Oct. 1, 2020

This Annual Security Report is being provided as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or “Clery Act.” Statistical information is gathered from campus resources and law enforcement agencies as required. The report is prepared by the Director of Security to inform students, prospective students, faculty, and staff members about security incidents on the campus and in surrounding areas, educate them about crime reporting procedures and prevention measures, and provide information about university support programs. This report also includes information about fire safety and statistics. Crime and fire statistics are reported by calendar year.

Security on Campus

The Puget Sound campus is located in a residential community in Tacoma, Washington. The university is genuinely concerned about the welfare of its students, faculty, and staff members. We operate, assess, and continually evolve crime prevention, response, and reporting programs that are reasonable and appropriate for our environment. The university cannot totally eliminate crime or guarantee protection of persons or property. Each campus community member is responsible for contributing to a safe campus environment and should exercise reasonable precautions to minimize risks to themselves and others.

Reporting Responsibilities and Campus Security Authorities

Campus safety is paramount. Puget Sound Security staff are visible across campus and present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Security staff members assist campus community members and visitors in a wide variety of ways, and also enforce campus policies, rules, and regulations on university property. In doing their work, Security staff members work closely and regularly with the Tacoma Police Department to enforce local, state, and federal laws on the campus and on the campus borders. On-duty security staff members carry two-way radios that allow direct communication with Tacoma Police and other emergency response personnel. Tacoma Police may be asked to provide assistance, make arrests, and investigate criminal matters as appropriate. Security staff members do not arrest suspects without Tacoma Police assistance. Tacoma Police officers routinely patrol the campus vicinity and maintain communication with on-duty Security staff members to share important information about activity in the area of campus. Security administrators also meet regularly with Tacoma Police administrators to collaborate on campus and immediate neighborhood safety issues.

Every member of the campus community plays a role in creating and maintaining a safe environment on campus; however, some faculty and staff positions are designated by the Clery Act as “campus security authorities” (CSAs) who must report crimes of which they become aware. At Puget Sound, CSAs are in one of the following groups:

  • Non-police security staff members responsible for monitoring university property 
  • Staff members/offices designated under Puget Sound policy as those to whom crimes should be reported 
  • “Officials with significant responsibility for student and campus activities”

Students are expected to promptly report crimes to Security Services or to an appropriate campus security authority. In addition, as stated in the Code of Conduct (pugetsound.edu/code-of-conduct), all members of the campus community are expected to make accurate and prompt reports of any alleged violations of applicable standards, policies, laws or regulations or on-campus injuries, fires, and serious illnesses to Security Services or other appropriate university office.

Because Puget Sound has strong internal communications and geographically concentrated campus housing, Residence Life staff members generally become aware of significant incidents quickly. As a reminder, reports may be made in confidence to any campus security authority in addition to members of Security Services. Pastoral and counseling staff members may report crimes to university officials for statistical purposes only and must inform those reporting of this obligation. Security Services and Residence Life staff are trained regarding accurate and prompt incident reporting. Security administrators, Student Affairs staff members, Human Resource staff members, and the university Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity Officer investigate campus crimes and complaints involving faculty, staff members, and students. If any violation of a campus policy, rule, or regulation is determined to have occurred, then appropriate sanctions or corrective actions are implemented, consistent with the relevant university policies.  In those cases, Student Affairs staff are responsible for sanctioning students; Human Resources staff members work with department supervisors or the Provost’s Office to sanction faculty and staff members.

In addition to the internal processes that may be utilized, victims of crimes are advised to report incidents to the Tacoma Police Department. Security Services is available to assist as needed.  Security staff members document all reported incidents and refer significant crimes against persons and/or property to the Tacoma Police Department. Tacoma Police may investigate on- or off-campus incidents involving students and non-students. There currently is no contract for services or memorandum of understanding for sharing information between the university and the Tacoma Police Department. However, police responses to campus and investigations of alleged criminal offenses are coordinated closely.

Emergency Response Plans

Campus emergency response plans are posted at pugetsound.edu/emergency. The university has a designated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and temporary shelters on campus. Meetings and exercises are periodically conducted involving members of the university’s Emergency Response Group. College representatives conduct ongoing emergency planning with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and City of Tacoma Police and Fire departments. At the beginning of each semester, the university schedules and practices a campus-wide emergency drill (alternating between campus lockdown and evacuation). Prior to the drill, the campus community is reminded about posted emergency response procedures. Additionally, the Director of Security regularly meets with administrative and academic departments to review campus emergency response procedures.

Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings

Disseminating information and fostering awareness are essential to effective emergency response and crime prevention. The university strives, without significant delay, to inform the college community about potentially dangerous situations, immediate threats to health or safety, and major incidents involving crimes against persons (including reported sexual assaults) and property so they may take measures to avoid potential harm. Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings (Security Alerts) can be communicated immediately via an outdoor loud speaker system and a campus mass emergency notification system with voice, text, and email capabilities. Emergency messaging is prepared by Security Services and/or in conjunction with the Office of Communications. Campus emergency communication systems are tested monthly by Security staff members.

