Emergency Notification and Timely Warning Issuance Policy & Procedure

(version 2019-20)

Introduction

Mid Michigan College (Mid) is committed to maintaining a safe, secure and positive learning environment. Our primary concern is for the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. As such, in the event of a substantiated serious safety concern on campus, Mid has established policies and procedures to notify the campus community. Information on crime-related matters or situations that pose an ongoing threat to members of the campus community will be carefully disseminated in a timely manner to the campus community through the issuance of an Emergency Notifications (EN) or a Timely Warning Notice (TWN). These notices are designed to help keep the campus community informed about safety and security issues that are timely in nature, provide next steps or required action, and help in the prevention of similar crimes, in criminal matters.

Emergency Notification

If a serious crime, natural disaster, or man-made emergency occurs that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the college community or a segment of the community, Federal Law requires the College to immediately notify the Mid campus community or the relevant segments of the community that may be affected by the situation.

All members of the Mid Community are reminded through the Annual Security Report that they are required to notify Campus Security or Security Operations and Systems (SOS) of any situation or incident on campus that may present a significant emergency or dangerous situation that could pose an immediate or ongoing threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus. These Departments have a responsibility to respond to these incidents, summon the necessary resources to mitigate, investigate, and document any situation that may cause a significant emergency or dangerous situation.In addition, they are responsible for notifying Mid’s Core Crisis Team of the situation so they may determine if the situation does, in fact, pose an immediate threat to the community.

When situations are presented to Mid’s Core Crisis Team, the available members will convene, assess the significance, level of danger, and immediate threat to the health, safety and security of the college community. Should they determine that an Emergency Notification is warranted, the available Team members will determine the content of the message and will utilize the appropriate systems (stated below) to communicate the threat to the Mid community or the afflicted segment of the community if the threat is limited to a particular population, campus location, or building. Taking into account the safety of the college community, the Team will initiate the Notification System. This communication will be through e-mails to all active Mid e-mail accounts and may also use text and automated voice calls, the public address system, College website, posted notices in buildings, and/or local media.Visitors to the campus that have enrolled in MidAlert! will receive a text message. The communication to students, employees, and visitors will provide them with direction and information about the incident.Depending on the nature and severity of the incident, the Core Crisis Team may need to confer with local, state and federal agencies to help determine the severity of the situation, how best to respond and the segments of the greater community that may need notification from them. In critical circumstances, a member of the Team will post updates on the College web site and may send follow up e-mails, texts or automated voice calls.

As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315), available members of the Core Crisis Team will promptly determine the details of a situation and initiate the Notification System. Taking the safety of the community into consideration, the notification will be implemented unless the Team determines that it would compromise or hinder the response or efforts to assist the victim(s) or mitigate the emergency. In such a circumstance, the notification may be delayed.Reports to the Core Crisis Team may be gathered from Campus Security, Security Operations and Systems, any member of the campus community, local law enforcement, homeland security etc.

The Core Crisis Team is composed of:The Core Crisis Team is composed of: the President, Vice President of Finance & Administrative Services, Director of Information Technology, Associate Vice President of Security Operations & Systems, Vice President of Student Services, Vice President of Academic Services, Director of Facilities, and Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications, Liaison Office, Vice President of Community Outreach & Advancement

Examples of situations that may constitute the College’s decision to issue an Emergency Notification include, but are not limited to:

  1. Situations where there is potential for serious injuries or serious injuries have occurred.Examples:
    • Outbreaks of serious illness
    • Gas leaks
    • Armed assailant
    • Bomb threat
    • Explosion
    • Fire
  1. Situations that cause a major disruption to the campus community and/or campus operations.Examples:
    • Tornado
    • Power outages
    • Severe accident
    • Serious acts or threats to campus property

Emergency Notifications Process:

  1. Upon receipt of a report that a significant emergency, dangerous situation or crime that could impact the campus community may exist, available members of the College’s Core Crisis Team will convene and/or communicate, assess the significance, level of danger and treat to the health, safety and security of the college community (this assessment may require consultation with various departments within the college or with external constituents including local law enforcement and/or homeland security personnel) and determine if an Emergency Notification is warranted.
  2. The Core Crisis Team will without delay, determine the content of the Notification and initiate the Notification System, unless issuing a notification would, in the professional judgment of the Team, compromise or hinder the response or efforts to assist the victim(s) or mitigate the emergency.
  3. Emergency Notification messages and subsequent updates may be issued to the campus community at the direction of the Team through a variety of components including but not limited to:
  4. Unlike Timely Warning Notices which must be sent campus-wide, an Emergency Notification may be designated to a specific group of individuals in a specified building/area.As a general rule, the entire campus community would be notified of the emergency and if limited to a certain campus location or building, that information would be included in the notification.If an Emergency Notification is issued, there is no need to issue a Timely Warning Notice.
    • MidAlert! Mid’s Emergency Alert System, which includes text messaging and automated voice calls.(Students, faculty, staff and visitors must enroll)
    • E-mail to all active MidMail accounts
    • College website
    • Postings on college buildings
    • Public address system (PA/phones)
    • Through local media

