2021-2022 Catalog 
    
    Aug 16, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

F. Public Safety



Wor-Wic Community College employs a team of public safety officers who patrol campus facilities and grounds, and identify and address safety and security concerns. Wor-Wic public safety officers have the authority to ask individuals for identification to determine whether or not they have lawful business at the college. Wor-Wic public safety officers also have the authority to issue public safety citations for violations of college traffic/parking and smoking/tobacco use policies.

Wor-Wic public safety officers are not police officers and, as such, do not possess arrest power. All criminal incidents are referred to the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office or the Maryland State Police. The public safety department at Wor-Wic maintains a working relationship with area fire, rescue and law enforcement agencies.

The college prohibits any individual from bringing or using a weapon on college property, including a firearm or any other instrument intended to cause harm or reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm. Individuals who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon are required to comply, but individuals affiliated with law enforcement agencies who are licensed to carry a weapon are exempt.

Requesting Public Safety Assistance

Any member of the campus community can call the public safety department at 410-334-2937 to request assistance with incidents such as altercations, disruptions, trespassing, theft, vandalism, medical assistance and/or vehicle assistance. Calls for assistance might or might not require law enforcement action. An incident can also be classified as hate bias if the incident is a hostile act of conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by intolerance, bias or prejudice against another individual or group. Although hate-bias incidents sometimes constitute hate crimes or discrimination, not all hate-bias incidents escalate to the level of a hate crime or discrimination.

Reported incidents are investigated, when applicable, and recorded on an incident report by the responding officer. Incident reports are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the public safety department located in Room 104 of Henson Hall. For incidents warranting an investigation, public safety officers follow the procedures under “College Investigations and Disciplinary Procedures” or in “Discrimination and Harassment ,” whichever is applicable to the incident. 

Campus Operating Hours

The campus is open during the academic year on Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. College public safety officers can be reached during these hours by dialing 410-334-2937. A phone is available in every classroom, office and laboratory at the campus for anyone who needs to call for emergency assistance (911). A red sticker is affixed to each campus phone, which provides the public safety phone extension of 2937. The emergency “blue light” phones that are located in the campus parking lots and other strategic locations on campus are directly connected to the college’s public safety department.

Visitors to College Facilities

The use of college facilities is restricted to currently-enrolled students, employees and invited guests and visitors with legitimate business. All individuals who enter college facilities must comply with all college policies and procedures. Invited guests or visitors, including children under the age of 16, are not allowed to accompany employees or students to academic spaces, including classrooms, laboratories, resource centers, study areas or the fitness center, unless their attendance is part of an authorized activity or program of the college. For safety and liability reasons, invited guests or visitors are not permitted in areas where dangerous equipment or chemicals are used or stored, without prior authorization.

Children are permitted to visit college offices, the café, bookstore or open spaces, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. The parent or guardian must also ensure that the children do not disrupt the educational or work environment. Children cannot be left unattended at any time. They also cannot be left in the care of another employee or student unless the child is attending an authorized activity or program of the college. In limited situations, children can visit an employee’s workspace during working hours for a brief amount of time with prior approval of the employee’s immediate supervisor.

Employees who fail to comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with dismissal policies and procedures. Students who fail to comply with this policy are subject to student conduct policies and procedures. Invited guests or visitors who fail to comply with this policy will be asked to leave the campus.

Access to Campus Facilities

Access to all college facilities during periods when the college is closed is limited to authorized employees and contractors. Signage to this effect is maintained at all entrances to the campus. The college is not responsible or liable for the safety of anyone at the campus when the college is closed.

Non-Campus Locations

Because college activities occur in diverse locations throughout the college’s service area, individual faculty members and other college employees assume responsibility, at off-campus, college-sponsored activities, in the event of an emergency situation.

Crime Reporting Procedures

Any member of the campus community who is a victim of, or witness to, a crime at the college campus or at an off-campus, college-sponsored activity, should call 911 and the college public safety department at 410-334-2937. Anyone who needs help reporting a crime to police can obtain assistance from the public safety department. Prompt reporting assures timely warning notices and accurate disclosure of crime statistics. Victims or witnesses can report crimes, or suspicious behaviors or activities, on a voluntary, confidential basis by sending a text message to 50911. The text message should begin with UTIPS, and the date, time, location and description of the incident should be provided in the text.

All reports of criminal activity are investigated and recorded in the daily crime log in the public safety department by the officer taking the report. The daily crime log is available for public inspection during normal business hours at the public safety department located in Room 102 of Henson Hall.

In addition to the daily crime reporting log, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act requires that certain crimes, which could require the assistance of local law enforcement officials, must be included in the annual security report. Primary crimes that must be reported include murder, negligent manslaughter, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson. All primary crimes, as well as larceny/theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction, damage or vandalism of property, are also classified as hate crimes when there is evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin or disability. Other crimes that must be reported are domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, as well as criminal charges or referrals to the college’s student-faculty disciplinary committee for alcohol, drug or weapons violations.

