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April 11, 2014

Police memo points out crime-reporting obligation under Clery Act

The Purdue University Police Department is reminding faculty and staff about the University's obligations regarding the reporting of crime statistics and the responsibilities of those on campus who qualify as a campus security authority (CSA) under federal law. Chief John Cox re-issued a memo today (April 11) about crime statistics and related reporting obligations to those identified on campus as CSAs.

Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (generally known as "the Clery Act"), any postsecondary institution that participates in federal Title IV student financial assistance programs is required by law to:

* Issue an annual security report that discloses campus crime statistics to current and prospective students, employees and the U.S. Department of Education.

* Advise students and employees of current crimes and issue timely safety warnings and emergency notifications for crimes that pose a serious or continuous threat to the campus community.

* Make available its campus security policies.

* Maintain a public, daily log of reported crimes.

Individuals in certain positions throughout campus are designated as CSAs, and they are required to promptly report any crimes of which they are aware so that the incidents can be included in campus crime reports and statistical reporting in accordance with the Clery Act.

The intent of including non-law enforcement personnel in the role of CSA is to acknowledge that some community members, particularly students, may be hesitant about reporting crimes to the police; however, they may be more inclined to report incidents to other campus-affiliated individuals, says Steve Dietrich, Purdue's Clery compliance administrator.

The law defines a CSA as:

* Someone who works as part of campus police or campus security.

* Someone who has responsibility for campus security but does not constitute police or security. Examples include special event staff and individuals who monitor access into a campus facility.

* Any individual or organization specified via Purdue’s security policy as someone to whom students and employees can report criminal offenses.

* Any University official with "significant responsibility for student campus activities." These activities include student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. A list of examples is available here.

Individuals who would not meet the CSA criteria include faculty members who do not advise a student group, support staff (including clerical, maintenance and food service workers) and campus health physicians or nurses whose only responsibility is to provide care to students.

More information about the Clery Act and responsibilities of individuals identified as CSAs is available at  www.purdue.edu/ethics/clery.html. A printed brochure with the information is also available through PUPD.

Questions should be directed to Dietrich at 49-61650 or srdietrich@purdue.edu.