Timely Warning Notice

In compliance with the Federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistic Act of 1998, Mid will issue Timely Warning Notices (TWN) when a serious criminal incident is reported and deemed to pose an ongoing threat to the campus community. These efforts help keep the campus community safe and empowered to safeguard itself from harm. The Clery Act defines specific crimes that require the issuance of Timely Warning Notices when crimes are reported to Campus Security Authorities {(CSA) (individuals with significant responsibility for student and campus activities)}, Campus Security, or local law enforcement. Timely Warnings are issued for crimes that are believed to have occurred on campus property, public property immediately adjacent to campus property, or in/on non-campus buildings or property.Clery crime classifications include:aggravated assault, arson, burglary, criminal homicide, dating violence, domestic violence, motor vehicle theft, robbery, sex offenses, and stalking. From time to time, the College may choose to issue Public Safety Notices for non-Clery crimes that are not at the level of a serious or continuing threat to the campus community but still warrant notification (examples include patterns of larcenies or vandalisms).All Timely Warning and Public Safety Notices will be determined and issued on a case-by-case basis.

Members of Security Operations and Systems are responsible for reviewing all reports of criminal activity to determine if they meet the Clery Acts standard for a Timely Warning Notice. If so, they are to contact a member of the College’s Core Crisis Team.The Core Crisis Team or member thereof will review the report to determine if there is an ongoing threat to the community and if a Notice is warranted.The Team, with assistance from Security Operations and Systems or member thereof will determine the content of the message and a Timely Warning will be communicated to students, faculty, and staff through a “blast e-mail” to all active MidMail accounts.Visitors to the campus, who have enrolled to receive notifications, will be sent a text message directing them to a link for the full timely warning notice.At times, other methods of communicating the Timely Warning Notice may be used in conjunction with the “blast e-mail.” These may include any of the following:MidAlert! (voice and text messaging), public address system, College website, posted notices in buildings, and/or local media.

Criteria for Issuance of a Timely Warning Notice

The intent of a Timely Warning Notice (TWN) is to alert the campus community of ongoing threats and enable individuals to protect themselves. It is also considered a tool to use in the prevention of similar crimes.

The decision to issue a Timely Warning Notice will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Issues taken into consideration are: details surrounding a crime, the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.While the Clery Act does not specifically state what information should be included in a Timely Warning Notice, the information should encompass all information about the crime that would promote personal awareness and safety.Generally, the TWN will specify the type of reported crime, the time and location that the reported crime occurred, a clear description of what occurred, and information to the campus community regarding the steps to take to protect oneself and avoid becoming a victim. The Timely Warning Notice will not include any information that would identify the victim.A description of a subject in a criminal incident will only be included in the Notice if there is a sufficient amount of detail to describe the individual.If the only known descriptors are sex and race, those would not be included in the Notice.

NOTE:The College will not withhold a basic description of the reported crime under auspices of the risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.Specific details such as the exact location, the specific date, etc., could be withheld if releasing such information would compromise law enforcement efforts (such as conducting an investigation or conducting an undercover operation, etc.).

The College will not issue a Timely Warning Notice if the subject has been apprehended and the threat of imminent danger to the Mid community has been mitigated by the apprehension.Further, a Timely Warning Notice may not be issued if the report was not filed with Campus Security, Security Operations and Systems or reported to a Campus Security Authority in a manner that would allow the issuance of a “timely” notice to the college community.In situations such as these, our general guidance is that a report filed more than ten days after the date of the incident may not allow the College to issue a “timely” notice to the campus community. These situations would be evaluated on a case-by- case basis.

How Timely Warning Notices are issued:

  1. Security Operations and Systems reviews information that is reported by members of the community, Campus Security Authorities, Campus Security and local law enforcement to determine if a reported crime or dangerous situation has occurred that could pose an on-going threat to the campus community. If so, it will determine if the incident occurred on campus-defined geography, was reported to a CSA, meets the Clery Crime definitions and may warrant a Timely Warning.(The College may choose to issue public safety notices for non-Clery crimes.) Thereafter, a member of Security Operations and Systems will contact the Core Crisis Team or member thereof.
  2. The Core Crisis Team or member thereof will review the incident to determine if there is an ongoing threat to the campus community and if a Timely Warning is warranted. If so, they will without delay and with assistance from Security Operations and Systems, determine the content of the notification and initiate the Notification System.
  3. The Notice will be disseminated to the campus community through a “blast e-mail” to all MidMail accounts, visitors to the campus that have enrolled to receive text message will receive a text message directing them to a link for the full notice.Mid may also use one or more of the following channels to distribute the Timely Warning notice:
    • MidAlert! Mid’s Emergency Alert System, which includes text messaging and automated voice calls.(Students, faculty, staff and visitors must enroll)
    • E-mail to all active MidMail accounts
    • Visitors to the campus have the option to enroll in MidAlert! text messages, and those enrolled will receive a text
    • College website
    • Posting on college buildings
    • Public address system (PA/phones)
    • Through local media

Conclusion

This policy and procedure is designed to help inform the campus community on how Mid determines and disseminates emergency notices and timely warnings to the campus community.

For questions or to obtain a paper copy of this policy please e-mail sos@midmich.edu .For more safety and security related information please visit Mid’s Safety and Security webpage.

 
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