Reporting a Crime
All crime victims and witnesses are encouraged to accurately and promptly report any crime they may see or are a victim of whether that crime occurs on campus or at another location Reports of crime are filed voluntarily by victims and witnesses of crimes and the identity of the victims and witnesses can remain confidential, in most cases, if desired. All reported crimes are included in the college’s annual crime statistics that are submitted to the United States Department of Education and published in the Annual Security Report.
To Report a Crime In Progress
To report a crime in progress or emergency on campus:
- Dial 9-9-1-1 from campus phones to contact the Palos Heights Police and Fire Departments, or paramedics (EMS) in an emergency. Dial 9-1-1 from any other phone, including cell phones.
- Persons using the Schaaf Athletic Complex on Cal-Sag Rd. (Rt. 83) should call the Alsip Police and Fire Departments or EMS by dialing 9-1-1.
- Persons participating in the Chicago Semester and Adult Studies - Chicago Programs in Chicago, IL should call the Chicago Police and Fire Departments (EMS) by dialing 9-1-1.
- Students or employees who are victims of crimes, or other emergencies, located at off-campus facilities or during off-campus activities at other locations, m campus should report the crime to the local law enforcement authority where the crime occurred. Generally, 9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for law enforcement agencies, fire departments and paramedic services in Illinois.
- After calling emergency first responders, the Department of Campus Safety and Security should be called at ext. 3722 from a campus phone or 708-239-3722 from a cell phone or non-campus phone. Our Campus Safety staff will assist local emergency services in responding to the incident on campus, so it is imperative that they are advised of the situation immediately.
To Report a Crime Which Has Already Occurred
To report a crime or other incident that has been committed on campus, victims and/or witnesses should contact Campus Safety at ext. 3722 or 708-239-3722 from a cell phone or non-campus phone. Campus Safety staff will assist the victim/witness in contacting the local law enforcement agency, if necessary or requested, and will also document the incident in a report. Students or employees who are victims of crimes located at off-campus facilities, off-campus programs or are victims of crime, or other emergency, away from campus should report the incident to the local law enforcement authority where the crime occurred.
What Constitutes a Reported Crime?
A crime is “reported” when a victim or witness brings it to the attention of the local police agency or a Campus Security Authority. The Clery Act defines “Campus Security Authorities” to include an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. This definition includes campus safety personnel, student services staff members (excluding the college chaplain and personal counselors, see below), residence life personnel (including AD’s and RA’s), the Athletic Director, team coaches, club advisors, student staff members when acting in their capacity as a college employee and any member of a Student Life Committee. These individuals are considered Campus Security Authorities and are required, for the purpose of documenting criminal activity, to report details of criminal activity to the Department of Campus Safety & Security.
Note: The positions and individuals who are considered Campus Security Authorities are, in most cases, also considered “responsible parties” for reporting incidents that violate Title IX mandates.
Reporting and Confidentiality
Crime victims’ needs for confidential counseling must be balanced with the need of the campus community to be made aware of incidents which may affect the personal safety of others and the feelings of a victims’ security and well-being. Those who disclose sexual misconduct must know that all Trinity Christian College employees (Residence Directors, Campus Safety Officers, staff members, faculty etc.), excluding Counseling Services Staff and the Chaplain & Dean for Spiritual Formation who may be bound by confidentiality standards, will report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinator(s), or a designee of the Department of Campus Safety and Security. Employees also include student staff employed by the college when acting in their capacity as a student staff member. Staff members who hold a confidentiality relationship with a victim will disclose limited information to the Department of Campus Safety and Security that a specific type of crime took place so “Timely Warnings” may be disseminated to the campus community (if warranted) and also so the information may be included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Information such as the victim’s name and specifics of the incident will be kept confidential if the victim so desires.
All inquiries, complaints, and investigations are treated with discretion. Identity of the complainant may be revealed to the respondent(s) of such conduct in certain cases in accordance with Title IX mandates.
Students, faculty and staff participating in Chicago Semester or the Adult Studies - Chicago Programs are directed to report crimes and other noteworthy incidents to their program coordinator, the Dean of Students, Trinity Christian College’s Department of Campus Safety and Security and the Chicago Police Department.
Students, faculty and staff participating in the Semester-In-Spain Program are directed to report crimes and other noteworthy incidents to their program coordinator, the Dean of Students, Trinity Christian College’s Department of Campus Safety and Security and the local police department in the country of Spain.
"Third-Party Reporting" and "Bystander Intervention"
Trinity Christian College encourages “third-party” reporting of criminal activity, discrimination, harassment, abuse (including sexual abuse) and bullying. The college provides the Silent Witness link on the college campus safety website to anonymously report a crime or any incident involving any type of sexual misconduct, any student conduct violation, discrimination, harassment, and abuse or bullying to the Department of Campus Safety and Security.
In addition, Trinity Christian College encourages its faculty, staff and students to practice “bystander intervention”. “Bystander intervention” involves a person taking action to assist a victim when criminal activity, discrimination, harassment, abuse (including sexual abuse) and bullying occurs in the bystander’s presence and when intervention would not expose the third party to physical harm. “Bystander intervention” includes such actions as calling the police, the Department of Campus Safety and Security or a faculty/staff member while observing the incident from a safe distance or verbally interceding in the incident if the incident is non-violent. Bystanders should not expose themselves to physical harm in order to intercede in an incident.
Individuals who are victims of crime and do not want to pursue action through the college’s system or the criminal justice system are still encouraged to file a confidential report of the crime with the Department of Campus Safety and Security and/or with the local police department where the crime occurred. A report of a crime can be filed without disclosing a person’s identity. The purpose of the confidential report is to comply with the individual’s desire to remain anonymous, while also helping the Department of Campus Safety and Security and/or local law enforcement ensure the safety of the victim and other persons. Confidential information ensures accurate crime recording, assists in identifying crime patterns and alerts the campus community to potential danger. Crimes filed in this manner are tabulated and disclosed in the annual crime statistics for the college.
An “unfounded” crime is a finding that a crime, or attempted crime, did not occur. This finding is determined by a law enforcement agency after the crime is fully investigated. When a crime is determined to be “unfounded” it means that the investigation revealed the report of the crime was false or was baseless under the law. The determination that a crime is “unfounded” cannot be based on the following criteria:
- The value of property loss involved in the commission of a crime;
- Refusal of a victim to prosecute a crime;
- Law enforcement’s failure to make an arrest related to the crime;
- The prosecutor’s refusal to prosecute a criminal case
- Legal findings by judges or juries in civil or criminal court.
Unfounded crimes are not included in the annual crime statistics reported to the United States Department of Education, however Trinity Christian College does separately submit the number of “unfounded” crimes to the Department of Education and also includes the number of unfounded crimes in the college’s Annual Security Report.