Safety & Security

2013-2014 Report
Prepared by the Office of Student Life

INTRODUCTION

Howard Payne University is an academic community of 1,100+ students, set within the broader limits of Brownwood, with a population of more than 20,000. HPU is a part of the community as a whole and is, therefore, concerned about the things that concern the community. Perhaps the largest problem in any community today is crime; because no one is safe from crime, Howard Payne has developed a set of policies and procedures about security.

In light of the fact that nothing will function at optimum level without cooperation, the University asks that all faculty, staff, and students know the policies set forth regarding security and share the responsibility for making Howard Payne the safest it can be. The students working along with trained University staff and on-campus public safety officers are helping HPU maintain a safe, secure environment.

SECURITY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

All students, faculty, and staff have access to academic, recreational, and administrative facilities on campus. On campus housing (residence halls and apartments) accessibility is limited to residents and their guests only. Access to residence halls by University staff (other than residence hall staff) is given “as needed” and involves strict key control procedures. The general public is welcome to attend certain cultural and athletic events on campus; however, their access is limited to the events only.

Campus security is overseen by HPU Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel employed by the University. There is a DPS office accessible to all students located on the corner of campus at Austin Ave. and Main Street. Public Safety officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Foot patrols are made in regular shifts from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and consist of checking all campus buildings, including residence halls and campus apartments and the overseeing of the general campus. The DPS officers enforce relevant campus policies and work with the local police department which patrols campus streets regularly. The University’s DPS staff is comprised of two officer classifications: University Police Officers are sworn peace officers who may write state citations, make arrests, etc., and Public Safety Officers who are not sworn peace officers. Faculty, staff, and students may contact the appropriate authorities directly or DPS will make contact on behalf of the University or individuals involved if considered necessary or requested. DPS officers take all reported criminal action seriously and respond to it accordingly. DPS officers also strive to investigate suspicious activity on campus.

The Facilities Department maintains the physical condition of campus facilities. This department keeps close watch on all facilities to assure students’ safety while on campus. All University buildings (including residence halls) are equipped with fire alarms. Security lighting is also part of all campus buildings as well as high intensity vapor lights around campus that further provide for student safety. In addition, several emergency call boxes are located throughout campus and can be identified by a bright blue light.

Information on safety and other related topics are given at new student orientation, during residence hall meetings, and through the student and faculty/staff handbooks.

RESIDENCE HALL SECURITY

More than 600 students live on campus in three residence halls and several University-owned apartments. The residence halls at HPU are single-sex with limited visitation. All visitors to the residence halls must be accompanied by their host. Student visitation between residence halls is limited to times specified by the University and is closely monitored by Resident Assistants (RAs). Except for these visitation times, students of the opposite sex are not allowed in residence hall living areas.

To help promote safety, security, and policy compliance, certain residence hall doors will be locked 24 hours a day throughout the academic year. For Veda Hodge Hall, the two side doors and two back doors are locked 24 hours a day but are accessible to hall residents using their student ID cards. For Jennings Hall, the side stairwell doors are locked 24 hours a day and are only to be used as emergency exits. The two Jennings lobby doors and two Taylor Hall lobby doors are unlocked at 7:00 a.m. and locked at 12 midnight, as is the front door of Veda Hodge Hall. From 12 midnight until 7:00 a.m., residents must gain access using their student ID cards. For Taylor Hall, the four back wing doors are locked 24 hours a day and are only to be used as emergency exits. The University residence halls have a professional staff on call 24 hours-a-day and 7 days-a-week. Each residence hall is under the supervision of the Dean of Students, a Resident Director, and several Resident Assistants. Each residence hall occupant is kept informed of University news through wing meetings, mandatory residence hall meetings, and publications such as the Student Handbook and Residence Life Guidebook. All HPU students have access to information through the campus e-mail system, the HPU website, and the campus newspaper.

University apartments are available to a limited number of students who have attained upperclassman status. These apartment properties are patrolled by DPS and are staffed by Resident Assistants. They are open to the outside and therefore allow students more freedom.

Students who elect to live off campus have many places from which to choose, some of which have private security; however, students living off campus are ultimately responsible for their own safety. HPU does not provide security in any way for off-campus students.

