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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Campus Security

Policy Number: 2

Subject:

Campus Security

Scope:

All members of the university community, including employees and trainees (students, residents, fellows)

Date Reviewed:
September 2018
Responsible Office:
The University of Texas Police - Houston
Responsible Executive:
Chief of Police

I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Police - Houston (UTP-H) is charged with overall security of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) campus.  UTP-H is responsible for ensuring that security is maintained for owned or leased buildings on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis.  UTP-H is the primary agency for reporting and investigating criminal activity occurring on the university’s Houston campus, located in the Texas Medical Center.  UTP-H also coordinates with local law enforcement agencies and private security services, as appropriate, with respect to university property outside of the Texas Medical Center and at the university’s regional campuses.  As part of these efforts, this policy is designed to inform all members of the university community about campus security.

See HOOP 141, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans for policy information on emergency management and business continuity.

II. DEFINITIONS

Campus: For purposes of this policy, any building or property owned or controlled by the university within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the university in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the university’s educational purposes. Campus also includes any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the area, that is owned by the university but controlled by another person (such as a food or other retail vendor), is frequently used by trainees, and supports institutional purposes.  Also included in this definition is any building or property (or portion thereof) owned or controlled by the university that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the university’s educational purposes, is frequently used by trainees and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the university.

Emergency: For the purposes of this policy, emergency is defined as an immediate threat to the health or safety of trainees, employees or other members of the university community occurring on the university’s campus.

Key card: Includes keys, key cards, identification badges, and other devices that are used to control access to work or storage areas or access to buildings, building floors, departments, and sections of departments.

Timely Warning: a warning issued in response to reports of crime(s) on campus or immediately adjacent public property that, in the judgment of the Chief of Police or his designee, is considered to constitute a continuing threat to university community members and to aid in the prevention of additional crimes.

Emergency Notification: a notification sent to the university community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of members of the university community. 

Crime Alert Bulletins:  a notification informing the university community about a crime(s) that has occurred, if a Timely Warning or Emergency Notification is not warranted.

UTHealth Alert: a text-based communication system utilized by UTP-H for security related emergencies and by Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM) for weather related emergencies. 

III. PROCEDURE

A. Enforcement Authority and Jurisdiction

UTP-H is the designated police authority for the university and is the primary agency for reporting and investigating criminal activity occurring on the university’s Houston campus, located in the Texas Medical Center.  Criminal activity occurring on the university’s property outside of the Texas Medical Center or at the university’s regional campuses should be reported to local law enforcement, which will coordinate with UTP-H as appropriate.  The department's police officers are Certified Texas Peace Officers and are commissioned by UT System pursuant to state law. The primary jurisdiction of UTP-H officers includes all counties in which property is owned, leased, rented or otherwise under the control of the university. As Texas peace officers, UTP-H officers have arrest and enforcement authority in all counties in which property is owned, leased, rented or otherwise under the control of the university.  UTP-H maintains working relationships with all area law enforcement agencies, including the Houston Police Department, the Texas Medical Center Police, and other local and regional state and federal law enforcement agencies.  These working relationships are maintained through written mutual agreements, communications among agency administrators and frequent contact between line officers and investigators cooperating on specific cases and trainings.

B. Security Devices

The university has installed security devices around campus, such as key cards, as part of its overall security efforts. Tampering with or disabling of a security device is cause for arrest and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or dismissal from the university. The conscientious use of security devices such as locks or key cards by all university community members is essential to maintaining a secure environment.

In accordance with HOOP 148, Identification Badges, all members of the university community are required to display a university issued identification badge to identify themselves and their association with the university at all times while on campus or on the premises of university owned or leased space (including any associated parking facility).  Visitors to the university must comply with applicable visitor sign-in procedures.

C. Active Participation

The most important element in maintaining a secure environment is the active participation of all members of the university community. All members of the university community should recognize, appraise and initiate realistic security measures to reduce risks. Certain individuals are required (see HOOP 87, Reporting Criminal Activity to Campus Police), and all other members of the university community are encouraged, to promptly and accurately report crimes , unless they are aware that the crime has already been reported to UTP-H. 

Reports can be filed with UTP-H by:

Phone: 713-792-2890

In Person: 7777 Knight Road, Houston, TX 77054

Additional information regarding the reporting of threats or incidents of violence can be found in HOOP 39, Violence Free Workplace.  Information on reporting of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, can be found in HOOP 59, Sexual Misconduct

D. Notifications

Timely information regarding campus crime and crime-related problems are made available to the university community by various means.  The university will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of university community members, determine the appropriate notification to be sent and the related content of the notification. The university will then initiate the appropriate notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency.  For more information on emergency communications for other events, such as weather incidents, see HOOP 141, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans.

Crime Alert Bulletins informing university community members about a crime that has occurred are distributed by UTP-H as soon as pertinent information on the incident is received.  The circumstances of any particular situation, coupled with UTP-H’s evaluation of the situation and its threat potential, will dictate the need, breadth and manner for the issuance of a Bulletin.

UTP-H will issue a Timely Warning when a continuing threat to the campus has been identified in order to aid in the prevention of additional crimes.

UTHealth Alert will be utilized for Emergency Notifications, by UTP-H for security related emergencies and by SHERM for weather related emergencies. Public Affairs will serve as a backup for UTHealth Alert when necessary.

See HOOP 85,  Controlled Access Status for Emergency, Disaster or Severe Weather and HOOP 141, Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans for additional guidance. 

Note: The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center (“UTHCPC”) has additional policies on security. Please consult UTHCPC administration with questions as to security measures and policies at UTHCPC.

IV. CONTACTS

    • The University of Texas Police - Houston
    • 713-792-2890
    • https://www.utph.org
    • School of Public Health – Austin (local campus police)
    • 512-471-4441
    • School of Public Health – Brownsville (local campus police)
    • 956-882-8232
    • School of Public Health – Dallas (local campus police)
    • 214-648-8311
    • School of Public Health – El Paso (local campus police)
    • 915-747-5611
    • School of Public Health – San Antonio (local campus police)
    • 210-567-2800