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Security @ TCC

 

 

Introduction

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 and other locations.  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 & Security oversees the day-to-day security operation at all TCC locations.

 

Timely Warnings

In the event a situation arises, either on or off one of TCC’s campuses or other locations, that, in the judgment of college leadership, 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 & Security Office by phone (822-1199), or in person to any College Security Officer.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to register to receive TCC Alerts through the following website https://alerts.tcc.edu/.

 

Emergency Notification

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 notification 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, by e-mail, by the use of runners, two-way radio communication, digital signage, through an external speaker system, 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 Associate Vice President for Interactive Communications/PIO, 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.
  • 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 Associate Vice President for Interactive Communications/PIO.

 

Emergency Preparedness

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.  Pre-announced college-wide emergency response exercises are conducted as well as campus specific tabletop exercises and emergency evacuation drills.

Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics

The Director of Safety & Security prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. The full text of this report can be located on TCC's website at www.tcc.edu/security/info.htm. This report is prepared in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies surrounding each of the college’s campuses and centers. 

Campus crime, arrest, and referral statistics include those reported to the TCC Safety & 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 website to access this report.  Copies of the report may be also obtained at the Office of Safety & 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 are available at www.tcc.edu/security/statistics/htm.

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 & 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.

 

College Security

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 & 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 & Security Department works with the campus provosts and other college officials to provide security awareness information and programs.

 

Law Enforcement

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- 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

Sexual assault is a crime and a violation of college rules.  It is defined as sexual intercourse without consent, including rape (whether by acquaintance or stranger), sodomy, or other form of sexual penetration.  To constitute lack of consent, the acts must be committed either by force, threat of force, intimidation, or through use of a victim’s mental helplessness, which includes incapacitation by alcohol or other drugs.  Sexual assault also includes intentionally touching, directly or through clothing, of the victim’s genitals, breasts, thighs, or buttocks without the victim’s consent, as well as unwanted touching or fondling.  Sections 18.2-61 to 18.2-67.10 of the Virginia Criminal Code address the charges and penalties for criminal sexual assault.

 

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

TCC prohibits threats and acts of violence on college property and within college facilities.  In addition, TCC prohibits threats or acts of violence at any college-sponsored event; while engaged in college business, educational, or athletic activities; and while traveling in college vehicles. TCC shall also evaluate any conduct of which it becomes aware, that occurs off-duty or outside the above-listed activities when that conduct may impact an employee’s or student’s relationship with the college community.

The United State Code 42 USC 13925 defines the term domestic violence to include felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.  Section 18.2-57.2 of the Virginia Criminal Code addresses the assault and battery against a family or household member and the penalty upon conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Dating violence is defined in the United States Code 42 USC 13925 as violence committed by a person (A) who is or has been in a social relationship or a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship. (ii) The type of relationship. (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Section 18.2-57 of the Virginia Criminal Code address Assault and Battery and any person who commits a simple assault or assault and battery shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if convicted.

Stalking according to the United State Code 42 USC 13925 means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking is addressed in the Virginia Criminal Code under section 18.2-60.3 and entails someone who on more than one occasion engages in conduct directed at another person with the intent to place, or when he knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury to that other person or to that other person’s family or household member.  The penalty upon conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Court Issued Protective Orders

Faculty, staff, and students who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking are encouraged to apply for emergency protective orders through the court having jurisdiction.  This is to provide additional legal support to enable law enforcement personnel to take action if a violation occurs.  Copies of protective orders should be provided to the Tidewater Community College Security Department and when appropriate the college may issue no trespass banning letters to perpetrators and/or for safety reasons may coordinate a student’s class schedule.

Reporting Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking

Incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking should be reported to local police authorities, to the Department of Safety and Security, and the Dean of Students if a student is involved or the Office of Human Resources if it involves an employee.

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Prevention and Response

The college promotes awareness and support programs regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking through the Tidewater Community College Women’s Center and through policies detailed in the handbooks for students and employees. Allegations of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that are reported to a college official for investigation and for a disciplinary hearing may result in suspension or expulsion from TCC if it involves a student and disciplinary action up to the termination of employment if it involves an employee.  Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding.  Information about resources available in the community for any student who is a victim of sexual assault is provided by the Women’s Center.  In addition, any student involved in an alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking 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.

http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/.

 

Crime Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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