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Reporting a Crime

What is the SU policy on reporting criminal incidents to State and Local Police?

The University Police Department investigates all incidents involving criminal activity that it receives. The department also may coordinate investigations with outside agencies as needed. The university does not have written agreements with other agencies; however, Pennsylvania Act 48 allows university police officers to act outside the campus limits and with other agencies under specific conditions. All university crime statistics are reported monthly to the Pennsylvania State Police for use in the Uniform Crime Report and arrest information for offenses as required by state criminal history record retention laws.

What is the SU policy on encouraging the reporting of crime?

Shippensburg University and the University Police Department strongly encourage faculty, staff, students, and guests to report any illegal or suspicious activity in a timely manner to the University Police Department. Reporting is especially encouraged when the victim of a crime elects or is unable to make such a report. Those incidents reported to pastoral and professional counselors are not included in campus crime statistics. Reports of criminal activity that are brought to the attention of the Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life, any student organization or activity advisor, athletic coaches, intramural sport advisors, and medical health professionals are required to be reported, and they should be brought to the attention of the University Police Department either by the victims or by the person receiving the report as soon as possible after the report is received. Forms have been provided to those on campus identified as Campus Security Authorities for these reports. Those who report criminal incidents to pastoral or professional counselors are encouraged to voluntarily report the incident to the University Police Department on a confidential basis. If off campus, individuals are encouraged to report crimes to the local police in a timely manner.

Providing safety and security are the primary responsibilities of the Department of Public Safety, and our main goal is to serve and protect the university community. This, however, is a goal we cannot achieve alone. We need the cooperation of everyone in the community. As members of the university community, we all have a moral responsibility and a personal interest in the maintenance of a safe environment on campus for all to enjoy. Taking responsibility and reporting crime and suspicious activities in a timely manner will be beneficial to you, the university and the entire community.

What are the procedures for students and others to report criminal activity or other emergencies occurring on campus, and how does the University respond?

The campus community can report criminal activity on campus by calling the University Police Department at (717) 477-1444 (campus extension 1444), in person at the University Police Department station located in the Reed Operations Center, or by using one of the provided emergency phones on campus. These emergency phones are located in various areas throughout the campus and report directly to the University Police Department station when activated. (See campus map for locations.) Anyone on campus needing assistance in a medical or fire emergency should dial 911.

Even if victims of crime do not wish to pursue criminal or judicial charges, they are still encouraged to file a confidential report with the Division of Student Affairs or with the University Police Department. This allows for information about the incident to be documented and analyzed while protecting the identity of the reporting person. Having the university community file reports for all incidents that occur on campus allows the university to accurately report the number of criminal incidents and determine whether crime patterns are present to protect the campus community from future criminal acts. The University Police Department maintains both crime and fire logs, which are available for public inspection 24-7. These logs are located in the police dispatch area.

The University Police Department maintains a 24-hour dispatch center, which is staffed by a police officer, to answer all calls for assistance. Upon receiving a request for assistance, an officer, along with any other appropriate personnel, will be dispatched immediately to the location. In cases involving criminal activity, university police officers will respond and conduct an investigation. Information regarding all citations or arrests made by university police for criminal violations on campus is forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. Arrests of university students by municipal or state police agencies that are brought to the attention of the University Police Department also are forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. All students are held accountable for their behavior on and off campus property.

What is the SU policy concerning monitoring off-campus crime?

Shippensburg University works in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction in areas surrounding the campus to monitor criminal activity at off-campus locations. The Shippensburg Borough Police and the Pennsylvania State Police routinely provide information to the university regarding incidents involving students residing or visiting within Shippensburg Borough or Shippensburg Township. All incidents received by these agencies that are known to involve students of the university are indicated as such through their reporting system. University police officers on patrol are equipped to monitor radio dispatches for other local police departments as well as other types of emergency services. Reports to the Department of Public Safety involving students as victims in off-campus incidents are recorded and assistance is rendered in regard to appropriate support services available at the university. Students who participate in illegal activity at off-campus locations are held accountable by means of the university judicial process.

How does SU report incidents for on-campus properties?

Statistics for on-campus properties include all incidents reported to the Department of Public Safety that occurred in any building or property owned or controlled by the institution located on campus and used to meet or support the educational purposes of the institution. These statistics also include all residential facilities on campus.

