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Crime Prevention


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Officer Scott Acker
Safety Education Officer 
  Washington Street Campus
  Durrett Hall 111A
  (806) 371-5160



Crime prevention is defined as “the anticipation, the recognition, and the appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of action to remove or reduce it.” The first step in crime prevention is to realize that in order to prevent crime or becoming a crime victim we must accept that crime prevention is a shared responsibility. It is not a college problem or a police problem. It is a societal problem that can only be properly addressed by the entire college community. Our community consists of students, faculty, staff, visitors, and neighbors. Therefore, campus safety is truly a shared responsibility.

Three elements must be present for a crime to occur; desire, ability, and opportunity. This is also known as the crime triangle. A person may “want to commit crime, and have the “ability” to commit a crime, but if we deny them the “opportunity,” then no crime can be committed. Historically, the primary goal of crime prevention has been to apprehend criminals. Although this goal is still important, the goal of preventing crime and also reducing the cost of crime will take on a significant importance. Our goal is to help members of the college community prevent crime by helping them make decisions to reduce the opportunity for crime to occur, whether on campus or not.



Here are a few things you can do to get started.

PRE-PROGRAM ACPD'S EMERGENCY NUMBER INTO YOUR CELL PHONE: (806) 371-5911

ACPD's goal is to provide a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff members, and visitors. Never hesitate to report suspicious activity and consider putting this number on speed dial in case of emergencies.

KEEP YOUR BELONGINGS OUT OF SIGHT WHEN YOU PARK YOUR CAR:

Remember property thefts are the number one crime at the college, but many of these crimes can be averted when you eliminate temptation. Make sure to place valuables out of sight, and thus out of the mind of a criminal. In addition, you should always roll up your car windows, lock all your doors, and take your keys with you.

AVOID SLEEPING IN PUBLIC PLACES:

The majority of crimes are crimes of opportunity, in which victims lack general awareness. Sleeping in common areas around campus, such as College Union building, or the Library, provides criminals an opportunity to take advantage of exhausted students. If you must rest your eyes, wrap your arms around your belongings or keep your belongings under your head like a pillow.

 

CRIME PREVENTION/SAFETY PAMPHLETS:

A key element in our crime prevention program is to provide as much information as possible to increase awareness.One of the ways the department does this is by providing informational pamphlets located at strategic locations on each of our campuses.The material covers sexual assault, alcohol abuse, cyber-bullying, suicide prevention, family/dating/work place violence, drug abuse, stalking, sexual harassment, and a locally printed crime victims informational pamphlet.

THESE PAMPHLETS ARE LOCATED AT:

WASHINGTON STREET CAMPUS

College Union Building "Cafeteria"

Student Service Center

WEST CAMPUS

Building D "Cafeteria"

POLK STREET CAMPUS

Main hallway for classrooms

EAST CAMPUS

Student Activity Center

COMMUNITY LINK

Common Area

 

Reporting a Crime or Other Emergency

Community members, students, staff, and faculty are strongly encouraged to report all crimes and public safety related incidents to the College Police Department in a timely manner. The Amarillo College Police Department operates Monday – Saturday from 7 am to 11pm. There is no college police service on Sundays or on designated college holidays. The non-emergency number is 806-371-5163 and the emergency number is 806-371-5911. Calls for immediate service after business hours or on designated holidays should be made to the City of Amarillo Police Department via 911 or non - emergency 806-378-3038. If not an emergency an answering machine is in place to record your message. All messages are reviewed the next business day.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING

Although every institution wants its campus community to report criminal incidents to law enforcement, we know that this doesn’t always happen. A student who is a victim of a crime may be more inclined to report it to someone other than the college police. For this reason, the CLERY Act requires all institutions to collect crime reports from a variety of individuals and organizations that CLERY considers to be “campus security authorities.”

If you are a victim or a witness of a crime and do not wish to pursue action within the college system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a voluntary confidential report to a Campus Security Authority. Because police reports are public records under state law the college police cannot hold reports of crime in confidence. Statistics from confidential reports are collected for the purpose of inclusion in the annual disclosure of criminal statistics. With this information; the college can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to a particular danger. Your identity will remain confidential.

