Safety & Security
Campus security is overseen by the HPU Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS is a law enforcement/police division staffed by highly-trained public safety officers (non-sworn officers) and sworn police officers who possess the enforcement and protective authority granted by the State of Texas. These authorities, granted by the Texas Education Code, allow the University to maintain a safe environment throughout campus and the surrounding areas, particularly the immediate areas surrounding campus, consisting of both residential and commercial developments with student populations. HPU DPS is a fully licensed Public Safety/Police Agency by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education.
The HPU DPS office is located on the corner of the Brownwood campus at Austin Ave. and Main Street. DPS officers are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The DPS officers enforce campus policies and work with the local police department. The sworn police officers have the authority to issue state citations and make arrests. DPS officers take all reported criminal activity seriously and respond to it accordingly. DPS officers also strive to investigate suspicious activity on campus. HPU DPS can be reached at 325-649-8609. Additional information is available on the HPU DPS section of the HPU website.
Howard Payne University provides an Annual Campus Security Report and an Annual Campus Fire Safety Report in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Title II of Public Law 101-542) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. 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. The University does not have any off-campus student organization housing which is monitored under this Act.
The Report includes information for the previous three calendar years. Information is collected by the Office of Student Life, the HPU Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Administrative Offices in El Paso and New Braunfels, the Brownwood Police Department, the El Paso Police Department, and the New Braunfels Police Department.
The Report also includes information regarding HPU policies and procedures related to sexual assault offenses, alcohol offenses, drug offenses, weapon offenses, reporting criminal activity, missing student notification, emergency notification, emergency assistance and response, evacuation, and crime prevention and safety tips. Additional information is available in the Student Handbook.
The Report is distributed annually to all students and employees of HPU. To view the Security & Fire Safety Report for the previous three calendar years, click Security & Fire Safety Report 2018.
Crime information may also be viewed by visiting the website of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security/. To find HPU statistics, click on “Get data for one institution/campus” and enter Howard Payne University.
The HPU Department of Public Safety maintains a Daily Crime Log on site. For the most recent 60-day period, the log is available for viewing Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Log information that is more than 60 days old will be made available within two business days of a request.
If a student who resides in campus housing has not been seen on campus for more than 24 hours and acquaintances do not know where the student may be, the Dean of Students or a Resident Director should be notified. Students under the age of 18 will have their parents notified if they are determined missing for more than 24 hours. Law enforcement will be notified for any student missing for more than 24 hours. If a student has been seen in the company of an individual(s) indicating that he/she may be in danger, the HPU Department of Public Safety (325-649-8609) and/or the Brownwood/El Paso/New Braunfels Police Department(s) (9-1-1) should be notified.
Students living in the residence halls have the option to designate a confidential contact person on the Emergency Information Form to be contacted in the event that the student is deemed missing. At the University’s discretion, in addition to a confidential contact, the University reserves the right to contact a parent and/or guardian.
HPU prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence. HPU has adopted a policy outlining definitions and examples of offenses, reporting procedures, and possible sanctions for individuals committing sexual assault offenses. This information is detailed in the Student Handbook on pp. 7-11, 42, 45, and 48-50 and on the HPU website under Emergency Information: Sexual Assault Policy & Reporting, www.hputx.edu/sexual-assault-policy-reporting/. Individuals may anonymously report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence through the online reporting form located at www.hputx.edu/sexual-assault-policy-reporting/online-reporting-form/.
Information concerning registered sex offenders in proximity to the campus may be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
HPU prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs, non-prescription hallucinatory drugs, synthetic drugs, and/or prescription drugs for which an individual does not have a valid prescription and/or drug paraphernalia. Additionally, the University prohibits the use or possession of alcohol on campus, at a University-sponsored event or trip, or in any manner that violates municipal, county, state, or federal law. 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. Information about drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation programs is available through the Office of Student Life. Additional information is available in the Student Handbook on pp. 42 and 48-56.
