The Department of Safety believes it is more beneficial to be pro-active than re-active. A primary vehicle for accomplishing this goal is the Department’s safety training and security awareness programs, which are provided in direct coordination with educational programs sponsored by other University organizations and departments. These programs are based upon the concepts of eliminating or minimizing criminal opportunities, whenever possible.
Periodically during the academic year, the Department of Safety, facilitates programs for students, parents, faculty, new employees, student organizations, resident assistants, resident directors and community members providing a variety of educational strategies and tips on how to protect themselves. These programs include general safety awareness information, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, stalking, active intruder/shooter, drug and alcohol prevention, fire safety, theft and other crimes as well as personal safety and residence hall security.
In addition to programs and training, information is disseminated to students and employees through crime prevention emails, posters, displays, videos, bulletin boards, and articles in the college’s employee newsletter and student newspapers.
Safety training and programs can be customized to meet your needs. If you are interested in a particular safety training or program, contact Cindy Burger, Director of Investigations, Compliance and Training at ext. 6005 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Below are examples of security awareness programs, initiatives, and services currently in place and available to students, employees, and visitors:
24 Hour Safety and Dispatch Department: You can call the Department of Safety 24hrs a day for service at (717)691-6005. Please put this phone number in your phone.
Campus Emergency Telephones: There are emergency blue light phones located around campus. They are the brown poles with EMERGENCY on the sides. To operate, firmly press the large red button, listen for the dial tone and the automatic dial, wait for the dispatcher to answer and report your emergency.
Safety Escort Service: The Department of Safety will provide a SAFETY ESCORT from dusk to dawn by vehicle, bicycle or walking patrol. This service is provided seven days a week and may be conducted by student escort drivers or safety officers. Call Dispatch at (717)691-6005 to request the service. If there is a high volume of service calls occurring on campus, it may take several minutes for your escort to arrive. Please ask the Dispatcher for an estimated time of arrival.
Silent Witness: The Department of Education requires all colleges and universities to have some type of anonymous reporting system. We prefer individuals to make reports in person but if someone is not comfortable with that process a SILENT WITNESS online form can be submitted. THIS IS FOR NON-EMERGENCY REPORTS ONLY. If the situation you are reporting is life threatening, please call 911.
Emergency Text Alerts: Messiah University uses an emergency Text Alert system to make notifications of campus emergencies, closings or delays. You must sign up for this service in order to receive the alerts. To sign up, log onto Falcon link and search for "text alert system". Click on this link and complete the form.
Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings: Messiah University will make emergency notifications and timely warnings via email and the text alert system. Please read any message with these headings.
“Reach Out” App: University edition of a smart phone app for resourcing and announcements. This app is utilized primarily to store emergency contact information for on and off-campus health and safety resources and response options.
Amnesty Policy: Students, regardless of age, will be granted immunity from university disciplinary proceedings for the violation of community conduct standards if the Department of Safety, Residence Life staff, or other University official, becomes aware of the breech in community behavior standards because the individual was seeking medical assistance for someone else. The person seeking assistance must reasonably believe he/she is the first to call for assistance, must use own name with authorities, and must stay with the individual needing medical assistance. ADDITIONAL DETAILS CAN BE FOUND IN THE STUDENT HANDBOOK .
“If You See Something, Say Something”: Messiah University has joined with the Department of Homeland Security in raising public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crimes. Part of this campaign invites you to “Take the Challenge” with three short online videos that test your observation skills. The link to the “Challenge” is below. Copy and paste into your browser to see how observant you are.
Security Cameras: Security cameras are utilized in several parking lots, in computer labs, in specific office areas and in other areas deemed necessary to deter crime. An internal policy exists between the Department of Safety, Information Technology and Facility Services; these departments work together when requests are made for the addition of cameras or when situations warrant.
Residence Hall/Apartment Security Patrols: The Department of Safety provides an assigned Department of Safety officer each year to the residential buildings on campus. The officers conduct daily security foot patrols through their assigned building in order to build relationships and to provide crime prevention information for enhanced security awareness with the students.
Security Panic Buttons: Panic buttons are installed in select office locations throughout campus to assist personnel working in those areas when an emergency/crisis situation arises. Once the panic button is activated, the Department of Safety Dispatch Office is immediately notified and a protocol is followed for appropriate response to the designated location.
Bicycle and Foot Patrol: Department of Safety Officers receive specialized training on the use of bicycles to quickly respond to calls for service. The use of bike and foot patrols enables the officers to provide consistent visibility on campus where a vehicle would not be able to provide.
Crime Prevention Bulletin Board: The Department of Safety provides crime prevention tips and safety information monthly to campus community members. The board is located in the Eisenhower Campus Center entrance area.
SAFE – “Self-Defense Awareness & Familiarization Exchange”: The Department of Safety provides trained and certified instructors, upon request, to teach female students and employees how to avoid and escape from threatening situations.
Bicycle Registration: As part of the Department of Safety’s education program, officers aid students and employees with registering their bicycles and personal property to help deter theft.
Lighting and Maintenance: Messiah University Department of Safety and Facility Services personnel conduct monthly assessments of areas that may need repaired or upgraded lighting on campus, as well as assessing maintenance in physical areas that may provide protection for potential criminal activities.
Messiah University Workplace Safety Committee: A state-certified committee concerned about the safety and well-being of our employees and students, our campus, and the environment. We have representation from many different areas across campus. This diverse representation affords the opportunity for members to:
- Communicate and discuss relevant safety issues and concerns in an effort to find solutions
- Share knowledge of safety, health and environmental topics
- Learn information pertinent to the safety and well-being of Messiah’s employees and disperse that information to their areas
- Be the voice of others from across campus
The Committee meets monthly year-round; a quorum must be present for each meeting. Meeting minutes are available on the Safety Committee channel of Falcon link for all employees and students to read.
Messiah University Compliance Committee: Messiah University takes seriously our responsibility for upholding federal, state and local regulations as well as complying with high ethical, professional and legal standards that guide the operation of our institution. The Compliance Committee is comprised of employees from the various divisions of the University who meet monthly during fall and spring semesters and monitor the University’s success in meeting these responsibilities. Members audit their areas for compliance with the various regulations and standards that impact their operations; ensure deadlines are being met when applicable; monitor for changes to regulations and standards that affect their area; and help to provide continuity as employees change positions and responsibilities. As information is shared during “round-tables,” members gain an appreciation and understanding of how action in one division may have a significant impact on compliance in other divisions and on the continued successful operation of the Unviersity.
Threat Assessment Team (Touching Base): The Threat Assessment team assesses and responds accordingly to any threatening behaviors and dangerous incidents involving students, faculty or staff. The team consists of representatives from Department of Safety, Human Resources, Engle Center for Counseling and Health Services, Division of Student Affairs, Residence Life, Disability Services, and other units as determined necessary. This group meets weekly (at a minimum) during the academic year.