Security Services Information Release Policy

At the discretion of the Director of Security Services, in consultation with the Dean of Students and the Director of Business Services, Security Services information releases will be produced and distributed to inform the university community of significant incidents involving risks to personal safety. The process will be as follows:

Security Services staff will discuss with the Dean of Students and the Director of Business Services the circumstances of the incident, the potential for recurrence of the problem and the potential utility of releasing information to the campus community. Generally, the Director or Assistant Director of Security Services will complete information releases for incidents occurring on campus or at locations immediately adjacent to campus that involve serious personal safety risks and in response to which an immediate information release may help others avoid a similar incident and/or may help identify a suspect in a serious incident such as a rape, assault with a weapon, or a robbery. Incidents for which there is a low likelihood of immediate recurrence typically will not be reported. Information releases usually will not be used for incidents that occur outside of the immediate campus vicinity. Serious incidents occur with relative frequency within the city limits, including the north end of Tacoma. Such incident frequency dictates a need for continual crime prevention awareness and education which are most appropriately communicated through means such as The Trail, Food and Safety Committee meetings, The Tattler, Open Line, Residential Programs meetings, brochures and posters. Generally, false rumors about serious incidents will not be addressed through information releases. The weekly Trail, the Food and Safety Committee, Dean of Students and Residential Programs communications are usually adequate to address false rumors.

If an incident warrants the release of information, the Director or Assistant Director of Security Services will draft a factual release describing the incident. The Dean of Students and Director of Business Services will review and approve the release prior to distribution.

The release will be distributed as follows:

  1. As soon as a release is prepared, Security Services staff will hand deliver copies to Residential Programs staff listed below. At least one copy should be posted in each Residence Hall, Union Avenue Residence and university House in each Community Coordinator's housing group by the responsible Residential Programs staff member.

    1. Hall Coordinators (Residence Halls)
    2. Greek House Coordinators (Union Avenue Residences)
    3. Community Coordinators (University Houses)
  2. One copy of releases will be hand delivered to the following offices on the day of the incident or on the next business day:

    1. President's Office
    2. Dean of Students Office
    3. Residential Programs Office
    4. Office of Admission
    5. The Trail
    6. OUR-Communications
    7. Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration
  3. Releases for faculty and staff will be mailed or hand delivered to all department heads on the day of the incident or on the next business day.

  4. A notice regarding the incident will be placed in the next issue of The Tattler. This notice will describe the incident briefly and refer readers to the release for more information.

  5. A copy of the release will be posted in a standard location in each of the following buildings:

    1. Wheelock Student Center
    2. Collins Memorial Library
    3. Memorial Fieldhouse
    4. Jones Hall
  6. If a release is issued after business hours, Security Services will deliver one copy to the on-duty supervisor in each of the following locations:

    1. Dining and Conference Services Main Kitchen
    2. Dining and Conference Services Union Avenue Kitchen
    3. Facilities Services Department
    4. Library Circulation Desk
  7. Distribution may be expanded to include each faculty member with a request to inform their classes (in the case of extremely serious incidents).

  8. Security Services and Residential Programs staff will generally remove releases from posted locations one week after the date of release.

  9. The Telephone Voice Mail system may be used in addition to written release information about serious incidents, particularly where immediate notice of risks is warranted. Depending on the nature of an incident, voice mail messages may be distributed to one or more of the following groups:

    1. All residents of a particular living unit or units
    2. All Residential Programs staff
    3. All campus residents
    4. All faculty and staff

Origination Date: 2/1992
Revised: 4/1996

Owner: Security Services
Contact: Director of Security Services