Southwestern Oklahoma State University

SWOSU Campus Security

Training Elements for Campus Security Authorities

Describe the role of a CSA—The Clery Act is a federal law that requires the institution to identify individuals and organizations that meet the definition of a campus security authority. CSAs have an important role in complying with the law. Explain that CSA crime reports are used by the school to:

  • Fulfill its responsibility to annually disclose Clery crime statistics, and
  • To issue timely warnings for Clery crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat to the campus community.

If an individual reporting an incident needs assistance, a CSA should explain how to get help. Let a victim know that help is available even if he or she does not want an investigation conducted. The decision to act on this option is the victim’s. In the midst of an emergency situation, such as a physical assault, however, a CSA should contact the campus police or call 911, as appropriate.

Provide reporting materials—Good recordkeeping can help minimize the chances of double reporting crimes. Suggested materials are:

  • Descriptions, a map, or both, of the school’s Clery geography.
  • A list of Clery crimes and definitions.
  • Hard copy or electronic Crime Report forms for documenting criminal incidents. (See sample forms in Appendices B-2 and B-3.)

Discuss the importance of documentation—Explain that if CSAs are unsure whether an incident is a Clery crime, or even if it’s criminal in nature, they should report it.

  • Stress the importance of providing as much information about a criminal incident as possible to aid law enforcement and to categorize the crime.
  • Explain that CSA crime reports should include personally identifying information if available. This is important for law enforcement purposes and to avoid double counting crimes. The Clery statistical disclosures based on those reports, however, must be kept anonymous; no personally identifying information will be disclosed.
  • If a victim doesn’t want the report to go any further than the CSA, the CSA should explain that he or she is required to submit the report for statistical purposes, but it can be submitted without identifying the victim.

Emphasize the need for timely report submission—Explain that if a crime is reported to a CSA, but goes no further than that, the school won’t have fulfilled its obligation under the law, and the campus community might not have the information they need to stay safe on campus. Instruct CSAs:

  • How to submit their crime reports in a timely manner, and
  • To whom reports should be submitted.