ASSISTANCE IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS AND HOW TO REPORT A CRIME

In the event of a criminal act in a residence hall or campus apartment, students should contact a member of the residence life staff as soon as possible. This staff member can provide assistance and direct students through the procedure of reporting a crime. If an accident occurs on campus but outside of campus housing, a student should contact the Office of Student Life or HPU DPS for immediate assistance or to file a report. A Crime Incident Report Form can be used to report criminal activity to the Office of Student Life or Public Safety.

Any suspicious activity or criminal act occurring on campus after hours should be reported immediately to Public Safety at 325-649-8609. DPS officers patrol the campus throughout the night and are available to assist anyone on campus. The City of Brownwood has 24-hour emergency assistance by dialing 911.

HPU does not have any policies or procedures that allow victims or witnesses to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis. Nor does HPU have a policy that encourages pastoral counselors and professional counselors, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform the persons they are counseling of any procedures to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics.

When known crime risks might endanger the campus community, the University will notify the campus community in a timely manner utilizing such communication tools as: text messaging alert system, e-mail, telephone calls, flyers, and any other tool deemed appropriate at the time.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY

HPU prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and/or paraphernalia. In addition, the University prohibits the use or possession of alcohol on campus, at a University-sponsored event, or in any manner that violates municipal, county, state, or federal law. Compliance with these standards of conduct is mandatory. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution. A disciplinary action may include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program. No student or employee will be allowed to come on campus under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Information about a drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation program is available through the Office of Student Life.

SEXUAL OFFENSES

Recognizing the serious nature of sexual offenses and the growing numbers of such incidences on college campuses, HPU has adopted a policy outlining reporting procedures, safety guidelines and possible sanctions resulting from such an offense committed by a student. This information is detailed in the Student Handbook. Please refer to this publication for specific information. Information concerning registered sex offenders in proximity to the campus may be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

FIREARMS

Firearms for protection or for sport are strictly prohibited at HPU except as allowed by State law. This includes, but is not limited to, shotguns, rifles, pistols, BB/pellet guns, paint guns, air soft guns, etc. Ammunition for firearms is also prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, shotgun shells, ammunition, BBs, pellets, etc. Illegal knives are prohibited.

CRIME AND FIRE STATISTICS

The chart linked below has been compiled in compliance with Title II of Public Law 101-542, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. In complying with the act, HPU gathers statistics concerning the occurrence of certain crimes, on campus, in campus residential facilities, and on public property surrounding campus, as well as fire statistics in campus residential facilities. It should be noted that the University does not have any off-campus student organization housing which is monitored under this Act. The statistics are gathered from the Dean of Students, HPU DPS, and the Brownwood Police Department. These statistics are for the previous three calendar years with crimes being reported in the year in which the crime was reported. Per the Clery Act, HPU DPS maintains a Daily Crime Log on-site. For the most recent 60-day period, the log is available for inspection during normal business hours. Log information more than 60 days old will be made available within two business days of a request for inspection. To access the three most recent years’ crime statistics, click here.

CRIME PREVENTION

In order for HPU to be the secure learning environment that it needs to be, all parts of the community must work together. Students, faculty and staff can help promote safety by observing some simple safety procedures:

  • Stay in well-lit areas of campus
  • Lock residence hall and apartment doors at all times
  • Do not lend keys to anyone and carry them at all times
  • Park cars in lighted areas
  • Lock car doors and conceal or remove any valuables inside the car
  • Have all valuables marked with identification numbers
  • Lock bicycles or keep them in designated areas indoors
  • Do not prop outside doors open
  • Immediately report anything suspicious

The University does not offer regularly scheduled safety and crime prevention programs, though occasional programs are offered. Employees are encouraged to thoroughly read the latest edition of the Administrative Policies & Procedures Manual. Students are encouraged to thoroughly read the latest Student Handbook.

This document is published in compliance with Title II of Public Law 101-542 otherwise known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

For further information, contact
Office of Student Life
Howard Payne University
1000 Fisk Street
Brownwood, Texas 76801
(325) 649-8017