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    Emergency Notification and Timely Warning Policy

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    Purpose

    To establish utilization standards for emergency notification and the issuance of timely warnings at the University of Dayton. This policy includes policy statements required by the U.S. Department of Education in the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting and which are a required element of the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report.

    Policy History

    Effective Date:  December 17, 2015

    Approval:  December 17, 2015; University President

    Policy History: 

    • Approved in its original form:  December 17, 2015

    Maintenance of Policy:  Department of Public Safety

    Scope

    Staff responsible for system management of making notifications.  Faculty, staff, and students receiving emergency notification and timely warning messages.

    Policy

    EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION

    I.  The safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors is a paramount concern, especially during an emergency.  The use of the emergency notification system provides for the rapid dissemination of time-sensitive information to enhance the safety and security of the university environs during an emergency and to relay timely information to parents and guardians.

    II.  For the purposes of this document, an emergency is defined as any current or imminent event with significant threat to life and/or property and with a high potential to disrupt operations or adversely impact the quality of life at the University of Dayton.  Some examples include but are not limited to:

    1. Tornado warning (tornado has been sighted and the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning).
    2. Large-scale environmental incident within or near a campus facility (i.e. fire or hazardous material).
    3. Ongoing acts of violence or other criminal activity which present significant risk of physical harm (i.e., active shooter).
    4. Urgent notification for cancellation of classes due to severe weather or environmental incident.

    III.  The University of Dayton maintains a contract with an approved vendor to provide an off-site emergency notification system.  The system can be activated during an emergency to provide rapid notification to members of the university community through a variety of communication means, including:

    1. Standard telephone.
    2. Cellular telephone.
    3. E-mail.
    4. SMS text messaging.

    IV.  The Department of Public Safety is responsible for the management of emergency notification systems.  UDit will provide technical support and assistance as required.

    V.  Emergency notification procedures are provided in APPENDIX A, Emergency Notification Procedures.

    TIMELY WARNING

    I.  In the event of an incident, on or off campus, that constitutes an ongoing threat to the campus community, a timely warning in the form of a safety advisory will be issued as soon as reasonably practical.  All crimes reportable in the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety report that is considered to represent a serious or continuing threat will be reported to the community in a timely warning.

    II.  Timely warnings are issued by Public Safety via the campus email system to each current student, faculty, and staff member.

    III.  Timely warning procedures are provided in APPENDIX B, Timely Warning Procedures. 

    Reference Documents

    1. U.S. Department of Education Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting
    2. Violence Against Women Act
    3. Appendix A: Emergency Notification Procedure
    4. Appendix B: Timely Warning Procedure

    Appendix A: Emergency Notification Procedures

    Participation

    Data is initially uploaded to the emergency notification system database from a number of sources and includes campus telephone numbers, university-owned cellular telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. This data is automatically included in the database. 

    A. Personal Contact Methods.  Community members may update personal contact methods via the emergency notification system vendor’s secure member portal. A link to this portal will be provided on the university’s Porches site. The following personal contact methods may be added.

    • Personal cellular telephone numbers.
    • Additional personal telephone numbers.
    • SMS text message addresses.

    B. Contractors.  Facilities Management will provide periodic listings of contractors whose personnel normally work on site at the University of Dayton. UDit will update contact tables for these personnel and upload contractor information to the member database.

    C. Information Update Campaign.  Public Safety will conduct an annual e-mail campaign to update information in September of each year. Information for bargaining-unit employees and those who do not customarily use e-mail will be updated by their supervisors using a form.

    D. Data Uploads.  UDit will provide updated data files to Public Safety for upload to the vendor according to a predetermined schedule. Data will be transmitted by secure means.

    Message Transmission

    A. Triggering Events.  Any event with imminent potential to result in loss of life, or significant property damage or disruption of campus activities will result in the activation of the emergency notification system. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • Tornado or severe weather warning (tornado sighted or severe weather in vicinity).
    • Urgent closing of university facilities or classes.
    • Environmental emergency within campus facility (i.e. hazardous material).
    • Serious criminal activity with ongoing threat to university population (i.e. person with weapon).

    B. Message Formulation.  The Department of Public Safety is responsible for confirming facts which would indicate that timely warnings and emergency notifications is appropriate. Subsequently, the Department of Public Safety will create the message to be transmitted. If, in the professional judgment of the Department of Public Safety, issuing a notification potentially compromises efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency, the University may elect to delay issuing an emergency notification. As soon as the condition that may compromise efforts is no longer present, the University will issue the emergency notification to the campus community.