Crime Prevention

Personal safety, resource information, and property protection literature is available at Security Services. Security Services assists students with engraving personal property and an engraver is available for loan at the Security office. Community members are encouraged to register bicycles with a university- supported registration program. Security administrators meet bi-monthly with student leaders to report campus incidents and discuss crime prevention measures. Crime prevention information is posted on the Security Services website, posted on bulletin boards throughout campus, and communicated in the student newspaper, which typically is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Crime prevention information also is emailed regularly to the campus community, included in online news briefings to faculty and staff members, and may be posted on the department’s Facebook page as necessary.

Building Access and Security

Security Services, through key control and card access, regulates building use. Video surveillance cameras are used in many non-private campus areas to deter, observe, and investigate reported unusual or suspicious activity. Academic facilities have electronic locks that secure buildings at varying times depending on building use schedules. Only authorized campus members can access facilities when they are secured.

All student housing provided by the university is on campus.  Residence halls are secured 24 hours a day. Security and Residence Life staff members regularly patrol living areas to check for propped or unsecured doors. Areas rendered un-securable by damage or equipment failure are repaired on a high-priority basis.

Alcohol and Drug Policies

Security Services and Student Affairs staff members enforce university policies regarding possession, use, and serving of alcoholic beverages. University policies reflect Washington state laws, and underage drinking is not permitted. University policies also prohibit on-campus possession, use, or sale of marijuana and illegal drugs per federal and/or state law. The university’s Alcohol and Drug Policy can be reviewed at pugetsound.edu/alcohol-and-drug-policy. If there is a conflict between state and federal laws, federal law takes precedence. Violators are subject to sanctions or other corrective action; however, violators instead may be referred for mandatory psychoeducational workshops or substance abuse assessment. Counseling for students may be addressed by Student Affairs staff members.

Puget Sound also provides educational programs (“Know Your Numbers,” “Hashing Out The Truth,” “e-Toke,” and “e-Chug”) for substance misuse and abuse prevention, in which all students may participate or attend during new student orientation and at other times during their educational experience.  Puget Sound faculty and staff members have access to “Unum Work-Life Balance,” an employee assistance program that provides resources for those concerned about personal alcohol and/or drug use. 

Weapons on Campus Policy

University policy 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 is defined as any firearm, explosive, knife (with a blade longer than 3 ½ inches), club, or other object that has been designed with the intent 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 university’s Weapons Policy can be found at pugetsound.edu/weaponspolicy.

Codes of Conduct

The university’s Code of Conduct establishes the high university ethical standards and expectations of students, faculty, staff members, officers, trustees, and others with whom we work. The Code of Conduct provides an overarching statement that supplements but does not replace existing university policies and codes.  

In addition to the Code of Conduct, students are governed by the Student Integrity Code. Student violations of the Code of Conduct or Student Integrity Code are handled through Puget Sound’s student conduct process. This process is independent of criminal or civil proceedings. Students are advised by the university of the option to pursue criminal charges or to bring civil action against perpetrators of crimes on campus. The student conduct process can be reviewed at pugetsound.edu/student-conduct.

Sexual Assault Prevention Programming, Campus Resources and Reporting

The university has policies that address sexual assault, sexual violence or harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, discrimination and harassment. The “Interim Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct” is at pugetsound.edu/sexualmisconductpolicy. The “Campus Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment” is at pugetsound.edu/discriminatoryharassmentpolicy. The university recognizes that sexual discrimination and harassment destroys the respect, dignity, and trust necessary to form a safe and vibrant community. All forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sex-based discrimination, unwelcome sexual contact, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, and all other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct are prohibited.

Counseling, Health & Wellness Services, the Bystander Revolution Against Violence under Student Affairs, and Puget Sound’s Title IX/Equal Opportunity Office all offer or sponsor programs to promote healthy relationships and increase student awareness about sexual violence, offenses, discrimination, and harassment.  

Training on prevention of sexual discrimination, harassment, assault, and other forms of gender-based violence is provided to student leaders using a comprehensive approach involving peer influence and bystander choices through nationally recognized programs such as Green Dot and Take Back the Night. New students participate in a consent workshop and attend a Green Dot Bystander persuasive speech presentation? as part of new student orientation. Attendance is taken at those sessions so that those who did not attend can be invited to a personalized session later in the semester. Student Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants are required to participate each August in this program and training. Sexual violence prevention workshops such as Green Dot Bystander Workshops are provided several times each semester or upon request for interested groups or organizations. Campus-wide presentations such as Take Back the Night occur each semester. Other prevention and awareness efforts occur throughout the academic year and include Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Escalation Workshop in conjunction with the One Love Foundation in response to Dating Violence, the It’s On Us Week of Action, the Clothesline Project and the No More campaign. 