HPU prohibits all employees, students and visitors from illegally carrying any firearms, handguns, knives, pellet guns, BB guns, electroshock weapons, guns that fire plastic projectiles of any type, and fireworks in or on University property or at a University-sponsored activity or event. Under no circumstance is a student permitted to possess a firearm on University property or at a University-sponsored activity or event.
Effective August 10, 2016, Texas Senate Bill 11 became law. The bill allows private universities to opt out, not allowing concealed handgun license holders to carry their handguns on the campus. Howard Payne University has opted out. Therefore, it is a criminal violation for a license holder to carry his or her handgun on the Howard Payne campus, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned or leased by the University. Note: The open carry of handguns (or other firearms) on a Texas college campus continues to be prohibited by state law. Additional information is available in the Student Handbook on p. 43.
In the event of a criminal act in a residence hall or campus apartment/duplex, 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 incident occurs on campus but outside of campus housing, a student should contact HPU DPS or the Office of Student Life (325-649-8017) for assistance or to file a report. The Crime Incident Report Form can also be used to report criminal activity to HPU DPS or the Office of Student Life.
Any suspicious activity or criminal act occurring on campus should be reported immediately to HPU DPS at 325-649-8609. DPS officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are available to assist anyone on campus. The City of Brownwood has 24-hour emergency assistance available through 9-1-1.
In the event of a crime, crisis situation, emergency, or threat in El Paso, students should contact the extension center office at 915-533-8500 (non-emergency) or dial 9-1-1 (emergency) to reach the El Paso Police Department.
In the event of a crime, crisis situation, emergency, or threat in New Braunfels, students should contact the extension center office at 830-629-2366 (non-emergency) or dial 9-1-1 (emergency) to reach the New Braunfels Police Department.
Reporting Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence
Individuals may anonymously report incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence through the HPU website under Emergency Information: Sexual Assault Policy & Reporting. The reporting form can be accessed at https://ww2.hputx.edu/sexual-assault-policy-reporting/online-reporting-form/.
All students, faculty, and staff have access to academic, recreational, and administrative facilities on campus. The general public is welcome to attend certain cultural, fine arts, and athletic events on campus; however, their campus access is limited to the events only.
On campus housing accessibility is limited to residents and their guests only. Access to campus housing by University staff (other than residence hall staff) is given “as needed” and involves strict key control procedures. Residence hall doors are locked 24 hours a day throughout the academic year and require a Student ID for access. The University residential communities have a professional staff member on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Facilities Department maintains the physical condition of campus facilities in Brownwood. 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. Additionally, several emergency call boxes are located throughout campus and can be identified by a bright blue light.
Information on safety and other related topics is provided during new student orientation, during residence hall meetings, and through the student handbook.
The Emergency Operation Plan includes the strategies and mechanisms the campus departments will use to mobilize resources and conduct activities to guide and support local emergency management efforts through response and recovery. In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation (fire, weather, hazardous conditions, etc.), students, faculty, staff, and guests should exit buildings immediately. Escape route maps are posted on the walls inside buildings and near the stairwells.
If fire alarms have not been activated and fire is seen, pull the nearest manual alarm. Call 9-1-1 and HPU DPS at the earliest possible moment. If alarms are sounding, evacuate the building as quickly and calmly as possible. Use stairs and not elevators. Before opening a door, feel the door for heat. If it is hot, find an alternative route. When outside the building, move at least 300 feet away.
Students, faculty and staff can help promote safety by following some simple safety procedures:
- Lock residence hall, apartment, and duplex doors at all times
- Keep windows closed and locked
- Do not lend keys to anyone
- Carry keys at all times
- Do not lend Student/Faculty/Staff ID to anyone
- 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 open outside doors
- Immediately report anything suspicious (people, activity, etc.)
- Exercise caution when walking at night
- Contact DPS for a safety escort or walk with a friend at night
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 edition of the Student Handbook.