Timely Warnings

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to establish the University’s responsibilities and procedures for issuing a Timely Warning Notice to the University community about criminal activity to help them avoid a continuing threat and aid in the prevention of similar crimes.

Policy

Lynn University will issue a Timely Warning Notice in the event it receives notice of an alleged Clery Act crime (identified below) occurring on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to the University’s campus or in or on non-campus buildings or property controlled by the University, where the University determines, in its judgment, that the allegations present a serious or continuing threat to the University community.

The Chief of Campus Safety is responsible for determining whether to issue a Timely Warning Notice to the campus community.

Definitions

Bias—a preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin.

Campus Security Authority (CSA)—a Lynn University employee who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, and as such is trained by the college to report certain crimes occurring on campus or at a college sanctioned event to Campus Safety for inclusion in the Annual Security and Fire Report.

Clery Act Crime—arson, criminal homicide, burglary, robbery, sex offenses, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and hate crimes, as defined by the Clery Act.

Hate Crime—a criminal offense of murder and non-negligent murder, forcible sex offenses, non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, destruction/damage/vandalism of property, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking incidents, where the criminal offense was committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias.

Timely—as soon as reasonably practicable, after an incident has been reported to: Campus Safety, a Campus Security Authority (CSA), or a local police agency.

Timely Warning—a communication triggered when a Clery Act crime is reported and the University determines there is a continuing threat to the campus community. Crime reports do not always require an Emergency Notification, but are released once the pertinent information is available.

Procedures/Guidelines

Crimes covered by the Clery Act that are known to Campus Safety and that represent a serious or continuing threat to the campus community will result in a campus-wide “Timely Warning” notification. Whether to issue a Timely Warning Notice is determined on a case-by-case basis for Clery Act reportable crimes. Timely Warning Notices may also be issued for other crimes as determined necessary by the Chief of Campus Safety. The University will document and retain the justification for determining whether to issue a Timely Warning Notice for a seven-year period.

Timely warnings may be issued via a variety of methods, depending on the circumstances of the crime. These can include:

  • Campus-wide email – disseminated by the Office of Marketing and Communication.
  • Alertus Campus-wide public address system – Activated by Campus Safety to alert students and employees on campus grounds and offices. The community will receive a computer desktop message and/or hear a short siren followed by a spoken message that will provide instructions on appropriate action(s) to take. The public address message formatted to repeat itself several times to ensure the message is received by as many in the Lynn community as possible.
  • Printed notice – When appropriate, printed notices may be posted at campus locations affected by the emergency.
  • Website posting – Ongoing concerns to the campus community may be posted on Lynn.edu and the Alert.Lynn.edu website by the Office of Marketing and Communication (i.e., Level 3 crisis; school closings, weather, important events).
  • Blackboard Comment/Alertus Systems – Campus Safety or the Office of Marketing and Communication may use this notification system to contact the campus community in crisis situations. The Blackboard Comment/Alertus systems are designed to provide information relative to an emergency via text, email, desktop, public address messaging systems, and / or voicemail. A targeted use of Blackboard Comment/Alertus, or full deployment of all modalities of communication, may be deemed necessary based on the nature of the event.

Written Timely Warning Notices typically contain in the subject line the phrase “Timely Warning Notice” or “Crime Alert” depending on the nature and severity of the threat. The body of each Timely Warning Notice will include a short description of the crime or incident giving the time and date, location, reported offense, suspect description, weapon used (if any), suspect vehicle (if any) and method of operation used to facilitate the crime. The notice will also include personal safety information to aid members of the University community in protecting themselves from becoming victims of a similar crime and to promote overall safety for the University community. In no instance, however, will a Timely Warning Notice include the name of the victim or other identifying information about the victim. Finally, in developing the content of the Timely Warning Notice, the University will take all reasonable efforts not to compromise on-going law enforcement efforts.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Campus Safety.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018