
    • Does the report reveal a pattern of behavior (e.g., by suspect, by a particular group or organization, around a particular recurring event or activity, or at a particular location)?
    • Did the suspect use “date-rape” or similar drugs or intoxicants?
    • Did the incident occur while the victim was unconscious, physically helpless or unaware that it was occurring?
    • Was the victim under 18 years of age?
    • Were there other aggravating circumstances or signs of predatory behavior that may constitute a serious or ongoing threat?

    In order to make a Timely Warning consideration, all Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) and local law enforcement agencies are directed to immediately report Clery Crimes to UPD or the Assistant Vice President for Clery Compliance.

    The Chief of Police and/or the Assistant Vice President for Clery Compliance (or designee) are responsible for making a Timely Warning consideration using the criteria previously listed. If the Timely Warning criteria are met, a notice will be drafted using crime-specific templates and issued by the Chief of Police and/or the Assistant Vice President for Clery Compliance (or designee) as soon as pertinent information is available. Timely Warnings are generally issued via email, but may also be distributed through press releases, text messages, posters, desktop alerts and with messages on UPD’s website when appropriate. The University may not use all distribution methods for every incident. (For more information, see University Alerts.)

  2. Content of a Timely Warning:
    The following information is typically included in a Timely Warning if available:

    1. A statement of the incident, including the nature and severity of the threat and the persons or locations that might be affected;
    2. Any connection to a previous incident(s);
    3. Physical description and/or composite drawing of the suspect;
    4. Date and time warning was released;
    5. Other relevant and important information (e.g., gender of the victim, student/non-student, etc.);
    6. Appropriate safety tips.

    When issuing a Timely Warning, some specific information may be withheld if there is a possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts to investigate and/or solve the crime.

  3. Issuance of a Community Alert:
    In certain circumstances, an incident may not meet the criteria of a Clery Reportable Crime occurring in Clery Reportable Location, but may constitute a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community. For instances that a Timely Warning is not required, the Chief of Police and/or the Assistant Vice President for Clery Compliance (or designee) may choose to issue a “community alert” via email notifying the campus community of the threat. The content of a community alert may vary depending on the type of incident reported and the location in which it occurred.

Procedures:

Critical Incident Management Plan
Critical Incident Notification
Report a University Student Living in University Housing Missing
U.Va. Alert Sign-up

Related Information:

HRM-032, Disruption of Normal University Operations Resulting from Weather or Emergency Events
IRM-013, Mass Text Messaging for Emergency Alerts
SEC-035, Clery Act Compliance
STU-003, Missing Student Notifications for Students Residing in on-Grounds Housing

Major Category: Information Resource Management
Category Cross Reference: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 09/29/2018
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 09/29/2015
Supersedes (previous policy):
I.A.3, Emergency Notifications.