Tidewater Community College is mindful of its responsibility for the safety and security of its students, employees, and visitors and is committed to promoting a safe and secure environment. Because no college or university campus is isolated from crime, TCC has developed policies and procedures that are designed to ensure that reasonable measures are taken to protect people and property on the college’s campuses. To help maintain a safe and secure environment, TCC has contracted with a private firm to provide unarmed security staff. A full time Director of Safety and Security Director oversees the day-to-day security operation at all TCC locations.
In the event a situation arises, either on or off one of TCC’s campuses or other locations, that, in the judgment of the Executive Vice President, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a “timely warning” will be issued. The warning will be issued through the college’s e-mail system to students, faculty, and staff. Depending on the particular circumstances of the crime, especially in all situations that could pose an immediate threat to the community and individuals, the warning will be issued through TCC Alerts, the college’s emergency notification system. The Director of Safety and Security may also cause an announcement to be posted on the college’s web homepage at www.tcc.edu. Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the Safety and Security Office by phone (822-1199), or in person to any College Security Officer.
Students, faculty, and staff are to register to receive TCC Alerts through the following website https://alerts.tcc.edu/.
Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on a TCC campus or other TCC location, the college will, without delay and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification message and initiate the college’s emergency no-tification system (TCC Alerts), unless the notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist victims or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. In such an event, the following procedures will be implemented.
- At the TCC campus or location affected by the emergency or dangerous situation, the Campus Provost (or successor) will initiate the emergency response and will, if able to do so, notify students and employees via TCC Alerts, and by e-mail, runners, two-way radio, digital signage, and a telephone call tree.
- Upon becoming aware of an emergency or dangerous situation, the Executive Staff member responsible for the campus or other TCC location (i.e., Campus Provost or Vice President or their respective designated successors) will immediately notify the college’s Emergency Management Coordinator (i.e., Executive Vice President or designated successor) and the College President. At the affected campus or other TCC location, the Executive Staff member (or designated successor) will establish command of the incident, assess the situation, and coordinate the response, including transitioning Incident Command to emergency responders as they arrive at the scene. The Emergency Management Coordinator will, based upon the nature of the emergency or dangerous situation, determine both the contents of and the audience to whom emergency notification will be sent and will initiate the notification system.
- In the event that the emergency or dangerous situation will affect the larger community external to TCC, the Emergency Management Coordinator, assisted by the Chief Communications Officer, will determine the contents of the message to be communicated to the public and the means by which to do so, e.g., college website, radio/TV, media conference, locality Emergency Operations Center, etc.
- The college positions responsible for carrying out the process delineated above are:
- Executive Vice President;
- Campus Provosts; and
- Designated successors to the above positions, including the vice presidents for Finance and for Information Systems, campus deans of student services, and academic deans.
- Other college officials will assist in carrying out the process, including the Director of Emergency Preparedness, Director of Safety & Security, Director of Facilities Management & Services, and Chief Communications Officer.
Campus Provosts are responsible for conducting annual emergency response and evacuation exercises in coordination with the Director of Emergency Preparedness and the Director of Safety & Security. The procedure to follow for an emergency situation is publicized on posters throughout the campuses, through handouts, online and through training programs. The TCC Alerts emergency notification system is tested at least once per semester. A college-wide, pre-announced tornado alert exercise was conducted March 15, 2011. A college wide Continuity of Operations (COOP) exercise was conducted December 1, 2011 and a table top evacuation exercise was conducted December 4, 2011 at the Chesapeake Campus.
Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics
The Director of Safety and Security prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. This report is prepared in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies surrounding each of the college’s campuses and centers as well as the deans of student services at each campus.
Campus crime, arrest, and referral statistics include those reported to the TCC Safety and Security staff, designated campus officials (including but not limited to provosts, deans, directors, and other department heads), and local law enforcement agencies. Each year, an e-mail notification is made to all enrolled students and employees providing the web site to access this report. Copies of the report may be also obtained at the Office of Safety and Security located in the Green District Administration Building suite 105 or by calling (757) 822-1199. All prospective employees may obtain a copy from the Office of Human Resources in the Green District Administration Building room 605 or by calling (757) 822-1704. Current statistics by campus.
Reporting of Criminal Offenses and Emergencies
In an emergency, dial 911 or use one of the emergency call boxes. Otherwise, to report a crime, contact a Security Officer at any campus in person or by calling the 24-hour cell phone telephone number as listed for each campus. Crime reports may also be directed to the Director of Safety and Security at 822-1199 or to the Campus Dean of Student Services for each respective campus. Any suspicious activity or person seen in the parking lots, on college grounds, or loitering around vehicles, building entrances, or inside buildings should be reported to a campus Security Officer. In addition, crimes or suspicious activity may also be reported to the police authority having jurisdiction.
If a crime of murder, sex offense, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, or motor vehicle theft occurs and there is a potential for continuation of the crime, a notice of warning will be posted in accordance with the college policy on the respective campus where the offense occurred. It is the policy of the College that all criminal acts should be reported to the College Security Officer on duty and that the victim will be provided the opportunity to also report the incident to the local police. The immediate reporting of any crime, especially sexual assaults, assists in the preservation of evidence necessary to convict a person involved in such criminal activity.
