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The Weekly Snapshot
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.
Click image to access several UAS resources provided by the FAA.


Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, have increased in popularity among people of all ages, including college and university students, faculty, and staff for various recreational, research and business-related purposes. They are easily accessible and offered in several different shapes and sizes, from hand-held to life-sized. Drones have onboard computer and electronic control systems that range from simple to highly sophisticated, and include capabilities such as GPS navigation and high-quality video recording. Drones can be harmless and valuable tools when used for research, training, education and recreation, but these systems can also be used for nefarious purposes and pose a threat to campus communities and general public safety. Even if the use of a drone is well intended, unintentional harm can occur. 


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides  information and various resources on their UAS webpages such as news, key initiatives, publications, public events, myths and facts about UAS, as well as special event regulations on temporary flight restrictions for sporting events, stadiums, and disaster/hazard areas. The FAA guidance document, Law Enforcement Guidance for Suspected Unauthorized UAS Operations (PDF), is intended to assist law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in understanding the legal framework that serves as the basis for FAA legal enforcement action against UAS operators for unauthorized and/or unsafe UAS operations and to provide guidance regarding the role of LEAs in deterring, detecting, and investigating unauthorized and/or unsafe UAS operations. The FAA also offers an infographic (PDF) with dos and don'ts related to hobby/recreational flying of model aircraft that can be shared with your campus community. 

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued the policy guidance, Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (PDF), that was developed through several years of discussions and research to help ensure the DOJ continues to carry out its law enforcement and national security missions while respecting individuals' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. This policy guidance is complementary to the FAA rules and regulations that control UAS deployments and help ensure the safe operation of all aircraft, including UAS. This guidance is also consistent with the Presidential Memorandum, Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, issued by President Obama on February 15, 2015.

Click image to download the EVAWI model policy materials  document (PDF).
Model Policy Materials on Evidence Retention, Disposition, and/or Removal 

End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) has created a resource of model policy materials (PDF) to provide municipal and college and university campus law enforcement guidance when developing policies and procedures for the retention, disposition, and/or removal of evidence. Recognizing that law enforcement agencies face unique challenges handling evidence in sexual assault cases, this document was created to ensure that evidence and property is properly stored and disposed of in a timely and lawful manner. This document also addresses evidence retention guidelines for sexual assault cases that are unfounded because they are determined to be false or baseless, as well as those cases that are recorded as an informational report rather than a crime report. 

The model policy materials cover the following topics: identifying, packaging, and storing biological evidence; sexual assault medical forensic examination; documentation and tracking; evidence retention guidelines; property custodians; inventories and inspections; and release or disposal of evidence. Some of the document highlights include:

  • Guidelines for retention of evidence that could potentially contain DNA, balancing the interests of justice with practical storage concerns and offering a minimum threshold for biological evidence retention
  • Detailed information on identifying biological evidence, sources of biological evidence, packaging and storing biological evidence, managing items in a sexual assault forensic evidence kit, collecting evidence in cases of suspected drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault, documentation and tracking of evidence, and evidence disposal
  • Evidence retention guidelines for various case dispositions, with particular attention to the unique dynamics of sexual assault cases, including victim and perpetrator characteristics and potential intersections with misdemeanor sex crimes
  • A list of evidence retention laws by state
  • Sample forms and procedures

This document contains original material, up-to-date scientific information from a variety of reputable sources, and practical tools shared by law enforcement agencies. Much of the material was drawn from The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook: Best Practices for Evidence Handlers (PDF), created by the Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation and published in 2013 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Policies submitted by the police departments in Arizona, as well as a training tool contributed by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, were used as additional resources in the creation of this document.  


Departments may use, or adapt for use, specific text provided in the document when creating policies and procedures. The instructional commentary and supplemental materials provided can serve as educational tools to assist in the development of training materials and performance evaluations.

Professional Development Opportunities


Title: Say What You Do, Do What You Say: The VAWA Amendments to Clery & Written Information

Host: Clery Center for Security on Campus

Date: July 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM Eastern

Location: Online

Fee: Free

Information and Registration


Title: IACP Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Training

Hosts: Baton Rouge Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

Dates: July 21-22, 2015

Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Fee: Free (Class limited to 50 participants. Five [5] spaces left as of 06/30/15)

Information and Registration


Title: IACP Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation Training

Hosts: The New Orleans Family Justice Center and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

Dates: July 23-24, 2015

Location: New Orleans, LA

Fee: Free (Class limited to 50 participants. Thirteen [13] spaces left as of 06/30/15)

Information and Registration 

This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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