Public Safety Policies
The MCCCD Department of Public Safety enjoys good relations with its neighbors and maintains a highly visible Public Safety office at Estrella Mountain Community College that provides for the safety of the campus community. However, no community can be totally risk free in today’s society. To lessen the chances of crimes occurring within the campus community, cooperation and vigilance is critical. All members of the campus community are encouraged to immediately report all suspected crimes, unusual or suspicious activities, and emergencies to Public Safety.
Campus Police and Security
EMCC Public Safety provides for the security and safety of the campus community. The department is based on the north end of parking lot A by the Dysart and Sage entrance. EMCC Public Safety is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The telephone number is (623) 935-8915, or on campus extension 58915.
The department staff consists of one Police Commander, one Sergeant, certified Police Officers, Public Safety Aides, full time dispatchers and various support staff. EMCC Public Safety maintains a cooperative working relationship with the Avondale Police Department (APD) and Avondale Fire Department (AFD) and will request assistance from these agencies as needed.
The Public Safety Commander and all college police officers have full peace officer authority, including arrest authority under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Title 13-3883 and as further defined by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. The department’s security officers have no arrest authority except those granted under ARS 13-3884.
Security and Access to College Facilities
Estrella Mountain Community College strives to maintain a safe and secure campus environment for students, staff and visitors. 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, 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 a suspected crime, unusual or suspicious activity, emergency, or hazardous condition to (623) 935-8915, or on campus extension 58915.
The college does not own, maintain or control: a) dormitories or other residential facilities; b) off campus facilities for recognized student organizations;
The campus is open Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is closed on Sunday and designated holidays. Campus Summer hours are Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., closed on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and designated holidays.
EMCC Public Safety Office hours are Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Reporting Crime and Emergencies
Crime or other emergency in progress: Students, employees and others are encouraged to report all criminal activity and emergencies occurring on campus. A report may be filed with a Public Safety Officer, appropriate personnel in the Public Safety Department, or by calling (623) 935-8915 or on campus extension 58915. In emergency situations, 9-1-1 may be called first, followed by an immediate notification to EMCC Public Safety at (623) 935-8915 or on campus extension 58915.
Reports of a past crime or incident may be made to the following law enforcement authorities:
- The EMCC Public Safety Department: In person or by calling (623) 935-8915.
- The District Public Safety Communications Center (480) 784-0911 or for non-emergencies (480) 784-0900
- Crimes may also be reported to Campus Security Authorities as defined by the Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. These authorities include officials who have significant responsibility for student and campus activities such as the Dean of Student Affairs, athletic coaches and various faculty advisors.
The importance of reporting all crime
The importance of reporting crime, suspected crime and unusual or suspicious activity to the EMCC Public Safety Department cannot be over emphasized. The reports provide a basis for making timely warnings when a crime may present a threat to other members of the campus community and also assist the college in providing a full disclosure in the annual crime statistics report. In addition, such action by a victim or witness will assist in making the campus environment a safer place for the entire community.
Voluntary confidential reporting
At Estrella Mountain Community College we will take a report that will allow a victim or witness to report crime on a voluntary and confidential basis. Call the Public Safety office at (623) 935-8915 and ask to speak to a police officer.
Confidential reporting to a Counselor
Estrella Mountain Community College does not have a policy or procedure that encourages its professional counselors; if and when the counselor deems it appropriate, to inform the person being counseled of any procedures to report crime on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics. Generally, when counselors do not have the permission of the victim, they can only report the occurrence of a number/statistic to the law enforcement authority.
Reporting a Sexual Assault:
Any student, employee or visitor who is the victim of a sex offense, forcible or non-forcible, is encouraged to report the assault to the EMCC Public Safety Department or the APD. 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 in person at:
- The Public Safety Department: In person or by calling (623) 935-8915
- Avondale Police Department: (623) 932-3660
- The District Public Safety Communications Center (480) 784-0911 or for non-emergencies (480) 784-0900
- Vice President of Student Services: (623) 935-8812
Preserving evidence of a sexual assault
After a sexual assault, it is very important that the victim receive a medical examination for health and evidentiary reasons. A victim should not wash; 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 just in case the victim decides to pursue criminal charges at a later date.
Coping with sexual assault
Victims of a sexual assault may find it helpful to discuss their experience with a counselor. College counselors can assist by changing a victims academic situation, serve as a source of referral to outside agencies, and provide information about on-and-off campus reporting, prosecution procedures, and the college disciplinary process. College counselors may be contacted by calling (623) 935-8922.
