Monday, July 5, 2010

Campus Security - Updates to the Clery Act

On July 1, 2010, new regulations affecting campus security at institutions of higher learning took effect. These regulations address many areas, including changes to certain financial aid rules and regulations, changes to fire reporting requirements and file sharing. However, the most important changes that were implemented include updates to the reporting requirements and notifications under the Clery Act.

The Clery Act, formally known as the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, was named after Jeanne Clery, a 19 year old college student who was murdered in her dorm room in 1986. In the investigation, it was discovered that her school had either misreported or failed to report numerous instances of crime on her campus. The 1990 Act helped increase of awareness of crime on campus and as a result helped increase information-sharing and notification of issues.

Schools that receive or participate in federal funding programs must submit to its students and faculty Campus Safety and Security Reports detailing crimes, such as homicides, burglaries, aggravated assault, arson, etc. in and around campus. The Clery Act also requires campus security officials to maintain crime logs for several years, including a two month log immedately available to anyone who requests a copy, as well as timely reports if there is imminent threat. Failure to do so could result in thousands of dollars of fines per violation.

The 2010 regulations, originally issued by the Department of Education in October 2009, require additional reporting in these Campus Safety and Security Reports. These additions include the following:
  • Campus policies regarding law enforcement authority of campus security officials.
  • Details of relationships with local law enforcement.
  • Methods of incident reporting.
  • Description of processes that lead to notification of emergency situations.
  • Additional reporting of crimes if determined to be hate crimes.

If you suspect that your school/employer is not complying with these new requirements under the Clery Act, contact the regional office of the Department of Education that handles the state in which your school/employer is located. The regional office will then assist you and, more importantly, determine the next steps to take to ensure compliance.

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