Campus Security Authorities (CSA’S)

The CLERY Act is a federal law that requires the institution to identify individuals that meet the definition of a campus security authority. Under CLERY, a crime is “reported” when it is brought to the attention of a campus security authority or college police personnel by a victim, witness, or other third party or even the offender. If a campus security authority receives the crime information and believes it was provided in good faith he or she must document it as a crime report. In “good faith” means there is a reasonable basis for believing that the information is valid and not simply rumor or hearsay. All CSA’s are over seen by the Vice president Of Student Affairs.

Who are CSA?

“Campus Security Authorities” is a CLERY specific term that encompasses four groups of individuals or organizations associated with Amarillo College.

  1. College Police Department
  2. Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but do not constitute a police or security department.
  3. Any individual or organization specified in an institution’s statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees report criminal offenses.
  4. An official of Amarillo College who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings.

What does a CSA DO?

The function of the campus security authority is to report to the Amarillo College Police those allegations of CLERY Act crimes that he or she concludes were made in good faith. If an individual reporting an incident needs assistance, a CSA should explain how to get help. Let a victim know that help is available even if he/she does not want an investigation conducted. The decision to act on this option is the victim’s. In the midst of an emergency situation, such as a physical assault, however, a CSA should contact the College Police.

CSA Crime & Incident Report

In order to facilitate reporting, CSA should use the Campus Security Authorities Crime & Incident Report form. CSA’s will then immediately forward the reports of crimes to the Amarillo College Police Department. This is because the a CSA crime report may be the basis for determining if there is a serious or continuing threat to the safety of the campus community which would require an alert (i.e., a timely warning). All reports received will be entered onto the department’s daily crime log. All documentation will remain on file in the Police department with reports.

What shouldn’t a CSA Do?

Campus Security Authorities do not investigate nor are they responsible for determining authoritatively whether a crime took place – that is the function of the college police. A campus security authority should not try to apprehend the alleged perpetrator of a crime. That too, is the responsibility of the college police. It is also not a CSA’s responsibility to try to convince a victim to contact law enforcement if the victim chooses not to do so.

Exemption for Pastoral and Professional Counselors

There are two types of individuals who, although they have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, are not campus security authorities under CLERY.

  1. Pastoral Counselor: A person who is associated with a religious order or denomination, and is recognized by a religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling, and is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor.
  2. Professional Counselor: A person whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to members of the college community and who is functioning within the scope of his/her license or certification. This definition includes counselors who may have been contracted to the college.

CSA’s are identified as:

  1. Robert Austin
    Vice President of Student Affairs
    WSC, SSC, Room 112 
    371-5024
  2. April Sessler
    Associate Vice President Student Affairs      
    WSC, SSC  Room  113                         
    371-5321
  3. Renee Vincent                      
    Executive Director, Moore County                  
    MCC, Room 161A                                
    934-7221
  4. Daniel Esquivel                   
    Executive Director, Hereford Campus            
    HC, Room 102                                      
    457-4401

 

Daily Crime Log Inspection

The Amarillo College Police Department maintains and makes available a daily crime log. The log is maintained in a hard copy form at the College Police Department. The purpose of the daily crime log is to record criminal incidents and alleged criminal incidents. Crime log entries include all crimes reported to the Amarillo College Police for the required geographic locations, not just CLERY Act crimes.

The crime log for the most recent 60 day period is open to public inspection, upon request, during normal business hours. Crime logs older than 60 days are available for inspection within two business days of a request. An entry or a change in the disposition of a complaint will be recorded within two business days when known. A business day is Monday through Friday, except for the days when the police department is closed. The only exceptions are:

  1. If the disclosure is prohibited by law; or
  2. If the disclosure would jeopardize the confidentially of the victim.

The Amarillo College Police may temporally withhold information if there is clear and convincing evidence that the release of information would:

  1. Jeopardize an ongoing investigation
  2. Jeopardize the safety of an individual
  3. Cause a suspect to flee or evade detection
  4. Result in destruction of evidence

Hate Crimes

A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias. Bias is a performed negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin.  An offense can be, but is not limited to the following, and does not include bias incidents (incidents not involving violence or threat of violence): stalking, harassment, graffiti, vandalism, assault and arson. Anyone committing such acts can face criminal prosecution or be referred to the Vice President of Student Affairs for disciplinary action.