How does SU report incidents for campus residential facilities?

Statistics for residential facilities include all incidents reported to the Department of Public Safety that occurred in the student residential facilities located on campus. These numbers also are included in the On-Campus Property crime statistics.

How does SU report incidents for non-campus properties?

Statistics for non-campus properties include all incidents known to the university that are reported to local and state police agencies for incidents occurring at properties owned or controlled by student organizations and any educational facilities owned by the university but located off the main campus.

How does SU report incidents for public properties?

Reporting for public properties includes all incidents known to the university that are reported to local and state police agencies and occurred in areas geographically contiguous to campus property.

How does SU respond to crimes involving bias?

Shippensburg University supports and encourages programs that benefit all people and that seek to eradicate discrimination and injustice. The University Police Department as well as the Office of Social Equity investigates any incident involving bias against any individual or group due to national origin, actual or perceived race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability. Incidents of this nature are responded to immediately and are recorded by the police department separately from other incident types.

What is SU’s Policy on Missing Residential Student Notification?

Originated by the Vice President for Student Affairs, this policy addresses the reporting, investigation, and notification of others when a residential student is believed missing. The application of this policy is directed primarily to residential students living in campus facilities. All members of the university community share responsibility for reporting to designated university officials when they believe that a student is missing.


Residential Student — A student who resides in campus housing, has signed a housing agreement, and is currently enrolled at the university.

Missing — A residential student is presumed missing if he or she is unaccounted for over a 24-hour period.

Community Members — All Shippensburg University faculty, staff members, clerical personnel, administrators, and students.

Authorized Campus Officials — The President and all Vice Presidents and/or their designees shall be considered as authorized campus officials.


As required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, and consistent with Shippensburg University’s commitment to student safety, this policy establishes notification procedures in the event that a residential student is defined as missing. Specific requirements are outlined as follows:

  • Residential students will be informed at the beginning of each academic semester via e-mail that everyone has the option of registering a confidential contact person to be notified in the event that a student is determined to be missing. This identified person will be contacted by the University Police Department within 24 hours after the time it was determined that the student was missing. Residential students are responsible for ensuring that the contact information is current and accurate.
  • Residential students under the age of 18 and not emancipated will further be informed that the University Police Department is required to notify custodial parents or legal guardians within 24 hours after the time a student is determined to be missing.
  • Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to the confidential contact person’s information.
  • The University Police Department immediately will notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies upon determination that a student is missing, even if the student did not register a contact person.
  • If circumstances warrant, this policy and these procedures may be implemented in less than 24 hours.

The University Police Department will be responsible for the following:

  • Providing notification of this policy in the Annual Campus Security Report.
  • Serving as the site for residential students who wish to register a confidential contact person.
  • Maintaining the registry of the confidential contact people.
  • Initiating the emergency contact procedures, which include notifying the designated confidential contact persons, custodial parents, legal guardians, university officials, and other law enforcement agencies as appropriate.
  • Coordinating any campus-based investigation into a missing residential student, which shall include the assistance of Student Affairs personnel.

Shippensburg University community members will be responsible for the following:

  • Reporting any missing residential student to the University Police Department.
  • Students may choose to report a missing student to the Residence Life staff, who in turn will contact and assist the University Police Department.

The University Police Department, in cooperation with Student Affairs staff members, will implement the following investigative procedures when a missing student report is received from a community member:

  • Attempt to call the alleged missing person using the phone numbers supplied to the university.
  • Talk with Residence Life staff members to determine if the person has been seen.
  • Have Residence Life staff members check the assigned room and talk with neighbors, friends, and roommates. If necessary, have the Residence Life staff key into the room for health and safety purposes.
  • Check the card access system log to determine when the person last entered the housing facility.
  • Contact University Dining Services to determine when the person last used their meal plan.
  • Check the person’s e-mail account to determine the last time it was used.
  • Contact the person’s faculty members to determine class attendance.
  • Consult with the Counseling Center staff and Etter Health Center staff.
  • If the missing student is determined to be under the age of 18, the University Police Department will contact the student’s parents or legal guardians within 24 hours.

If the missing student is over the age of 18 and registered a confidential contact person, that person will be contacted by the University Police Department within 24 hours.

Contact the Police Department Phone: 717-477-1444