Student Right to Know
Sam Houston State University, a component of the Texas State University System (TSUS), is required under Federal law to provide consumer information that could be useful to students, prospective students, prospective employees, employees and visitors interested in the university.
In 1990, Congress enacted the Student Right to Know (Under Title I) and the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (Title II of Public Law 101-542), which amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). This act required all postsecondary institutions participating in HEA’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The act was amended in 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2008. The 1998 amendments renamed the law the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in memory of a student who was slain in her dorm room in 1986. It is generally referred to as the Clery Act and is in section 485(f) of the HEA.
Reauthorized under several different Federal Acts, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Sam Houston State University’s current Annual Security and Fire Reports (due each year prior to October 1st) for the past 12 years of reporting are available on the SHSU Police Department website at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/annual.html .
Annual Security Report policy statements citation 34 CFR 668.46(b)(1)(c)
Reliance on Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety Services reported to the Vice President for Finance and Operations, Dr. Carlos Hernandez, until September of 2019. Direct oversight of this department’s security and safety policies were moved under Student Affairs Vice President Dr. Frank Parker and are reviewed and supervised for proper implementation. Kevin Morris, Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety Services for SHSU, completes and maintains the SHSU Annual Security Report.
The Sam Houston State University Police Department (SHSUPD) collects and maintains crime statistics for all offenses committed on SHSU property as directed by SHSU Safety and Security Policy. Crime Statistics based on the crimes that are reported to the University Police Department come from different sources, including the Huntsville Police Department and SHSU Campus Security Authorities. The incidents that happen on public property are those incidents that the University Police Department responded to and reflect actions generated by Sam Houston State University officers, or crimes reported by request to Huntsville Police Department and other agencies. SHSU Police personnel are all Clery Campus Security Authorities, as well as law enforcement officers from other agencies working SHSU events.
Uniformed SHSU University Police officers patrol the campus area 24 hours each day in marked police units with a police radio, speakers, laptop computers and video systems. In addition, during the day, uniformed student parking control personnel are on patrol in the parking areas with each person issued a two-way radio for contact within the university police system. In the evening and early morning hours uniformed student foot patrol personnel walk the main campus, and upon request provide escort service to anyone on campus who may be concerned with their safety. Regular patrol of SHSU properties includes, in some cases leaving the main campus in order to include checks for property security.
For all reporting years, these statistics also include those crimes reported by the Huntsville Police Department (located at 1220 11th Street, in Huntsville, Texas, Texas, 77340, phone number 936.291-5480.) These statistics were obtained through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and reviewed every two years in April. Letters are also mailed requesting crime statistics from other local agencies. SHSU is not obligated to pay for requested crime statistics.
34 CFR §668.46(b)(2)
Reporting a Crime or Emergency
By policy, SHSU encourages all students, staff, faculty and visitors to report crimes occurring in SHSU geography (properties including on-campus, noncampus, and public property-the streets and sidewalks bordering university property) to report crimes to the SHSU Police Department at 936.294.1800. In an emergency, please call 911 or SHSU PD dispatch at 936.294.1000. A call to 911 when the crime is occurring on campus may be relayed to SHSU PD dispatch.
Crimes can also be reported in person at the Sam Houston State University Police Department (named after Charles W. Tackett, the originator of the SHSU Police Department and longtime Chief of Police) at 2424 Sam Houston Avenue.
Crimes at the Woodlands Campus can be reported by using the same number listed above (936.294.1800), and again, in cases of emergency, call 911 or SHSU PD Dispatch at 936.294.1000.
Reporting crimes is important to the welfare, safety and security of the SHSU Community, which may generate Timely Warnings or Emergency Notifications in an effort to protect your fellow Bearkats and family or friends.
Other Avenues for Reporting a Crime also includes Emergency Call Boxes and Telephones
SHSU currently has twenty emergency freestanding call boxes located in strategic locations across the main campus. In addition, most residence halls have emergency telephone boxes outside the main entrance to the halls. The call boxes allow direct communication with the police department dispatch and provide a rapid means for reporting emergencies and crimes, in addition to requesting police or other emergency assistance. These locations are also the sites for receiving siren or verbal warnings for emergency notifications.