Emergency Notifications

An emergency notification is triggered when there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of individuals on campus.

A notification message is sent through Omnilert (a free subscription-only text, phone and email messaging service) and/or Informacast (a notification through the campus telephone system), without delay, after a reasonable attempt to verify the validity and severity of the emergency. Personal or telephone contact with the reporting party or other reliable witnesses, typically by public safety or another designated employee, is the preferred method to confirm the validity of an emergency. Physical personal verification by public safety or another designated employee, with due regard for their own personal safety, is acceptable if the reporting party is unavailable or unreliable.

Taking into account the safety of the community, the college initiates the notification, unless issuing a notification, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, could compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Under normal circumstances, the determination to initiate the emergency notification, as well as the content and means of the notification, is made by the president or a vice president. In extreme situations, it could be necessary to send an immediate emergency notification when the president or vice president cannot be reached in a timely fashion. If this occurs, the following individuals are authorized to compose and send the notification:

  • Director of Public Safety
  • Public Safety Supervisor
  • Senior Director of Facilities Management
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Dean of Occupational and Emerging Technologies
  • Dean of Health Professions
  • Dean of General Education
  • Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
  • Evening and Weekend Administrator
  • Director of Early College Initiatives

Unless notification would cause or further exacerbate an unsafe situation, all members of the campus community who have subscribed to Omnilert are notified. If it is determined that the notification should also be sent through Informacast, generally, the message is sent to all campus telephones. However, both Omnilert and Informacast have the capability to send a message to a segment of the campus, depending on the situation.

If, in the opinion of the president or a vice president, in consultation with on-scene emergency response personnel, the emergency is of such a nature as to require notification of the general public, a press release is prepared and disseminated to local print and electronic media outlets. All tactical communications or emergency notifications are the responsibility of on-scene emergency responders.

The emergency notification systems are tested at least once per year. The tests are coordinated by the director of public safety and could be announced or unannounced. The message alerts recipients of an emergency and then directs for the appropriate response or action to be taken during the incident. The director of public safety maintains records of the date, time and description of the test, as well as whether it was announced or unannounced.

Timely Warnings

The Clery Act requires that the college issue a warning to the campus community if certain crimes are committed on Wor-Wic’s campus, at any of the college’s non-campus facilities or on public property that is immediately adjacent to Wor-Wic’s campus.

The crime must have been reported to a campus security authority, such as a campus public safety officer, a college official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities or the local police. Crimes that would otherwise be reportable, but are reported to a licensed mental health counselor or pastoral counselor in the context of a confidential communication, are not subject to the timely warning requirement.

Each crime must be evaluated to determine if a warning should be issued by determining whether or not the crime presents a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. If a warning is warranted, the campus community is notified as soon as the pertinent information is available by one or more of the following methods:

  • Omnilert (a free subscription-only text, phone and email messaging service)
  • InformaCast (notification through the campus telephone system)
  • Email to registered Wor-Wic email accounts
  • Personal contact by public safety or other designated employees
  • Posting of notices on exterior doors on campus that detail the situation
  • Posting of notices on the college website

Timely warnings do not include the names of victims.

Bullying

Wor-Wic prohibits the bullying of a student, employee or visitor at the campus, any college-owned or operated facility or any college sanctioned event. The college defines bullying as an intentional, persistent, malicious and unwelcome verbal, physical or written conduct or electronic communication that creates a hostile educational or work environment by harming, intimidating, offending, degrading or humiliating another individual. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying and includes inappropriate communications such as a text message, photograph or audio/video recording, transmitted by means of an electronic device, including the use of social media sites, telephone, cell phone, computer, tablet or any other electronic communication device.

Substance Abuse

The college recognizes drug or alcohol abuse as an illness and a major health problem, as well as a potential safety and security problem. Health risks associated with substance abuse include death, stroke and diseases of the heart and liver, in addition to alcohol and drug related suicides, homicides and accidents. The college complies with all federal, state and local laws that regulate or prohibit the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs.

The possession, sale, manufacture or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal laws. Violation of drug laws are referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Violators are subject to college disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fine and imprisonment.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Wor-Wic campus, at any college-owned or operated facility or at any college sanctioned event is prohibited except by individuals over the age of 21 at officially-sponsored college events. Violations of Maryland law regarding the possession, consumption, sale or furnishing of alcohol to people under the legal drinking age are referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Violations of the alcoholic beverage policy by students are referred to the college student-faculty disciplinary committee. Employees who violate the policy are subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including dismissal.

Students with substance abuse problems are referred to the counselor, who provides evaluation, counseling and referrals to community agencies. All students agree to abide by the college’s substance abuse policies and procedures when they sign the college’s admission application.

