W Police Officers

Timely Warnings

Under Clery Act, colleges and universities must use timely warnings and emergency notifications to inform the campus community of potential threats against which they can take preventive measures. These ongoing disclosure requirements, when implemented, can help to create and promote a safe campus environment.

The purpose of a timely warning is to notify the campus community of the incident and to provide information that may enable the community to take steps to protect themselves from similar incidents. The Chief of Police or designee will issue timely warnings whenever there is a substantial risk to the safety of other members of the campus community. For incidents involving off-campus crimes, the MUW PD may issue a timely warning if the crime occurred adjacent to the campus or in a location frequented by the University population.

Timely warnings have a narrow focus with a concentration on the Clery Act specific crimes. A timely warning must be issued for Clery Act crimes that occur in the University’s Clery Act geography. The warning must reach the entire campus.

Timely warnings are considered for the following classifications of Clery Act crimes:

Criminal Homicide

  • murder/non-negligent manslaughter
  • Manslaughter by negligence

Sex Offenses

  • rape
  • fondling
  • incest
  • statutory rape

Additional Clery Act Crimes

  • aggravated assault
  • burglary
  • motor vehicle theft
  • arson
  • robbery

Timely warnings may also be issued for other reported crimes as determined necessary by the Chief of Police or designee. The decision will be made in compliance with the Clery Act and in an effort to prevent similar crimes from occurring.

Decisions to disseminate a timely warning will be decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding the crime and the continuing danger to the campus community. The purpose of the warning is to aid in the prevention of similar crimes by alerting the community about the incident and providing information on the actions the campus community can take to diminish their chances of being victimized.

A timely warning will be issued as soon as pertinent information is available. The amount and type of information presented in the timely warning will vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. If there is certain information that could compromise law enforcement efforts, it may be withheld form the timely warning notice. An effort will always be made to distribute a warning as soon as pertinent information is available so that the warning is a preventive tool, not solely a description of the incident.

Timely warning will include some or all of the following information:

  • Date, time and location of the reported crime
  • Summary of the incident
  • Description of the suspect and/or vehicle, if available
  • Special instructions or incident specific safety tips

In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus, that constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus wide “timely warning” will be issued. The Chief of Police or designee will send a timely warning notice for the University community to notify members of the community about incidents that occur on campus, where it is determined that the incident may pose an ongoing threat to members of the University community. The warning will be issued through the University’s messaging system called W-Alert to students, faculty and staff.

The W-Alert may encompass the following modes of communication:

  • Text (SMS) message
  • Email university email addresses
  • Broadcast automated calling
  • Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)
  • University’s homepage website
  • Electronic display boards

In the event of inclement weather, the MUW Police Department will be in constant contact with Emergency Management and will keep the University updated regarding inclement weather. Depending on the particular circumstances, especially in all situations that could pose an immediate threat to the community and individuals, a notice may be posted on the main page (www.muw.edu) of the University Website providing the community with immediate notification.

Anyone with information warranting a timely warning should report the circumstances to the MUW PD (662-241-7777) or in person to the dispatcher at the front gate.

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Police Department

For Emergencies Dial 911

McDevitt Hall
Phone: (662) 241-7777
Fax: (662) 241-6882
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1100 College Street
MUW-459
Columbus, MS 39701