Additional Methods of Reporting Crimes
In certain cases when, for whatever reason, you may not be able or willing to report crimes to the SHSU Police Department or local law enforcement agencies, some crimes may be reported to SHSU designated responsible reporting personnel under Title IX or to Campus Security Authorities for Clery Act Crimes that occur on property owned, leased, rented or on public property of SHSU.
You can also go to Silent Witness (https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/silent-witness.html) to anonymously report crimes or suspicious activity to make the Bearkat community safer.
34 CFR §668.46(b)(4)(ii)(A) - Whether those security personnel have the authority to make arrests;
Authority & Jurisdiction
Sam Houston State University’s Police Department law enforcement personnel is lawfully recognized by the State of Texas as law enforcement officers under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.12 (8) – Who are Peace Officers - Officers commissioned under Section 37.081, Education Code, or Sub-chapter E, Chapter 51, Education Code; and are authorized to make arrests. Section 51.203 of the Texas Education Code determines the primary jurisdiction of the Sam Houston State University Police Department encompassing all counties within the State of Texas where SHSU owns, leases or controls property by written agreement.
Alarms and Video Surveillance
The SHSU Police Department monitors a comprehensive system of alarms and closed circuit video surveillance cameras from throughout the University community.
§668.46 (f) (1) (i) (ii) (2) (3) (i) (A,B,C), (ii), (4), (5)
The Daily Crime Log
Sam Houston State University Police Department Chief of Police Kevin Morris maintains an easily understood daily crime log that includes the nature, date, time, and general location of each crime and the disposition of the complainant, if known. Crime log information can be found at following website https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/crimelog.html located on the SHSU PD Website. More insight into the University Police Department’s work can also be found in the Police Daily Activity Report located at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/dailypolice.html.
Good Working Relationship with Law Enforcement and MOU’s
SHSU Chief of Police Kevin Morris maintains a good working relationship with federal, state, local, city and county law enforcement authorities in both Walker and Montgomery counties, with Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) with the following agencies:
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department
M.C. Constable Precinct 1
M.C. Constable Precinct 2
M.C. Constable Precinct 3
M.C. Constable Precinct 5
City of Conroe Police Department
City of Oak Ridge Police Department
City of Shenandoah Police Department
City of Panorama Village Police Department
City of Cut and Shoot Police Department
City of Magnolia Police Department
New Caney ISD Police
Splendora ISD Police
Montgomery ISD Police
Lone Star College Police
Texas Department of Public Safety
City of Willis Police Department
City of Montgomery Police Department
City of Huntsville Police Department
Crime Prevention §668.46 (b) (5) (6)
Ongoing Programs and Security Awareness and Crime Prevention, Community Outreach
In 2012, officers within the University Police Department created an officer led initiative to “bridge the gap” between the police department and the communities they serve. Within CORE, we focus on the “why” to be able achieve any “how.” Each member of this group brings a welcomed skill set to the table, but we strive to connect with our communities through positive interaction and communication. Since its creation, CORE has developed several fun and interactive programs that occur annually.
Of these, Kats Safety Bash which is held annually in the Fall semester, has helped the SHSU Police Department connect with a large portion of our community. This event provides participants the opportunity to engage with their local public safety professionals from both Walker and Montgomery Counties in a casual, informative, and interactive environment. Participants have the opportunity to see various public safety helicopters, a mock-dorm room burn simulation, a vehicle extrication with the Jaws of Life, and meet with various law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies within Walker and Montgomery counties.
Additionally, CORE is responsible for presenting numerous crime prevention topics to student, staff, and faculty members throughout the school year. CORE consistently participates in Relay for Life events, parades, new student orientations, and other events to continue the positive interaction with the communities they serve. It is the hope of CORE that with continued connection and communication we can improve the trust and relationship with the university police department. Past presentations conducted include » Active Shooter C.R.A.S.E. » Interacting with Law Enforcement » Alcohol & Drugs » Law Enforcement Education » Situational Awareness » Clery Act » Sexual Assault Awareness » Identity Theft » Stalking Awareness » Spring Safety Bash » Student Campus Safety » RA Safety and many others.