Bullying

Amarillo College is committed to protecting its students, employees, and the college community as a whole from Bullying. All students and employees are entitled to a safe, equitable, and harassment free college experience. Bullying, Harassment, or Discrimination will not be tolerated.

“Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical harm or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as: unwanted purposeful written, verbal or non-verbal action that unreasonably interferes with the individual’s college performance or participation is carried out repeatedly and is often characterized by an imbalance of power. Bullying may involve, but is not limited to:

  1. Unwanted teasing
  2. Threatening
  3. Intimidating
  4. Stalking
  5. Cyber Stalking
  6. Cyber Bullying
  7. Physical Violence
  8. Theft
  9. Sexual, Religious, or Racial Harassment
  10. Public Humiliation

Any student who believes he/she is a victim of bullying or harassment should as soon as possible after the incident takes place report the incident to college officials.

Sex Offender Registration

In accordance to the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000 and, which amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children’s and Sexually Violent Offender registration Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, and the Family Educational Rights and privacy Act of 1974, Amarillo College provides a link listed on the front of the Annual Security Report so that you can access the Texas State Sex Offender Registry. The “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000 is a federal law that provides for the tracking of convicted sex offenders enrolled at, or employed at, institutions of higher learning. All offenders attending or employed by Amarillo College are required to comply with this law. All sex offenders are required to register with the Amarillo College Police Department in addition to any other agency. Amarillo College Police will maintain a current list of registered sex offenders attending or working for Amarillo College. This list is maintained at the College Police Department located in Durrett Hall.
Amarillo College is not prohibited from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders. Registry information is provided for general public safety. A person is authorized to use this information only to protect him/herself or a child who may be at risk. The release of this information to the public is meant to assure public protection, not to punish the offender. It is illegal to use information obtained through the web site or from the College Police Department to commit a crime against an offender or to engage in discrimination or harassment against a registered sex offender. Anyone who uses this information to commit a criminal act against another person is subject to criminal prosecution and or civil action.  

Crime Prevention Programs

The Amarillo College Police Department conducts crime prevention programs on personal safety and theft prevention upon request and in conjunction with college organizations.  The college police facilitate programs for students, parents, and employees. College police in addition, conduct programs upon request at local elementary schools in the college neighborhood. The Amarillo College Police supply numerous pamphlets on safety and crime prevention at these programs and at the request of members of the college community.
During student orientation students are informed of services offered by the Amarillo College Police Department, in cooperation with other college organizations and departments, and present crime prevention awareness sessions on sexual assault (rape and acquaintance rape). A common theme of all awareness and crime prevention programs is to encourage students and employees to be aware of their responsibility for their own security and the security of others.
In addition, to classes, information is disseminated to students and employees through crime prevention awareness packets, security alert posters, displays, videos, and articles and advertisements in the college news paper.

Alcohol/Drug Use Statement

The possession, sale or the furnishing of alcohol on any campus of Amarillo College is governed by Texas State Law and controlled by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission. However, the enforcement of alcohol laws on-campus is the primary responsibility of the Amarillo College Police. All campuses of Amarillo College are designated as “Drug/Alcohol Free” and only under certain circumstances is the consumption of alcohol permitted. The possession, sale, manufacture or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both federal and state laws. Violators are subject to college disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fine and imprisonment. It is unlawful to sell, furnish or provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The possession of alcohol by anyone less than 21 years of age in a public place or a place open to the public is illegal. It is also a violation of Amarillo College policy for anyone to consume or possess alcohol in any public or private area of any Amarillo College campus without prior College approval. Organizations or groups violating alcohol/substance policies or laws may be subject to criminal prosecution and sanctions by Amarillo College.
The Amarillo College Police offers programs to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. The program provides services related to drug use and abuse including dissemination of information materials, educational programs, counseling services, referrals and college disciplinary procedures and criminal prosecution.