Training on preventing workplace sex discrimination and other unlawful workplace discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, is provided to faculty, staff members, and student employees. Title IX training, including reporting requirements, is included in new faculty and staff orientation programs. Puget Sound provides mandated online tutorials covering harassment prevention and preventing sexual violence that include the legal basis for harassment, behavioral awareness, and knowledge testing through case scenario-based questions. These tutorials provide prevention, awareness, and educational content about consent, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and reporting requirements and also address Puget Sound’s Interim Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct, which provides detailed descriptions of reporting responsibilities and grievance processes for students, faculty, and staff members. Puget Sound staff members are asked to complete the tutorials within 30 days of hire and every two years thereafter. Online training is augmented by diversity awareness and discrimination-prevention training by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Title IX/Equal Opportunity Office in partnership with Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources.

Training on diversity and inclusion, harassment prevention, and bystander intervention response to power-based violence, including sexual violence, is regularly included in campus training offerings.

The Sexual and Gender Violence Committee (SGVC) is an institution-wide committee that assesses and addresses what the campus community is doing to address sexual and gender violence prevention, education, and response. 

The university supports awareness of these issues in other ways. One is an advocacy and reporting card located in bathroom stalls in residential and academic buildings. The Title IX Coordinator/Equal Opportunity Officer provides an overview at faculty and staff orientation regarding policies, procedures, and reporting options and obligations. A sexual offense survivor is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention. A prompt medical examination is important to assess possible injuries or infection and 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. Additionally, a Sexual Misconduct Resource Center is available online pugetsound.edu/sexual-misconduct-resource-center. If the survivor so desires, the university will provide supportive measures, which may include alternative campus housing and academic arrangements as appropriate and reasonably available. 

The university provides multiple internal reporting options, including to the Title IX Coordinator or certain confidential resources.  In addition, reports made to CHWS counseling staff members or the university chaplain are privileged and not reported to the university’s Title IX Officer unless the complainant elects to do so. If there is an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct, the complainant and the respondent are entitled to have an advisor present at all meetings. They also are informed in writing about disciplinary proceeding outcomes alleging a sexual offense, including the nature of any sanctions/responsive action. The university may impose one or more sanctions as appropriate, including but not limited to an official reprimand, campus activity restrictions, and eviction from campus housing, student suspension, student expulsion, or termination of a faculty or staff member’s employment. A campus policy violation finding requires proof that allegations are more likely true than not true (preponderance of evidence).

A survivor, the Title IX Coordinator, a confidential resource, or someone with knowledge of a sexual offense should report the incident immediately to the Director of Security. Reporting information is available at pugetsound.edu/report. The survivor has the option to notify the Tacoma Police Department whether or not the offense is reported to Security Services. If the survivor so desires, the university will assist in notifying the police.

Registered Sex Offenders

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department maintains records of registered sex offenders residing in Tacoma. To identify and learn more about any registered offenders in a particular area, visit www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54483. General information about offenders and related Washington State laws is available on this site.

Missing Persons

Security Services has procedures for responding to reports of missing persons. Campus community members are encouraged to contact Security Services or Residence Life staff members with concerns about possible missing roommates, friends, or co-workers. Unless there is evidence of suspicious circumstances, persons over 18 years of age are not normally considered “missing” by Tacoma Police until they have not been seen or communicated with for 24 hours. Students living in university-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 will be notified if a student is determined to be missing after 24 hours whether or not they have listed a contact person. University representatives work collaboratively with Tacoma Police to investigate missing students. The university must notify parents or guardians (unless emancipated) about missing students under the age of 18.

Fire Safety

Fire drills are conducted in large occupancy living units (once each semester). Drills are scheduled by Residence Life staff members and coordinated by Security Services. During drills, Residence Life and Security staff members check facilities to review evacuation compliance and verbally instruct occupants to assemble in designated outdoor gathering areas for each building.

Fire safety in campus residences is closely monitored and policies are enforced by Residence Life and Security staff members. Washington State law prohibits smoking within 25 feet of building entrances or openings. The Residence Policy prohibits tampering with fire safety equipment, storing flammable objects or substances, use of candles or incense, refrigeration units requiring excess of 2.5 amps, and exposed-coil cooking appliances in residential buildings. Residence Life staff members enforce these policies and perform fire inspections of each room every semester. Residence Life and Security staff members receive annual fire extinguisher training. Maintenance and custodial staff members receive fire safety training and are instructed to report observed violations to Security Services.

The university encourages prompt reporting of any fire to Security Services. Reported fires are responded to by trained Security staff members and/or the Tacoma Fire Department, and are documented in a university incident report. 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. The university owns 76 residential houses occupied by students, faculty, or staff members. These houses are equipped with residential smoke detectors and occupant-use fire extinguishers. Security staff members test fire alarm systems, visually inspect fire extinguishers, and facilitate needed repairs. 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.

Crime and Fire Statistics

Following are the three most recent years of campus crimes and residential fire statistics formally reported by victims, witnesses, students, faculty, and staff members 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. A log of reported campus crime and fire statistics is maintained and available for review in the Security Services office.

  • Crime statistics are available in Adobe PDF.
  • Fire statistics are available in Adobe PDF.
  • The Annual Report may be downloaded in Adobe PDF.