    The message will list the type of emergency, areas to be avoided (if pertinent), probable duration of the emergency (if known), and any special instructions. The emergency notification will not include the name or identifying information of a victim of sexual assault.

    Templates will be created for potential emergency situations, with fill-in provisions for information to be completed relative to the particular emergency. Template messages will be used to the maximum extent possible.

    C. Transmission Authority.  The Department of Public Safety will maintain access privileges and ensure system training is conducted for authorized users.

    One of the below individuals should be notified in advance, if time permits.  The determining factor is the potential impact of delay on community safety.  Under no circumstances should pre-transmission notification interfere with ensuring the safety of community members.  If notification prior to transmission is not feasible, the individual transmitting the message will ensure at least one of the below is notified as rapidly as possible.

    • President
    • Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs
    • Vice President for Student Development/Dean of Students

    The below individuals are authorized to create and/or transmit messages. 

    Department of Public Safety:

    • Executive Director/Chief of Police
    • Director, Administration and Security
    • Director, Police Operations
    • Systems Support Manager
    • Dispatchers (template messages only)

    University Communications:

    • Director of Media Relations
    • Associate Director Media Relations
    • Assistant Director Media Relations

    Any other department or person recognizing an emergency will contact the Department of Public Safety to report the event. Determination to activate the emergency notification system will be decided based on circumstances and potential for harm.

    D. Message Relay Responsibilities.  The emergency notification system is intended to serve all members of the university community. Community members should recognize that persons away from their telephones and other communication devices, visitors, contractors working on site, and others who do not have access to university communication systems will not receive emergency messages. 

    • Persons receiving emergency messages should notify others in the vicinity and relay instructions as appropriate. 
    • Tour guides and special event sponsors are responsible for relaying messages and instructions to those persons they are hosting.
    • Departments hosting contractors and casual workers are responsible for relaying notifications and instructions to those personnel, as appropriate.

    E. Test Messages.  The Department of Public Safety will conduct system tests once per academic semester (Fall and Winter semesters only).  Tests will be announced in advance by campus-wide e-mail.

    F. Unauthorized Messages.  The emergency notification system will be used only for transmission of emergency or urgent information relative to critical incidents with significant harmful potential.  Messages will not be transmitted for announcement of special events, commercial purposes, or any other non-urgent information, with the exception of periodic test messages.

    G. External Agencies.  The Department of Public Safety will coordinate with local police agencies and request their cooperation in informing the University of Dayton about incidents that may necessitate emergency notification activation.

    H. All Clear.  An “all clear” message will be issued when the emergency has passed.  The all clear template message will be used.

    I. Record Keeping.  The Department of Public Safety will maintain records of all emergency notifications and ensure they are reported in the university’s Campus Security and Fire Safety Report.

    Appendix B: Timely Warning Procedures

    Preparation

    The decision to issue a timely warning shall be made on a case-by-case basis after consideration of the available facts, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger or risk to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts. As soon as practical after the requirement for a timely warning becomes known, the Department of Public Safety will prepare the warning. 

    • Public Safety will develop a standardized format for timely warnings to ensure all required elements are included.  These include:
      • Nature of the warning.
      • Location of the incident.
      • Time of the incident.
      • Description of any suspect(s).
      • Steps community members should take.
      • Where to seek additional information.
    • The timely warning will be reviewed by at least one other person prior to transmission.
    • The timely warning will not include the name or identifying information of a victim of sexual assault.
    Transmission

    A. Timely warnings will be transmitted as rapidly as is practical.

    B. Timely warnings will be transmitted via e-mail using the “announce” and “student announce” group addresses. 

    C. Transmission authority is limited to the following.

    • Executive Director, Department of Public Safety
    • Director, Administration and Security
    • Director, Police Operations
    • Systems Support Manager

    D. If practical, the following will be notified prior to transmission of a timely warning.

    • Office of the President
    • Vice President for Student Development
    • Director of Media Relations

    E. External Agencies.  The Department of Public Safety will coordinate with local police agencies and request their cooperation in informing the University of Dayton about incidents that may necessitate a timely warning.

    F. Record Keeping.  The Department of Public Safety will maintain records of all timely warnings and ensure they are reported in the university’s Campus Security and Fire Safety Report.