Emergency Notification, Timely Warning, Public Health and Safety Issuance Policy & Procedure

(Updated AUGUST 2021)

Introduction

Mid Michigan College (Mid) has endeavored to cultivate a safe, healthy and positive learning environment. Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. As such, in the event of a substantially serious safety or health concern on campus, Mid has established policies and procedures for campus community notification. 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 through a timely process, provide next steps or required actions, and (in criminal matters) help in the prevention of similar crimes

Emergency Notification

Federal Law requires the College to immediately notify the Mid community (or the relevant segments of the community that may be affected by the situation) upon confirmation that a serious crime, legitimate threat, man-made emergency, or natural disaster exists and could pose an immediate risk to the health and safety of the college community. All members of the Mid Community are advised 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 situation that could jeopardize the health or safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus. These Departments have a responsibility to determine the existence of a legitimate emergency or dangerous situation, respond to the incident, and summon the necessary resources to mitigate, investigate, and document the incident. In addition, these departments are responsible for notifying Mid’s Core Crisis Team (CCT) of the situation so that they can confirm that a legitimate emergency or threat exists.

The term ‘confirmation’ as used in this Policy indicates that a member or members of the College’s Core Crisis Team have verified that a legitimate emergency or dangerous situation exists. Confirmation does not require that ALL pertinent details are known or available. Confirmation will be based upon what authorized, trained individuals conclude. This is dependent upon the facts and information available to them at the time.

Upon recognition and confirmation that a significant emergency, dangerous situation or crime exists, a member or members of the College’s Core Crisis Team shall initiate and/or direct authorized Campus Security personnel to issue the appropriate emergency notification. The messaging content will be determined by the emergency mode initiated and will be disseminated through the appropriate systems (stated below). This will communicate the threat to the Mid community (or the afflicted segment of the community if the situation is limited to a particular population, campus location, or building). Taking the safety of the college community into consideration, the Notification will be disseminated. This communication will be through “blast” e-mails to all active Mid e-mail accounts and may also be delivered by 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 circumstance, 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 what segments of the greater community may need notification. In critical events, a member of the Team will post updates on the College website and may send follow up e-mails, texts or automated voice calls.

As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315), an available member or members of the Core Crisis Team will promptly initiate the Notification System. The safety of the community will be taken into consideration, and the notification will be implemented unless it is determined that it would compromise or hinder the response or efforts of assisting the victim(s) or mitigating the emergency. In such a circumstance, the notification may be delayed. Reports to the Core Crisis Team may be obtained 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 President, Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees, Vice President of Finance & Facilities, Director of College Compliance & Ethics, Director of Information Technology, Vice President of Student Services, Vice President of Academic Affairs & Community Outreach, Director of Facilities, and Liaison Officers.

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:
    • Gas leaks
    • Armed assailant
    • Bomb threat
    • Explosion
    • Fire
  2. 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 confirmation that a significant emergency, dangerous situation or crime exists that could impact the campus community, a member or members of the College’s Core Crisis Team will assess the level of danger, significance, and threat 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). The CCT shall initiate and/or direct authorized Campus Security to issue the appropriate emergency mode.
  2. The content of the Notice will be determined by the emergency mode initiated, and the notice will be disseminated 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. The Notice will be dispersed to the campus community through a “blast e-mail” to all MidMich accounts; visitors to the campus that have enrolled to receive text messages 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 notice and/or any subsequent messages:
    • MidAlert! Mid’s Emergency Alert System, which includes text messaging and automated voice calls. (Students, faculty, staff, and visitors must enroll)
    • Email to all active MidMail accounts
    • College website
    • Postings on college buildings
    • Public address system (PA/phones)
    • Through local media
  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.

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 (CSAs-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. Occasionally, the College may choose to issue a Public Health/Safety Advisory for non-Clery crimes that do not rise to 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 Warnings and Public Health/Safety Advisories 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 communicate with 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 MidMich accounts. Visitors to the campus who have enrolled to receive notifications, will be sent a text message directing them to a link for the entire Timely Warning Notice. On occasion, other methods of communicating the Timely Warning Notice may be used in conjunction with the “blast email.” 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 as a tool for 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 details should be included in a Timely Warning Notice, the Notice should encompass all the 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 measures to take in protection of oneself to 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 enable 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/or local law enforcement to determine if a reported crime or dangerous situation has occurred that could pose an ongoing 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, without delay and with assistance from Security Operations and Systems, they will determine the content of the notification and initiate the Notification System.
  3. The Notice will be disseminated to the campus community through a “blast email” to all MidMich accounts; visitors to the campus that have enrolled to receive text messages 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)
    • Email 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

Public Health & Safety Advisory

When deemed necessary and when the issuance of an Emergency Notification or Timely Warning is not required, the College’s Core Crisis Team may choose to provide information to the campus community by way of a Public Health or Safety Advisory. These Advisories may be issued in situations where a serious health risk or significant incident occurs within the College’s Clery reportable geography or outside the reporting area with the potential to affect the campus community. In such instances, information will be provided to students, staff and visitors to alert them of the concerning incident, risk or situation. Details surrounding the health or safety risk would be provided, along with information that would encourage personal health and safety. Advisories may be sent to the entire campus community or a segment of the campus community and would be provided through various formats, depending on the nature of the advisory. Formats may include but are not limited to: blast emails, segmented emails, individual emails to MidMich accounts, through MidAlert! (voice and text messaging), public address system, the College website, posted notices in buildings, and/or local media.

Conclusion

This Policy and the procedures are designed to apprise the campus community of Mid’s processes for determining and disseminating emergency notices, timely warnings and public health/safety advisories.

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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