June 8,
2016

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The Weekly Snapshot                            
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.                       

Download the report.
Institutionalizing the Clery Act at IHEs
 
Crime occurs on every college and university campus. According to the most recent data from the US Department of Education, more than 4,000 forcible and non-forcible sex offenses occurred every year between 2012 and 2014 on US campuses with student residential facilities. For reporting purposes, sex offenses are defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. In addition, there were at least 1,200 robberies, 13,000 burglaries, and 3,000 motor vehicles stolen in each of those years.
 
Crimes on campus can threaten the lives and well-being of students, faculty, and staff, and can disrupt and negatively impact the campus learning environment. The Jeanne Clery Act requires all institutions of higher education (IHEs) receiving federal Title IV student financial assistance to annually report crime statistics to the public. Though IHEs overwhelmingly support the spirit of the Clery Act and are dedicated to providing safe environments for students, faculty, and staff, complying with all aspects of the Clery Act can be a challenge.
 
To better understand the challenges of institutionalizing Clery compliance and to identify solutions to those challenges, we brought together campus public safety and compliance executives, as well as representatives from professional associations, in January 2016 for a one-day focus group. Their goal was to help IHEs develop their cultures to manage compliance with the Clery Act from an institution-wide team approach, rather than something sequestered to a few compliance professionals at each IHE. The primary task was to determine what types of communications could make that growth occur.
 
The focus group addressed issues that IHEs and professional associations face with regard to institutionalizing Clery compliance and also discussed topics related to personnel management, training, and funding related to expanding the scope of Clery compliance at IHEs. The results of a previous focus group, conducted in November 2015 with participants representing 12 IHEs, informed the day's conversations. The November focus group shared thoughts about buy-in and support solutions, the structure of those solutions, and communications around those solutions. Participants did not evaluate specific compliance efforts or policies at particular institutions during their discussions.
 
Our formal report, Institutionalizing the Clery Act at Institutions of Higher Education (PDF) , summarizing the focus group discussions, including issues around compliance and strategies for addressing challenges, is now available. 

Fairness, Accuracy, and Access: Why Colleges and Universities Should Conduct Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigations and Adjudications
 
Promising practices strongly suggest that when colleges and universities conduct sexual assault investigations and adjudications, as required by Title IX, they should employ a trauma-informed approach. While a trauma-informed approach naturally promotes access for complainants by encouraging their participation, it also promotes accuracy by enabling investigators and decision-makers to ask appropriate questions and better understand evidence that may be affected by trauma.
 
We hope you can join us on  Tuesday, June 21st at 2:00 PM ET to learn more about this important topic.  Jeffrey J. Nolan, J.D., a faculty member for our  Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Institute and an attorney with  Dinse Knapp McAndrew, will be presenting this free webinar as part of our  Campus Public Safety Online series.  Register today!

Download the guide.
Mass Casualty Events and Safeguarding Officer Mental Health

In the United States, we often discuss resiliency and mental health of victims of mass casualty events such as the Sandy Hook school shooting or the Boston terror bombings. In both of these tragedies, we heard a great deal of dialogue about support services that would be established for community members, family members, teachers, runners, hospital staff, and others. Rarely did we hear about what support structures were in place for first responders, including law enforcement officers. Over the years, there have been interviews with officers who arrived on the scene of mass casualty events. Officers interviewed after Sandy Hook were quoted as saying, "one look, and your life was absolutely changed," and "words can't describe how horrible it was." Former Aurora, Colorado police chief Daniel Oates stated, "What the whole organization went through was cataclysmic" and noted that even three years later at James Holmes' trial, many officers broke down in tears recalling those deceased that had to be taken away to the hospital.
 
This spring, the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the National Alliance on Mental Illness released a guide, Preparing for the Unimaginable: How chiefs can safeguard officer mental health before and after mass casualty events (PDF). The guide is a direct result of the Sandy Hook December 2012 tragedy when Newtown Chief Michael Kehoe identified the urgent need for a lessons learned document that could address two key issues for police chiefs: 1) what to do now, before a tragedy occurs, to prepare for an event like Sandy Hook, and 2) what to do and what to expect after a mass casualty incident in your community.
 
The guide is  chronologically organized and divided into three major sections. The authors suggest, "where you are on this timeline, as an individual and as an agency, determines what information you need."
  • Part 1 addresses why mental health matters and delves into an explanation of trauma and resiliency. It examines trauma both from a short- and long-term perspective and discusses the impact of unresolved trauma and how that in itself becomes a safety issue.
  • Part 2 discusses the steps an agency should take to prepare officers for a mass casualty event. This is the planning period and the only time agencies have to make sure there is a robust system in place before a tragedy occurs.
  • Part 3 includes steps to take during a crisis and what needs to occur immediately after a mass casualty event has happened. These chapters discuss the challenges that will be faced by the local community, officers, and leadership from the first few weeks to later months and beyond.
The guide also includes a section containing handouts and other resources such as stories from the field on overcoming PTSD, the impact on law enforcement spouses, and trauma contamination to other officers; medical literature; media resources; and links to helpful organizations. 

Request for Applicants to the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC)
 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is requesting qualified individuals who are interested in serving on the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC) to apply for appointment. The Council is composed of up to 23 members, representing a diverse group of university and college presidents and academic association leaders who advise the Secretary of Homeland Security and DHS senior leadership on matters related to homeland security and the academic community, including academic research and faculty exchange; campus resilience; cybersecurity; homeland security academic programs; international students; and student and recent graduate recruitment.
 
DHS seeks to appoint individuals to eight vacant positions on the Council. Additional information, such as requirements for participation, specific areas of expertise needed, and application instructions can be found in the  Federal Register. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 17, 2016.
 
For additional details, please contact the DHS Office of Academic Engagement at AcademicEngagement@hq.dhs.gov and include the following subject line in your message: HSAAC Membership.

Access our online calendar of events.
Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Building Partnerships with Emergency Managers and Responders
Host: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Date: June 14, 2016 at 3:00PM EST
Location: Online
Fee: Free
 
Title: How Unarmed Security Officers Can Respond to Active Killer Situations
Host: Campus Safety Magazine
Date: June 16, 2016 at 2:00PM EST
Location: Online      
Fee: Free
 
Title: Virtual Workshop: Compiling the Annual Security Report
Host: Clery Center for Security On Campus
Date: June 22, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Location: Online      
Fee: Registration fee


Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Conference
Visit our website for information and registration details.

Faculty Spotlight         
Check out this Q&A with one of our DC Conference faculty members.

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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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