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Safety Policies

Public Safety

Jeanne Clery Act

In compliance with 20 United States Code section 1092(F), also known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, and the Code of Federal Regulations, South Mountain Community College and its off-site centers are required to disclose security policies and annual crime statistics for the most recent calendar year and two preceding calendar years to all current students and employees, and to all prospective students or employees.

That information may be found here:

South Mountain Community College maintains a highly visible Public Safety Department that provides for the safety of the college community. However, in today’s society, no community can be totally risk free. All members of the college community are urged to immediately report all suspected crimes, unusual or suspicious activities to the Public Safety Department at 602.243.8100.

Campus Security

The SMCC Public Safety Department is housed in the Student Union (SU) building. SMCC Public Safety operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our telephone number is 602.243.8100 or campus extension x38100.

SMCC Public Safety has primary law enforcement jurisdiction on college grounds, and our certified officers have full peace officer authority, including authority to conduct investigations and make arrests, under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Title 13-3883 and by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. Our Public Safety Department has a staff of full-time and part-time officers.


Security and Access to College Facilities

All SMCC offices, laboratories and classrooms are secured when not in use, and officers who discover defective doors and locks, interior/exterior lighting problems, or other safety hazards will immediately report the situation to the appropriate college department for action.

To further improve safety, the college encourages all campus community members to take an active role and immediately report any observation of hazardous conditions to 602.243.8100, or campus extension x38100.

The college hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. The college is closed on Sundays and designated holidays.

The college does not own, maintain or control:

  • Dormitories or other residential facilities
  • Off-campus facilities for recognized student organizations
  • Non-campus buildings or properties that are used for educational purposes.

Reporting of Criminal Activity

Anyone witnessing any type of criminal activity and emergencies occurring on campus is encouraged to contact SMCC Public Safety immediately.

A report may be filed with a Public Safety Officer; Public Safety Department office personnel; or by calling 602.243.8100 (campus extension x38100.) In emergency situations, 9-1-1 may be called first, followed by a call to SMCC Public Safety.

Specific details of the incident should be given. Criminal activity off campus should be reported to SMCC Public Safety or other local law enforcement agency by dialing 9-1-1.

SMCC does not currently have a procedure for victims or witnesses to report a crime on a confidential basis. However, the Phoenix Police Department accepts and investigates ALL reported incidents, whether or not a victim or witness provides a name or other identifying information.

Criminal activity may also be reported to Vice President of Student Development; Athletic Department; or Counseling Department. Each of these departments will report criminal activity to the SMCC Public Safety, and such reports will be included in SMCC’s Crime Statistics. A formal police report is not needed for a crime report to be included in these statistics.

SMCC does not have a policy that encourages its professional counselors to inform the person being counseled of any procedures to report crime on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual crime disclosure statistics. Generally when counselors do not have permission of the victim, they can report only the occurrence of a number or statistic to the law enforcement authority.


SMCC Response to Reports of Criminal Actions or Other Emergencies that Occur on Campus

An SMCC Public Safety Officer will respond to all incidents reported to SMCC Public Safety. When necessary, the Phoenix Police Department and/or Fire Department will respond to emergencies on campus.

In addition to immediate crisis response, SMCC also responds administratively if a reported criminal offense involves an SMCC student or employee as either a victim or alleged offender. An alleged offender who is an SMCC student or employee is subject to applicable SMCC and Arizona Community College State Board conduct policies, disciplinary procedures, and sanctions. Sanctions may include suspension or termination of employment for employee offenders (ACCSBRR 671-51).


Crime Awareness and Prevention

When an ongoing threat to the safety and security of the college population is identified, SMCC Public Safety will issue a warning. This warning may be made via text message, website, emails, voice information, printed notifications, or a combination of these methods.

When a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus population is confirmed, SMCC Public Safety will initiate the campus Mass Notification System (MNS).

The MNS is capable of reaching those on campus through redundant means which may include emergency beacons, public announcements via telephones, sirens, a public address system, bullhorns and/or any other means available.

The decision on an appropriate course of action and the type of instructions given to the campus community will be made by the Public Safety Director, a campus police officer, or other college official, based on information available at the time. Actions may vary and may include orders to evacuate a portion or all of the campus or to lock down in place.

Fire alarms as well as evacuation and immediate warning systems are regularly tested, and at least annually. Dates of inspection and a log of fire evacuation dates and drills can be obtained from the Public Safety Department (602.243.8100).

The occurrence of crime considered to present a threat to members of the campus community is reported on a weekly basis (bi-weekly during the summer months) through the “SMCC Public Safety Update”. Copies of this update are available in the SMCC Public Safety office, and distributed to all college employees via e-mail. The update provides information on specific crimes that have occurred on campus, along with tips on how to avoid being a victim.