Employees are required to sign a statement before they begin their employment at the college, certifying that they understand that they are required to notify their supervisor of any criminal substance abuse conviction within five calendar days after conviction. The college is required to provide written notification of an employee substance abuse conviction to the U.S. Department of Education within 10 calendar days after receiving notice of such conviction and to take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee or to require that the employee complete a substance abuse assistance or rehabilitation program at his or her own expense within 30 calendar days after being notified of the conviction. Employees with substance abuse problems are referred to the college’s employee assistance program.

College Investigations and Disciplinary Procedures

In addition to any criminal or civil proceedings, any employee or student who is accused of any crime or incidents warranting an investigation such as altercations, bullying, disruptions, hate bias, hazing, substance abuse, theft, trespassing, vandalism or violating certain college policies, is subject to college disciplinary procedures. The senior director of student development or the executive director of human resources, who both serve as the Title VI/IX coordinators and discrimination investigators for the college, initiates a prompt, fair and impartial investigation in accordance with the procedures specified in the college’s discrimination and harassment policy. In all investigations, the investigator reviews the available facts to determine if there is a preponderance of evidence that a policy violation occurred and if there is probable cause for an appropriate corrective action(s).

Wor-Wic’s discrimination and harassment, and sexual misconduct policies and procedures are available on the college website, as well as in the college catalog (for students) and the policies and procedures manual (for employees).

Employee Disciplinary Procedures

Regardless of the reporting party, if the employee is found to have violated a policy listed here, appropriate personnel action is taken, up to and including dismissal. The reporting and responding parties are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during college disciplinary proceedings, as specified in the employee dismissal procedures, and both are simultaneously informed of the outcome, the appeal process, any change in results and when results of the proceedings are final.

Student Disciplinary Procedures

If the student is found to have violated a policy listed here, disciplinary action is taken in accordance with procedures that govern student conduct, up to and including permanent suspension. The reporting party and responding party are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during college disciplinary proceedings, as specified in the student conduct procedures, and both are simultaneously informed of the outcome, the appeal process, any change in results and when results of the proceedings are final.

Prevention and Awareness

Efforts to provide a safe and secure environment focus on the prevention and awareness of substance abuse, hate crimes, sexual harassment (quid pro quo or unwelcome conduct harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), or other crimes, as well as hate bias, bullying and hazing. Prevention and awareness programs are offered to reduce the risk of such crimes and incidents, and to promote safety and bystander action.

Initial prevention and awareness programs include the dissemination of the college’s discrimination and harassment policy, as well as a copy of the annual security report, to all new employees on their first day of work. New employees must complete a Title IX training module for higher education within their first two weeks of employment. Credit students who take the mandatory Fundamentals of College Study course are presented with Title IX information and safety policies, and tested on the information. Safety information is provided to employees and students during orientations. Information related to harassment and discrimination, and public safety, is published on the college website, as well as the college catalog (for students) and the policies and procedures manual (for employees).

Wor-Wic public safety officers are present on campus during all hours when the college is open and during special events when the college would otherwise be closed. Signs are posted at the campus entrances indicating that unauthorized entry after operating hours is prohibited and that surveillance cameras are in use. Operational procedures for public safety officers specify that officers regularly patrol all campus buildings, grounds and parking lots. Public safety officers also escort individuals to their vehicles in campus parking lots upon request. The director of public safety coordinates the safety prevention program for the college by performing nightly inspections of the lighting, landscaping, doors, locks and alarm systems at the college campus to initiate any safety or security improvements. The director of public safety also serves as the college liaison to law enforcement officials and as co-chairperson of the college safety committee.

The counselor coordinates the ongoing awareness program by disseminating pamphlets and brochures, displaying posters in college facilities, submitting articles for student and employee publications, coordinating guest speakers or providing information to students and employees at orientation sessions, workshops or meetings. The counselor shares information about substance abuse and makes referrals to local agencies. The counselor also maintains a list of campus and community resources available for victims of a sex offense. Educational programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, sexual harassment (including quid pro quo harassment, unwelcome conduct harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking), and how to prevent becoming the victim of such crimes are also available from the local health department or local law enforcement agencies. These agencies can also provide counseling or other mental health services for victims of sexual offenses.

Annual training is provided to the college’s Title VI/IX coordinators and discrimination investigators, as well as all members of the Wor-Wic Title IX grievance process pool. These employees are required to attend annual professional development on all topics delineated in the sexual misconduct policy and procedures. Training materials are posted for the public to review on the college website under “Title IX.”

College prevention and awareness programs, including employee professional development opportunities, are reviewed annually to determine their effectiveness and to ensure that sanctions are consistently enforced.

Information Concerning Registered Sex Offenders

Information about registered sex offenders can be obtained by searching the Maryland Sex Offender Registry at www.dpscs.state.md.us/sorSearch.

Missing Students

Wor-Wic does not provide on-campus student housing facilities and, as such, is not required to maintain missing student notification procedures. Missing person reports should be made to local law enforcement agencies.