October 1, 2010
This annual report is to inform students, prospective students, faculty, and staff about Puget Sound security incidents and crime prevention programs and measures. Also included in this report is information about campus fire safety and fire statistics. This report meets the requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. It also complies with the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Crime and fire statistics are reported by calendar year as required by these acts. The most current reporting period ended December 2009.
The Puget Sound campus is located in a residential community. The crime rate on and near campus is historically low compared with most areas of the city.
Puget Sound is genuinely concerned about the welfare of its students. We have established crime prevention, response, and reporting programs that are reasonable and appropriate for our environment and we continuously assess and refine them. The college cannot totally eliminate crime nor can it guarantee protection of persons or property. Each member of the campus community should exercise reasonable precautions to minimize risks to themselves and others on campus.
The college encourages the reporting of all on-campus criminal activities, injuries, fires and illnesses. Security staff document all reported incidents and refer significant crimes against persons and property to the Tacoma Police Department. Security administrators and Student Affairs staff investigate on-campus crimes involving students. Student Affairs staff sanction students when appropriate. The Tacoma Police Department may investigate on-campus incidents involving students and non-students. Video surveillance cameras are used in select campus areas to deter and investigate reported suspicious activity.
The college makes clear that its student conduct process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. Students are advised by the college of the option to pursue criminal charges or to bring civil action against perpetrators of crimes on campus.
Security administrators, through key control and card access programs, regulate access to buildings. Academic facilities are locked at varying times depending on use schedules. Prior written authorization is required for admittance when facilities are locked. Residences are locked 24 hours a day. Security and Residence Life staff patrol living areas to check for propped or unsecured doors. Areas rendered unsecurable by damage or equipment failure are repaired on a high priority basis by maintenance staff.
Puget Sound Security staff members receive enforcement authority for campus rules and regulations from the college. Security staff work closely with the Tacoma Police Department. On-duty staff members carry radios which allow direct communication to City Emergency Services. Tacoma Police provide police services on campus. They are summoned to provide assistance, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters as appropriate. Security staff do not routinely arrest suspects without the assistance of Tacoma Police. Tacoma Police officers patrol the campus vicinity on a routine basis and maintain communication with on-duty Security staff.
Security Services and Residence Life staff are trained in the importance of accurate and prompt reporting of all incidents, including criminal acts, accidents, fires, minor property damage, injuries, and illnesses. Because Puget Sound has strong internal communications and campus housing is geographically concentrated, trained staff generally become aware of significant incidents and encourage reporting to campus authorities. Security staff report crimes to local authorities when appropriate.
Disseminating information and awareness is essential to effective emergency response and crime prevention. The college strives, without significant delay, to inform students, faculty, staff and the college community, about potentially dangerous situations, significant incidents involving crimes against persons and property so that they may take measures to avoid potential harm. Crime information is disseminated weekly via the campus newspaper and Safety Committee meetings by the director of Security. Emergency alert/warning information can be communicated to the campus immediately via an outdoor, wide-area broadcast loud speaker system and a campus mass emergency notification system (voice, text and email messages). On-duty Security staff (director and assistant director, and full-time campus safety officers) have the authority to initiate appropriate emergency response/s. Incidents involving personal safety concerns can also be reported quickly via written “Security Alerts” which are hand delivered for posting to some departments and/or communicated over campus-wide voice, intranet, or e-mail systems.
Campus emergency communication and notification systems (outdoor wide-area broadcast and voice/text/e-mail) are tested and practiced monthly by security staff. Each calendar year the college schedules and practices a campus-wide building evacuation exercise. Prior to the drill, the campus community is reminded about posted building evacuation procedures. All buildings are evacuated and occupants are gathered in designated building gathering areas to conduct person accountability processes.
Campus emergency response plans are posted at www.pugetsound.edu/emergency. The college has designated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and temporary shelters on campus. Table-top exercises are conducted annually by the Emergency Operations Center Management Group and the Emergency Policy Council. Administrative staff conduct ongoing emergency planning with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and the City of Tacoma (Police and Fire).
Security Services offers an Operation I.D. program. Literature describing the program and tools to engrave personal property are available for loan at the Security office. Crime prevention information is posted on bulletin boards throughout campus and communicated in the weekly campus newspaper.
The college does not have recognized student organizations with off-campus offices or housing. Off-campus criminal activity involving students should be reported to local law enforcement agencies by the victim or complainant.
Puget Sound, through Security Services and Student Affairs staff, enforces college regulations regarding the possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. Regulations are patterned after State laws and underage drinking is not permitted. Policies prohibit on-campus possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs. Because the college’s conduct process is an educational one, violators may be referred for mandatory counseling or substance abuse assessment as part of a sanction by Student Affairs staff. Puget Sound also has educational programs on alcohol misuse and abuse prevention, which all students have the opportunity to attend during New Student Orientation and at other times during their educational experience. Possession or use of firearms or other weapons on campus, except by law-enforcement officials, is strictly prohibited.