Sex Offender Registration information citation 34 CFR 668.46(b)(12)
Sex Offender Information
Under Federal law the SHSU Police Department Chief of Police or his designee is directed to enter into the Annual Security Report each year where Sex Offender information may be found by students, faculty, staff or visitors to SHSU in an effort to serve the University community.
Information on where Sex Offender information is located within the SHSU Annual Security Report is at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/annual.html, the SHSU PD website, and at https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/sex-offenders.html at the SHSU PD website at any time.
Additionally, you may contact the Sam Houston State University Police Department at 936 294- 1800 and speak with an officer with concerns or questions you may have concerning registered sex offenders on campus. The Texas Public Sex Offender Website is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety (or DPS) to protect and serve the people of Texas. DPS, under Chapter 62, collects reported information and disseminates the on its’ website located at https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffenderRegistry . You may also go to the U.S. Department of Justice Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website at https://www.nsopw.gov/ for National Sex Offender information.
The Clery Act requires Sam Houston State University to include four general categories of crime statistics in the annual Security Report every year. All crime statistics are based on reports received from the SHSU Police Department or SHSU Campus Security Authorities of crimes that occur on Clery Geography for SHSU, or with local agencies where reporting may involve SHSU public property reporting.
Clery Campus Map
The reporting statistics involves the following crimes under the Clery Act, and their definitions:
Criminal Homicide is separated into two categories: Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter, and Manslaughter by Negligence.
Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter is defined as the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another, and includes any death caused by injuries received in a fight, argument, quarrel, assault or the commission of a crime.
Manslaughter by Negligence
Defined as the killing of another person through gross negligence. This includes any death caused by the gross negligence of another. In other words, it’s something that a reasonable and prudent person would not do.
The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/ or by putting the victim in fear.
An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft.
Motor Vehicle Theft
The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.
Under the Sexual Assault category:
Any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. This offense includes the rape of both males and females.
The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/ her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. Statutory Rape Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Under the Hate Crimes category:
An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration or loss of consciousness.
Theft The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Larceny and theft are the same for purposes of Clery Act reporting. Constructive possession is the condition in which a person does not have physical custody or possession, but is in a position to exercise dominion or control over a thing.
To unlawfully place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting
Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface or otherwise injure any public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control. This malicious behavior directed at property such as cutting, tearing, breaking, marking, painting, drawing, covering with filth, or any other such means as may be specified by local law.
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition—
- Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed.
- By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
- By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
- By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
- By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
- By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—
- Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
- Suffer substantial emotional distress.
For the purposes of this definition—
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Arrests and Referrals
Under Clery Act requirements, SHSU must report statistics for violations of the law that occur within SHSU Clery Act geography and result in arrests or persons being referred for disciplinary action. No statistical recording is for both. Statistical recording in a case of both an arrest and referral would only record the statistic for the arrest.
SHSU Disciplinary actions are also submitted by SHSU Human Resources and Dean of Students Office.
SHSU PD may on occasion, due to investigation and the totality of information, may unfound a crime due to it being false or baseless. If the statistic was originally reported, it may be removed from any statistics originally reported, and it would be included in the total count of unfounded crimes for the year in which it was reported. The unfounding of the crime requires changing the reported crime in the daily log or police activity within two business days once the investigation is completed.
The Hierarchy Rule
As required by the Clery Act, when more than one criminal offense was committed during a single incident within SHSU’s Clery Act geography, SHSU PD will only count the most serious offense, with some exceptions. Those exceptions include when reporting arson and sexual assault along with another serious offense.
Monitoring Off Campus Locations of Recognized Student Organizations
The University monitors and records, through local police agencies, any criminal activity in which students have engaged at off-campus locations of student organizations officially recognized by the University, including student organizations with off-campus housing facilities.
