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Official policies of St. Mary's University

Immediate (Emergency) Notifications (Clery Act)

Approver(s):

Executive Council

Authorizes release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible office:

University Police Department

Review cycle:

Annually or as required

Adopted:

July 2015

Last update:

October 2016

Next review:

June 2017

Related policies and additional references:

Clery Act Timely Warning Notifications; Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, St. Mary’s University has implemented a comprehensive communications system to provide prompt Emergency Notification alerts (called StMU Alerts) for incidents involving a potential immediate threat to the health and safety of members of the campus community using both email and text messages. Some buildings have Public Address Systems which may be used by the StMU Police to communicate with occupants of an individual building, when appropriate. The University may also use the University website and/or social media to provide information, as well and the content for activation of these systems is the responsibility of University Communications. If either these systems fail or the University deems it appropriate, in person communication or other available forms of communication may be used to communicate an emergency. In addition, University community members can call St. Mary’s University emergency hotline at 210-431-8075 for more information.

There is a separate procedure governing timely warning notifications that are sent to the St. Mary’s University community to notify students and employees about serious crimes that occur within the predefined Clery geography, when it is determined by the University Police Department that the incident may pose an on-going threat to members of the University community.

In conjunction, with other University administrators, local first responders and/or the National Weather Service, St. Mary’s University Police Department will confirm that there is an emergency or dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of some or all members of the St. Mary’s University Community. The University Police will then issue the Immediate (Emergency) Notification.

The University Police will use the determination of “more likely than not” to confirm an immediate threat.  Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus, the St. Mary’s University Police Department will be responsible for determining if an immediate (emergency) notification is warranted, essentially confirming the emergency and immediately notifying the campus community. If an immediate (emergency) notification is needed, it is sent to members of the University community via email and an StMU Alert. The content of the message will be developed, and the message will be sent by the University Police Department. Normally the Immediate (Emergency) notification will be sent by the University Police.  If however, due to the nature of the emergency the University Police are unable to send the message, the Office of Communications and / or the Dean of Students are authorized to send the message. University Police will send the message to the St. Mary’s University Community or to the appropriate segment of the community, if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population. Follow up messages will also follow the above described process and will be sent by the University Police Department and / or the Office of Communication.

The St. Mary’s University Police Department will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the University Community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification, unless doing so will, in the professional judgement of law enforcement personnel, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

The below listed positions have the authority and access to issue an immediate (emergency) notification:

Chief of Police,
Police Captain,
Police Sergeants,
Coordinator to the Chief of Police,
Police Telecommunicators,
Chief of Staff, Office of the President / Office of Communication,
Director of Media Relations & Social Media
Dean of Students

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