Policies & Procedures
Despite the relatively low crime rate in its surrounding communities, Trinity Christian College regards the safety and welfare of its students, faculty and staff as one of its highest concerns. The College has implemented many policies and programs to maintain and increase campus security, but individuals are reminded that they must assume responsibility for their own safety and the safety others. This means that if a student witnesses a crime or an act of discrimination, harassment, abuse, hazing, and initiation or bullying, the student is obligated to report it.
The safety and security of Trinity Christian College students, faculty, staff, and visitors is paramount to everyone on our campus. We believe that preparedness is vitally important in the event an emergency situation takes place at Trinity. As part of our mission to educate community members on ways they can ensure their own safety and that of others, we offer a presentation of the video “RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.” Created by the Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the video provides guidelines for responding to an emergency situation—in this case, an active shooter in the workplace. While the college has many emergency plans and procedures to react to incidents such as these, it is the first several minutes which can make a critical difference in the outcome. The guidelines offered are intended to help people think clearly when faced with an emergency. While even the best guidelines and crisis plans cannot cover every situation, “Run, Hide, Fight,” offers a succinct plan of action people can take to help protect themselves and others.
For the purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence from campus is contrary to his or her usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include, but not be limited to, a report or suspicion that the person may be a victim of foul play, has expressed suicidal thoughts, is in a life threatening situation, has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare, or is overdue to return to campus and is unheard from after giving a specific return time to friends or family.
If a member of the college community has reason to believe that a student is missing, whether or not the student resides on campus, all possible efforts are made to locate the student to determine his or her state of health and well-being through the collaboration of the Campus Safety & Security and Residence Life staff. While persons should report when a student has been reported missing for 24 hours, it does not preclude implementing these procedures in less than 24 hours if circumstances warrant faster implementation.
Any person believing a student to be missing based on the above listed criteria, may report the student to be missing to Campus Safety & Security (239-3722) or to any Residence Life staff. If the report is made with a residence life staff member they will immediately contact Camus Safety & Security with the information. If the student is an on-campus resident, Campus Safety & Security will contact the student’s residence director and make a “well-being check ” into the student’s room to determine if the student is there. Upon determining that the student is missing, Campus Safety & Security will gather all essential information about the student from the person reporting the missing student. Such information will include description, cellular phone number, clothes last worn, vehicle description, information about the physical and emotional well being of the student, an up-to-date photograph, etc.
The Director of Campus Safety and the Vice President of Student Development will be notified of any missing student. Concurrently, college officials will endeavor to determine the student’s whereabouts through contact with friends, associates, and/or employers of the student. Whether or not the student has been attending classes, and scheduled organizational or academic meetings, or appearing for scheduled work shifts or is in communication through the college email network will be established.
If the missing student cannot be located on campus, the Palos Heights Police Department will be contacted and a report filed with them. If the missing student is an off-campus resident outside of Palos Heights, Campus Safety and Security will report the missing student to the local police agency having jurisdiction. Law Enforcement agencies are then required to notify the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when someone between the ages of 18 & 21 is reported missing under the Amber Alert Bill also known as Suzanne’s Law signed into law in 2003.
If located, verification of the student’s state of health and intention of returning to the campus will be made. When and where appropriate, a referral will be made to the counseling center and/or the student health center.
If not located, student life staff will make notification to the family within 24 hours of receiving the initial report will be made to determine if they know of the whereabouts of the student.
In all cases, whether the student has previously established a contact person or not, local law enforcement will be notified of the missing student within 24 hours of being reported. College faculty/staff will cooperate, aid, and assist the primary investigative law enforcement agency in all ways prescribed by law.
Students age 18 and above and emancipated minors
Students will be given an opportunity during the fall and spring terms registration process to designate an individual as an emergency contact, to be contacted by the college no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing. The designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers may have access to this information.
Students under the age of 18
If a student under the age of 18 is determined to be missing, the college is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian no more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.