Confidential Reporting Procedures
If you are a victim of a crime, you do not wish to reveal your identity, and you do not wish to pursue criminal action within the criminal justice system or disciplinary action within TCC, you may file a confidential report online through the TCC Anonymous Witness Site at www.tcc.edu/secure/forms/witness.php. The purpose of the confidential report is to comply with an individual’s wish to keep the identity of the individual confidential while taking steps to ensure the safety of the individual and others. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics.
TCC does not employ counselors on staff whose official responsibility includes psychological or pastoral counseling. Information involving potential danger to individuals or others reported directly to campus officials by persons requesting confidentiality may be reported to law enforcement authorities by TCC.
TCC provides uniformed Security Officers at each of its campus facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Security Officers enforce Tidewater Community College regulations, including the authority to ask persons for identification and to determine whether individuals have lawful business at TCC. They do not possess arrest power. The Safety and Security Department contacts the local police authority to enforce federal, state, and local statutes and coordinates with police officials to investigate criminal offenses. The Safety and Security Department works with the campus provosts and other college officials to provide security awareness information and programs.
The Virginia State Police have primary law enforcement jurisdiction over the campuses of the Tidewater Community College. In addition, TCC works closely with the local police agencies of the localities in which the college’s campuses and centers are located. The local police agency is the primary law enforcement responder for reported crimes and criminal emergencies. Their crime prevention resources are also made available to the campus community.
Building Security and Access
All TCC buildings are patrolled on a regular and ongoing basis and are secured by Security Officers or by automated access control systems after normal hours of use. Access to secured college buildings or other college facilities is restricted to authorized individuals who are issued keys, have been assigned card access, or been provided a pass or permission. All maintenance problems discovered by or reported to college Security are reported to the TCC’s Facilities Management & Services Department. All maintenance problems which could cause a risk of harm or danger to individuals are reported immediately to a Facilities Management & Services Department supervisor or designee for immediate action to correct the problem.
Security Awareness and Crime Prevention
College Security Officers document security and safety incidents and concerns found during the patrols of buildings and grounds on a standard report form. The form is forwarded through the respective campus provost for the concern to be addressed by the responsible party. Crime prevention information and programs are available each semester to students, faculty, and staff in the areas of personal safety and the protection of property.
Off-Campus Student Activities
TCC does not have off-campus student organizations. TCC students who commit criminal offenses, whether on- or off-campus, are subject to the jurisdiction of the local police agencies of the locality in which the offense was committed.
Students may be subject to college disciplinary action for on-campus or off-campus conduct. Disciplinary action by the college is not a criminal process, and the double jeopardy doctrine
does not apply to student discipline. The college may elect to process a charge of misconduct even if the student may be or has been charged with a criminal offense arising out of the same act. The college will not delay its processing of a matter because of pending criminal charges, a trial, or an appeal.
Possession, Use, and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages
College Security Officers and officials actively suppress the illegal possession, use, or sale of alcoholic beverages. Violations of this nature are dealt with by local police agencies by arresting or summoning individuals for violations of law before the court. Violations of student alcohol policies are adjudicated by the respective Campus Dean of Student Services.
Possession, Use, and Sale of Illegal Drugs
Anyone found in violation of any state or federal drug law will be referred to local law enforcement for criminal action and arrest. Violations of student drug policies are adjudicated by the respective Campus Dean of Student Services.
Substance Abuse Education and Resources
Resources for substance abuse education and assistance are addressed in the TCC policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs section 2.6 at www.tcc.edu/policies/1000/1103AlcoholandOtherDrugs.pdf.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
The college promotes rape awareness and support programs through the Tidewater Community College Women’s Center and through policies detailed in the handbooks for students and employees. Allegations of sexual misconduct that are reported to a college official for investigation and for a disciplinary hearing may result in suspension or expulsion from TCC. Upon request to the hearing official, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings including sexual misconduct cases. Counseling services, including resources available in the community, are provided by the Career and Counseling Center for any student involved in a sexual assault. Any student involved in an alleged sexual assault incident will be given assistance by the Campus Dean of Student Services and will be encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement authorities.
Statewide Registration of Sex Offenders
In accordance with the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000, which amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Tidewater Community College is providing a link to the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry. This act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement information provided by a state concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a state to provide notice of each institution of higher education in that state at which the person is employed, carries a vocation, or is a student. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, convicted sex offenders must register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry maintained by the Department of State Police.
The Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (SOR) for VIOLENT SEX OFFENDERS is available via Internet pursuant to Section 19.2-390.1, (D), of the Code of Virginia. Registry information provided under this section shall be used for the purposes of the administration of criminal justice, screening of current or prospective employees and volunteers, or otherwise for the protection of the public in general and children in particular. Unlawful use of the information for purposes of intimidating or harassing another is prohibited and willful violation shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The Virginia State Police is responsible for maintaining this registry. Follow the link below to access the Virginia State Police website.