The college has policies that address sexual assault and other forcible and nonforcible sex offenses. For further information, see the college’s “Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.” The policy defines violations, explains reporting procedures, and describes counseling and support services available to immediate parties involved in a complaint. Complaint resolution processes, including the investigative procedure and possible sanctions, also are described in the policy.
Counseling, Health & Wellness Services and other Student Affairs departments sponsor programs to promote healthy relationships and increase student awareness about sexual offenses and harassment.
A survivor of a sexual offense should report the crime immediately to Security Services. The survivor also has the option to notify the Tacoma Police Department whether or not the offense is reported to Security. If the survivor so desires, the college will assist in notifying the police.
A sexual offense survivor is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention. A prompt medical examination is important to check for possible injuries or infection and to collect medical evidence in the event of a criminal prosecution. The survivor is also encouraged to seek personal counseling and support from Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, the college Chaplain, the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, or another counseling service of the survivor’s choice. If the survivor so desires, the college will make alternative campus housing and academic arrangements as may be appropriate and reasonably available. Students may request that reports made to members of the counseling staff or the college chaplain be kept confidential.
The college’s “Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct” outlines the procedure for campus disciplinary action in cases of an alleged sexual offense. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. The accuser and the accused will both be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding alleging a sexual offense, including the nature of any sanctions imposed. The college may impose any one or more sanctions as appropriate, including but not limited to an official reprimand, mandatory counseling, restrictions on participation in campus activities, eviction from campus housing, suspension, expulsion of a student, or termination of a faculty or staff member’s employment.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for maintaining records of registered sex offenders in Tacoma. To identify registered offenders in your neighborhood or area, visit www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/sheriff/sexoffendersearch.htm. General information about offenders and related Washington State laws is also available on this site.
Security Services has procedures for responding to reports of missing persons. Campus community members are encouraged to contact Security Services or Residence Life staff with concerns about the whereabouts of a roommate, friend, or co-worker. In most cases unless there is evidence or suspicious circumstances to indicate otherwise, persons over 18 years of age may not be considered “missing” until they have not been seen or communicated with for 24 hours. Students living in on campus, college-owned housing have the option of listing a confidential contact person to be notified if the student is determined missing. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officials have access to this contact information. Tacoma Police must, and will be, notified if a student is determined to be missing after 24 hours whether or not they have listed a contact person. College officials will work collaboratively with Tacoma Police to investigate missing students. The college must notify parents or guardians (unless emancipated) of missing students under the age of 18.
All campus student housing facilities are equipped with fire alarm and suppression devices. All large occupancy residence units, including fraternity and sorority residences, contain certified fire alarm systems, occupant use fire extinguishers, and fire sprinkler systems. Building fire safety equipment generally is upgraded (if warranted) during major renovation projects. The college owns 68 student residence houses. These houses are equipped with residential smoke detectors and occupant use fire extinguishers. Security staff test fire alarm systems, visually inspect fire extinguishers monthly and facilitate repairs as necessary. Per City of Tacoma fire code, all campus fire alarms and suppression systems are tested and certified annually by a licensed contractor. All campus fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems are monitored in the Security office. Security staff members respond to fire alarm activations and immediately alert the Tacoma Fire Department when necessary.
Fire drills are conducted in large occupancy living units twice annually (once each semester). Drills are scheduled by Residence Life staff and conducted by Campus Safety Officers. During drills Residence Life and Security staff members check the facility to review evacuation compliance and verbally remind occupants to gather in designated gathering areas for each building.
Fire safety in campus residences is closely monitored and regulations are enforced by Residence Life and Security staff members. By Washington State Law, smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of a residential building entrance or opening. The campus Residence Policy prohibits tampering with fire safety equipment, storing flammable objects or substances, the use of candles or incense, and refrigeration units in excess of 2.5 amps or exposed coil cooking appliances in residential buildings. Residence staff regularly enforce these policies and perform a once-a-semester fire inspection of each room. Residence Life and Security staff members receive annual training on proper fire extinguisher use. Maintenance and custodial staff receive fire safety training and are instructed to report observed violations to Security Services.
The college encourages the prompt reporting of any fire to Security Services. Reported campus fires are responded to by trained Security staff and/or the Tacoma Fire Department and are officially documented in a college incident report.
Following are campus crimes and residential fire statistics formally reported by victims, witnesses, or Student Affairs staff to Security Services. Tacoma Police provide crime statistics for incidents occurring on streets or sidewalks bordering campus property. The director of Security Services compiles these statistics for the previous three calendar years in accordance with federal regulations. Daily records of campus crime and fire statistics are maintained and available in the Security office.