SMCC Public Safety maintains a Daily Crime Log that contains the date, time, location, nature and disposition of all crimes occurring at the college and on adjacent public property. Entries in the log are made within two business days of the incident report.

Copies of this log are available to anyone requesting this information at the Public Safety office. Requests for information older than 60 days will be provided within two business days. To request a daily time log, please contact the Public Safety Director at 602.243.8073 or Office Coordinator at 602.243.8201.

Statistics and security policies, collated in accordance with guidelines established in the Clery Act, 20 USC §1092(f), are published and distributed annually to all current students and employees, as well as any applicants for enrollment or employment at the college. A copy will also be provided to anyone upon request to the Public Safety office, 602.243.8100.

Public Safety personnel will escort students and staff of SMCC to their vehicles, upon request by calling 602.243.8100. We also offer assistance to drivers who have locked their keys in their car and/or whose car is disabled on campus. After the driver of the vehicle prepares and signs the appropriate vehicle assistance form, an officer will provide a battery boost or assist with opening the vehicle.

Members of SMCC Public Safety routinely provide safety presentations during college orientations, and are available to speak to any department or groups of students. These presentations are designed to educate members of the college community about the services provided by SMCC Public Safety, and how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime at the college.


Sexual Assault Procedures, Reporting, and Prevention

Any student, employee or visitor to SMCC who is the victim of a sex offense, forcible or non-forcible, is encouraged to report the assault to SMCC Public Safety or the Phoenix Police Department.

If a victim so chooses, he/she may be assisted by college authorities in reporting the assault to the proper law enforcement authorities. After making the report, the victim is not obligated to continue with legal or college disciplinary action. The assault may be reported to:

  • SMCC Public Safety: in person or by calling 602.243.8100.
  • Phoenix Police Department: in person or by calling 602.262.6151.

Following a sexual assault, it is very important that the victim receive a medical examination for reasons of health and evidence. A victim should not bathe, use the toilet or change clothes before seeing trained medical personnel. If clothes are changed, those worn during the assault should be placed in a paper bag and taken along to the examination. Even if the victim is certain that he/she will not prosecute, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible, in the event the victim decides to pursue criminal charges at a later date.

Victims of a sexual assault may find it helpful to discuss their experience with a counselor. College counselors are available to meet with victims in an informal and private setting. The counselor can assist by changing a victim’s academic situation, serving as a source of referral to outside agencies, and providing information about on- and off-campus reporting, prosecution procedures and the college disciplinary process. College counselors may be contacted by calling 602.305.5608.

Public Safety police officers conduct presentations relating to crime prevention and safety policies during orientations and upon request by staff or students. Crime prevention information is distributed to all incoming students.

Sexual assault is a criminal act which subjects the perpetrator to criminal and civil penalties in state and federal courts. Besides the sanctions that can be imposed in court, South Mountain Community College will respond administratively in a sexual assault or other criminal offense if the offender is a student or employee.

Students and employees are subject to applicable Maricopa Community College District policies and disciplinary procedures, including policies prohibiting sexual harassment. Sanctions may include suspension or expulsion for student offenders and termination of employment for employees.

Victims may initiate a disciplinary action by submitting a written, signed statement detailing the incident to the Vice President of Student Development. The accuser and accused are each entitled to have others present during the disciplinary hearing, and in the case of sexual assault, both the accuser and accused shall be informed of the outcome.


Sex Offender Information

SMCC and the Maricopa Community College District do not maintain a database of sex offenders. This information is maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety on a public access website. Information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained by visiting the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender web page.


Alcohol and Drugs, Smoking, Children on Campus, and Weapons Policies

Alcohol and Drugs

SMCC is committed to providing an educational environment consistent with Maricopa Community College District policies, free from unlawful acts and the problems associated with unauthorized use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Accordingly, SMCC and the Maricopa Community Colleges support the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226). The possession, sale or consumption of an alcoholic beverage in any premises owned and/or leased/rented by the District for approved educational purposes is prohibited.

Smoking

Smoking and tobacco use are prohibited on the SMCC Campus.

Children on Campus

Children under the age of 18 may not attend a class unless officially registered for that class.

Children not registered for a class are not allowed on campus unless participating in an authorized college program or under the immediate supervision of an adult.

Weapons

With the exception of campus police officers and other state certified police officers, the possession or use of a firearm on campus is strictly forbidden. The Maricopa Community College District Governing Board adopted the weapons policy as defined under ARS §13-2911 C. Anyone violating the policy is subject to arrest under ARS §13-2911 and/or subject to applicable college disciplinary procedures.

Additional Information

Alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts take place at SMCC each year, to educate students and employees of the risks associated with the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Campus community members who have an alcohol or drug problem can receive assistance by calling the following agencies:

Additional information about health risks, programs, the college drug policy and legal sanctions/disciplinary action may be obtained through the office of the Vice President of Student Development.