Policy for Reporting Missing Residential Students
Campus Policy on Reporting Missing Residential Students
The establishment of procedures for the college’s response to missing residential students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 applies to all students who reside in any on-campus housing.
For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if:
- the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior; or
- some unusual or unexplained circumstance may have caused the absence.
Such circumstance could include, but is not limited to:
- suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play;
- past expression of suicidal thoughts;
- is or may be drug dependent;
- has been with or is acquainted with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.
A. Procedures for Designation of Emergency Contact Information
- Students age 18 and above or Emancipated Minors
The Manager of Morton Hall residence housing shall maintain up to date emergency contact information for all on-campus residential students and shall be aware of and comply with the requirements of the procedures for reporting missing residential students as required in HEOA. As required under federal law, if a residential student has gone missing for more than 24 hours the CTC police department will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation.
- Students under the age 18
In the event a residential student who is not emancipated is determined to be missing, the college is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian immediately, but not more than 2 hours after the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below.
The Manager of Morton Hall residence housing shall maintain up to date emergency contact information for all on-campus residential students and shall be aware of and comply with the requirements of the procedures for reporting missing residential students as required in HEOA.
B. Official Notification Procedures for Missing Residential Students
- Any individual on campus who has information that a residential student may be missing, should notify the Campus Police immediately at 254-526-1427.
- The Campus Police will gather all essential information about the residential student from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances (physical description, clothes last worn, where student might be, who student might be with, vehicle description, information about the physical and mental wellbeing of the student, an up-to-date photograph, class schedule, etc.). Appropriate campus staff may be contacted to aid in the search for the student. The CTCD Administration shall be notified as soon as possible after the report is received.
- If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the residential student or it is immediately apparent that the student is actually missing (e.g., witnessed abduction, signs of foul play), the Campus Police will initiate a missing person report and take charge of the investigation.
- The Campus Police, Housing Manager, or the Director of Student Life and Activities will notify the emergency contact person (for students 18 and over) or the custodial parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18) that the student is believed to be missing in accordance with the guidelines specified in paragraph “a” above.
C. Campus Communications about Missing Residential Students
In cases involving missing residential students, campus law enforcement personnel shall coordinate with the Central Texas College District (CTCD) Office of Marketing and Outreach who are best situated to provide information to the media to elicit public assistance and information in the search for a missing residential student.
Information regarding missing residential students will be initiated and verified by campus law enforcement and pertinent information disseminated through the Marketing and Outreach department, unless other arrangements are warranted. All inquiries to the college regarding missing students, or information provided to any individual at the college about a missing student, shall be referred to Marketing and Outreach, who may refer such inquiries and information back to campus law enforcement personnel.
Contact shall also be made with the CTCD Marketing and Outreach department to initiate a campus wide emergency broadcast alert message if needed.
D. Issuing a Timely Warning
Once a report of a missing person is received, should the circumstances surrounding the missing person indicate the need to consider the person “missing critical”, the Chief of Police may disseminate a campus wide “timely warning” should the circumstances place other members of the campus community in danger.