All documents are currently held in support of the submission of Clery Act statistics at the SHSU Police Department by SHSU Chief of Police Kevin Morris.
Sam Houston State University PD follows the guidelines as provided by the Department of Education through “The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting 2016 Edition” and UPD policies located at.
34 CFR 668.46(a) Campus security authority definition citation
Campus Security Authorities (CSAs)
Campus Security Authorities fill the niche to improve accurate crime reporting and may have information that elicits a Timely Warning notification. SHSU’s CSAs serve as a first line of defense for all students, staff, faculty and visitors. CSA Training There are approximately 600 CSAs, with changes constantly occurring with hiring’s, terminations or reassignments at SHSU. Human Resources, based on SHSU policy and procedures, tracks the current personnel and lists in their duties as an employee who has been assigned the position of CSA. The CSA Coordinator, currently a designee of the SHSU Chief of Police, works with Human Resources to assure training for all CSAs, and is notified by HR with both the addition or deletion of a CSA, assigned training, registration of training and completion of training by SHSU Human Resources through Talent Management. The current CSA listing includes:
- All Provosts/Associate Provosts
- Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents
- All Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans
- Directors of Campus Departments
- Academic Advisors
- Residence Life Managers and Resident Advisors
- Advisors to Student Organizations
- Athletics Directors and Coaches
- All University Police Personnel
- External agency law enforcement hired for special events
Additional information on Campus Security Authorities can be found at the following SHSU PD website https://www.shsu.edu/dept/public-safety/upd/campus-security-authority including the CSA reporting form.
Emergency Response and Evacuation
In the event of an emergency, call the Sam Houston State University Police Department at 936.294.1000 or call 911.
Sam Houston State University Police Dispatchers will insure that regardless of the emergency, police, fire, EMS or other services will be quickly and properly notified. Should you call 911 or the SHSU Emergency Number, remain calm when reporting and provide the dispatcher requested information to insure the best response. Huntsville/Walker County dispatchers who receive calls from the Sam Houston University Campus community on campus property will forward the information to SHSU PD dispatch.
Typically, police first responders from the SHSU Police Department will always be initially dispatched on any reported emergency, and are often the first to confirm the emergency.
The SHSU Chief of Police or his designee will include in the SHSU Annual Security Report a statement that accurately reflects SHSU’s current emergency notification procedures.
34 CFR §668.46(b)(2)(i) - Policies for making timely warning reports to members of the campus community regarding the occurrence of crimes described in para (c) (1) of this section
The Clery Act requires Sam Houston State University to issue a timely warning when a Clery Act crime that occurs on identified Sam Houston State University geography or near to SHSU property that is considered by SHSU to represent a serious or continuing threat to the campus community and determined in most instances on a case-by-case basis. This purpose is to alert the campus community to certain crimes or other events and issued as soon as pertinent information is available. This enables you in the SHSU Bearkat community to protect yourself.
The considerations used in determining the issuance of a timely warning includes, on a case by case basis:
- The nature of the crime
- The continuing danger to the campus community
- The possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts
Timely Warning Notices are usually distributed for the following Uniformed Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) classifications: arson, criminal homicide, and robbery.
Sexual Assaults are considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the facts of the case, when and where the incident occurred, when it was reported, and the amount of information known by the Campus Police Department. Timely Warning Notices may be distributed for other crimes as determined necessary by the SHSU Chief of Police or his designee.
Timely Warning Notices may be distributed for other crimes as determined necessary by the SHSU Chief of Police or his designee.
Emergency Notifications will be made through “KatSafe” when there is an immediate or impending threat (that is confirmed) to the health and safety of the University community. Examples include outbreaks of serious illness, approaching extreme weather, earth quake, gas leak, terrorist incident, an armed intruder, bomb threat, civil unrest and/or explosion. SHSU has several available media outlets for notification:
- KatSafe: (To be registered for KatSafe go to this site and enter your phone or email)
you will be notified by email or text message of any emergency notification. KatSafe notifications also go out to the community of Huntsville & Walker County.
