Wittenberg’s Chief of Police will issue a campus security alert to students, faculty and staff when a situation arises that constitutes a reportable crime under the Clery Act or presents a potentially serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Alerts are generally sent via e-mail. The text messaging alert system will also be activated when there is an imminent and significant threat to members of our campus community.
The decision to issue a security alert is made on a case by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding the incident. Whenever practicable, the Chief of Police will consult with the president’s office or a member of the president’s senior staff before issuing an alert. A balancing of a variety of factors weighs into the decision of whether or not to issue an alert. Factors include:
- Is there a risk of compromising law enforcement efforts?
- Is there a continuing danger to the community?
- Is the crime random or targeted to a specific individual?
- Has a suspect been taken into custody?
- Have the facts been confirmed?
Unless the situation presents a potentially serious or continuing threat to the campus community, an alert will not be issued. Campus Security Alerts can lose their effectiveness when they are overused. Students, faculty and staff can become immune to the alerts and, at worst, will stop reading the warnings altogether.
The purpose of an alert is to notify students, faculty and staff of a dangerous situation on or near campus so that they can take steps to enhance their safety. It is also aimed at preventing similar or repeat occurrences by increasing awareness of criminal incidents. At the same time, such alerts encourage reporting of information, which may lead to the arrest and conviction of the offender. Anyone with information warranting a security alert should make a report to Campus Police.
The decision to issue an alert can require anywhere from an hour to a day or more. An alert will not be distributed until sufficient information and accurate facts concerning the incident are secured. Although time frames can vary, there should be minimal delay in deciding to issue a warning.