October 1, 2012
This annual report informs students, prospective students, faculty, and staff about Puget Sound security incidents and crime prevention programs and measures. It also includes information about campus fire safety and fire statistics.
This report meets the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requirements. 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 year ended in December 2011.
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 eliminate crime, nor can it guarantee the protection of persons or property. Each campus community member 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.
The college makes clear that its student conduct process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. The college advises students to pursue criminal charges or civil action against perpetrators of crimes on campus. Review the student conduct process.
The university has a Code of Conduct that outlines the high ethical standards of the university and our expectations of students, faculty, staff, officers, trustees, and others with whom we work. The Code of Conduct is intended to provide an overarching statement that supplements but do not replace existing university policies and codes.
Security administrators, through key control and card access programs, regulate access to buildings. Video surveillance cameras are used in select campus areas to deter and investigate reported suspicious activity. 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 members 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 members work closely with the Tacoma Police Department. On-duty staff members carry radios which allow direct communication with City Emergency Services. Tacoma Police provide police services on campus. They are summoned to assist, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters as appropriate. Security staff members 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 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 members 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. Without significant delay, the college strives to inform students, faculty, staff, and the college community about potentially dangerous situations, major incidents involving crimes against persons and property, so 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 loudspeaker system and through “Security Alerts” sent via 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 and notifications.
Campus emergency communication and notification systems (outdoor wide-area broadcast and voice/text/email) are tested and practiced monthly by security staff—each calendar year during the fall term, the college schedules, and practices a campus-wide emergency drill. Prior to the drill, the campus community is reminded about posted emergency response procedures.
Campus emergency response plans are posted at pugetsound.edu/emergency. The college has designated an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and temporary shelters on campus. Table-top exercises are conducted annually and involve members of the Emergency Operations Center Management Group. College representatives conduct ongoing emergency planning with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and Tacoma City (Police and Fire).
Literature about personal safety and property protection is available at the Security office. Security Services can assist students with engraving personal property, or an engraver is available for loan at the Security office. Crime prevention information is posted on bulletin boards throughout campus and communicated in the weekly campus newspaper. Crime prevention information is also sent regularly to the campus community via campus email.
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.
Through Security Services and Student Affairs staff, Puget Sound enforces college regulations regarding the possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. Regulations are patterned after State laws, and underage drinking is not permitted. University 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 Student Affairs staff's sanction. Puget Sound also has educational programs on alcohol misuse and abuse prevention. All students have the opportunity to attend during New Student Orientation and at other times during their educational experience.
University policy strictly prohibits the possession or use of weapons on campus by anyone except law-enforcement officials, armored car couriers, or others specifically authorized by the university to support curricular or co-curricular programs. A weapon means any firearm, explosive, knife, club, or other objects designed to harm another person or property (or replica of such a firearm or object) or any object used to inflict harm to another person or property. Possession includes, but is not limited to, storage in residential facilities, academic or administrative offices, lockers, desks, briefcases, or personal vehicles parked on university property.
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 of 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 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 desires, the college will make alternative campus housing and academic arrangements as appropriate and reasonably available. Students may request that reports made to the counseling staff members 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 complainant and the respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. The complainant and the respondent 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, the 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 a neighborhood or area, visit icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54483&disc=. 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 college-owned housing can list 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 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 uses fire extinguishers. Security Staff test fire alarm systems, visually inspect fire extinguishers monthly, and facilitate repairs as necessary. Per the 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 assemble in designated outdoor 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 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.
The 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 and 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.