- Postings on the University webpage & KatSafe
- The use of the University Email system
- The use of Public Address Systems (including patrol vehicles or by building or outside speakers)
- Electronic signboards
- Posted bulletins or posters
- Door to door notifications by University officials
Emergencies reported on campus can be immediately transmitted to Huntsville/Walker County dispatch by SHSU PD dispatch to make other agencies almost immediately aware of an emergency situation.
The University Police Department works closely with the Huntsville Police Department and the Walker County Sheriff’s Department. When an emergency occurs that may indirectly or directly affect the campus community, the SHSU Police Department is contacted by the communicating agency and will then attempt to provide the best information to the University community for awareness of incidents that occur outside of the campus.
34 CFR §668.46(g) - Emergency response and evacuation procedures. An institution must include a statement of policy regarding its emergency response and evacuation procedures in the annual security report. This statement must include –
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(1) - The procedures the institution will use to immediately notify the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus;
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(2) - A description of the process the institution will use to
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(2)(i) - Confirm that there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation as described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section;
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(2)(ii) - Determine the appropriate segment or segments of the campus community to receive a notification;
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(2)(iii) - Determine the content of the notification; and
- 34 CFR §668.46(g)(2)(iv) - Initiate the notification system.
Publicizing Emergency Procedures and Instructions
Sam Houston State University’s emergency procedures and instructions are publicized online at the KatSafe website and mobile application (http://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/). The website and phone/tablet application is accessible to all faculty, staff, students, family members, guardians, and visitors to the campus. The KatSafe Emergency Preparedness site includes procedures for Evacuation, Active Shooter, Hurricane, Bomb Threat, and special event checklists and the latest road access maps for those approaching campus (first responders) and those leaving campus (evacuees). Specific evacuation maps are prominently located in each building and on a shared University drive with access limited to those that need to know. In addition, the website and the phone/tablet app, every desktop computer on campus has access to an emergency procedures “flip-chart” document. Each desktop computer is pre-loaded with an icon that can be used to access the Campus Emergency Procedures document. This icon can only be removed by an IT administrator. The website above highlights the information available on the KatSafe website and phone/ tablet application that includes text and video instructions.
The University’s KatSafe website and phone/tablet application include evacuation proceduresdue to unforeseen circumstances such as fire, active shooter, or other hazardous events. These procedures are for both response and evacuation in emergency or dangerous situations. The KatSafe website includes an SHSU produced Preparation for the Disabled evacuation video, completed in January of 2019, as well as an all All-Hazards Awareness training video that addresses preparing to evacuate based on those unforeseen circumstances using fire and active shooter as examples, and can also be found on the SHSU Guidebook app by downloading the KatSafe guide. You can also go to the KatSafe Website at https://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/evacuation-information.html.
Special Event Procedures
For special events on campus, the KatSafe site includes a detailed checklist that addresses evacuation instructions (http://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/event-preparation/special-event-checklist).
Active Shooter Situation Procedures
The University provides evacuation instructions in the event of an active shooter on campus and follows the “Run-Hide-Fight” Department of Homeland Security methodology (The terminology changed in mid-2018 to Avoid, Deny, Defend.) The material to include a video provides the procedures to follow when deciding to evacuate, or running from the shooter. There were 9 Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) programs conducted in 2019.
Surviving an Active Shooter Event Video: http://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/active-shooter.html
Severe Weather Procedures
The University has a KatSafe site that specifically addresses severe weather, such as hurricanes. This site has references to key preparedness information, preparedness kits, and weather threat briefings. The site also has lessons learned and a “120-hour out” checklist for the staff in preparation for hurricane landfall.
Hurricane Preparedness Video: http://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/hurricane.html
Additional Information concerning response, evacuation and emergency management plans can be found on the KatSafe website.
Fire Reporting and Residence Hall Evacuation and Missing Person Policy is located on the Residence Life Website.