Security Policies and Procedures
- Procedures and facilities for reporting criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus and the University's response to such reports
- Individuals who wish to report alleged criminal actions or emergencies that occur on the campus of the University may do so by:
- calling The University of Texas-Pan American Police at 911 or by personal visit to the UTPA Police Department at 501 N. Sugar Road; or
- using any campus telephone and dialing "HELP" (ext. 4357) or 316-7151; or
- contacting an officer in uniform on patrol or at the Police Information Center located in the Library lobby (not manned 24 hours a day); or
- using Emergency (Blue Light) Call Boxes located throughout the campus; or
- contacting any staff member in a University office.
- The University Police Department will review reports of alleged criminal activity and either dispatch an officer immediately or refer the report for subsequent investigation,depending upon the nature and seriousness of the offense. All criminal incidents are investigated by the UTPA Police Department. Response(s) include, but are not limited to:
- immediate response to emergencies through dispatch of one or more officers;
- investigation of reports in accordance with UTPA Police Department procedures;
- arrest and filing of charges, depending upon the circumstances of the incident;
- referring alleged offenders to appropriate campus agencies, such as the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Students who wish to file a complaint that will be addressed by UTPA's disciplinary system will work with the Office of the Dean of Students. The details of the University's conduct rules and the possible sanctions that may be imposed against a student found guilty of a violation of University rules and regulations may be found in the appropriate sections, "Disciplinary Code" and "Hearings and Appeals," of the Student Guide.
- Security and access to campus facilities, including campus residences, and security considerations used in the maintenance of campus facilities The campus and properties of the University are maintained for use by students, faculty and staff. Access to campus facilities may be restricted as necessary to comply with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System and to meet safety and security requirements as determined by University officials.
The University has instituted safety and security procedures and services, but the personal safety of each individual who enters the campus is her or his responsibility. Failure to take precautions or maintain an awareness of the environment and surroundings may result in increased risk. The University will continue to develop and implement security measures, but these measures cannot succeed without the personal support of faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Campus residence halls provide a range of services and security procedures designed to ensure the reasonable comfort of residents and invited guests. Residents are provided information about these programs and services, but are advised that they are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety. Campus residence halls are supervised by trained staff members who are assisted in their efforts to maintain security by uniformed officers from UTPA. Services include attention to lighting(including emergency lighting during power failures), locking of all entrances on a regular schedule, and security programming (including fire safety drills, rape awareness programs, and vandalism reduction programs).
Security at off-campus residences owned or controlled by registered student organizations is not the responsibility of the University.
- Campus law enforcement authority, its working relationship with state and local police, and the need for accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to police
Under the authority of Article 51.203, Texas Education Code and Article 2.12, Texas Code of Criminal Procedures, UTPA police are commissioned Texas peace officers with primary jurisdiction over all counties wherein property is owned, leased, rented,or otherwise under the control of The University of Texas System.
UTPA Police Department jurisdiction includes the main campus, the Annex, the Coastal Studies Laboratory, and other area properties owned by the University. University officers are commissioned police officers who are fully empowered by the state and have authority to stop vehicles, make arrests, and enforce all laws. The University Police Department has a cooperative arrangement with the Edinburg Police Department as well as with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office. The Department maintains close liaison with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Department's Crime Prevention Unit provides a wide range of services and educational programs designed to promote campus security and that aid in anticipating and minimizing potential dangers to the population and property of the University. These include security surveys, crime prevention presentations, updates on alarms and security systems, recommendations for security systems in new buildings, engraving services,Police Vehicle Services (battery boost, locked cars,) and a campus escort services. University Police work with news media to help educate the University community in crime prevention and reporting.
- Programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices, crime prevention, and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.
These programs are offered through the University Police Department. Scheduling of programs varies according to needs of the population being addressed.
The content of these programs includes information about crime prevention and reporting,personal safety measures, engraving services and escort services.
Alleged victims of violent crime are entitled to know the results of campus student disciplinary proceedings concerning the alleged perpetrators.
The school shall, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes, report to the campus community on crimes that are: listed in the Clery Act,reported to the campus security authorities as identified by the school or to local police, and considered to be a threat to others.
- Monitoring and reporting of criminal activity at off-campus property controlled by student organizations through local police agencies
University police primary jurisdiction does not include off-campus properties owned or controlled by registered student organizations. Regular department contact with the Edinburg Police Department aids in the coordination of the activities of the two agencies.
The Edinburg Police Department provides the University Police Department with information about criminal activity involving students at properties owned or controlled by registered student organizations.
- Information for students and employees regarding illicit drugs and alcohol abuse. Information for students and employees regarding illicit drugs and alcohol abuse is presented later in this document.