Victims of a sexual assault may also receive free, confidential, twenty-four hour, counseling by calling the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673, extension 1. Trained counselors are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
How to reduce the risk of sexual assault
(reproduced from the RAINN web site at http://www.rainn.org/):
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends.
- Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
- Don’t leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t know or trust.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Trust your instincts.
- Think about the level of intimacy you want in a relationship, and clearly state your limits.
College response to a sexual assault
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, Estrella Mountain Community College will respond administratively if a sexual assault or other criminal offense involves a student or employee as the offender. Students and employees are subject to applicable District policies and disciplinary procedures, including policies prohibiting sexual harassment. Sanctions may include suspension or expulsion for student offenders or termination of employment for employees.
Victims may commence a disciplinary action by submitting a written, signed statement detailing the incident to the Associate Dean of Student Services. The accuser and accused are entitled to the same opportunities 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.
Public Safety police officers conduct presentations relating to crime prevention and safety policies during orientations and at other times, when requested by staff or students. Crime prevention materials are distributed to all incoming students.
Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Policy
The Maricopa Community College District supports the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101-226, and complies with all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to controlled substances, including alcohol. 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.
College response to alcohol and drug violations
Besides the sanctions imposed by federal and state courts concerning controlled substance violation(s), the college will respond administratively when the offense involves a student or employee as the offender. Students and employees are subject to applicable District policies and disciplinary procedures. Sanctions may include suspension or expulsion for student offenders or termination of employment for employees.
Alcohol and drug use prevention:
EMCC sponsors and/or participates in the following drug prevention activities:
- Counseling services provide individual sessions on the topic of Substance Abuse. When necessary, counselors will provide referral services to community based agencies. College counselors can be reached by calling (623) 935-8922.
Campus community members who may have an alcohol or drug problem can also receive assistance by calling:
- Al-Anon at 1-800-356-9996
- American Council on Alcoholism at 1-800-527-5344
- National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline at 1-800-662-4357
- DRUGHELP at 1-800-378-4435
Off-campus student organizations:
Campus police do not monitor the activities of off-campus student organizations.
Responding to Criminal Activity and Emergencies:
A Public Safety officer will be immediately dispatched to all on-campus incidents. A Public Safety police officer and, if necessary, a APD Police officer will respond to each report of criminal activity. The Avondale Fire Department responds to reports of fire or medical emergencies.
Crime Awareness and Prevention Programs:
Timely Warnings and Immediate Warnings:
In the event of the identification of an on-going threat to the safety and security of the college population, EMCC Public Safety will issue a warning. This warning may be made via posters, emails, through the college newspaper, voice notification, SMS texting, or a combination of these methods.
Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the campus population, EMCC Public Safety will initiate the campus Mass Notification System (MNS). The MNS is capable of reaching those on campus through redundant means that may include emergency beacons, VoIP telephony, sirens, a public address system, bullhorns and/or 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 upon the information available at the time. Actions may vary and may include orders to evacuate a portion of or all of the campus or to lock down in place.
Fire alarms as well as evacuation and immediate warning (MNS) systems are tested on a regular basis and at least annually.
Public Safety Updates/Daily Crime Log:
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 “EMCC Public Safety Update.” Copies of the update are available in the Public Safety office, is provided to the college newspaper, and all college employees receive a copy through electronic mail. The update provides information on specific crime(s) that have occurred on campus and routinely contains tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
EMCC 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 the log are available to anyone requesting this information at the Public Safety office. Requests for Daily Crime Log information older than 60 days will be provided within two business days.
Statistics and security policies, collated in accordance to the guidelines established in the Clery Act (20 USC §1092(f)), are published and distributed annually to all current students and employees, and to any applicant for enrollment or employment at the college. A copy will also be provided to anyone, upon request to the Public Safety office, in person or by telephone at (623) 935-8915.
An escort service is available to the students, faculty and staff of Estrella Mountain Community College. A request may be made to EMCC Public Safety at extension 58915. An officer will respond and accompany you to a vehicle or the bus stop closest to the campus.
Assistance for disabled motor vehicles:
Reasonable assistance will be provided to drivers whose motor vehicle 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 other appropriate assistance.
Members of EMCC Public Safety routinely provide safety presentations during class orientations. They are also available to talk to any department or groups of students. The orientations and talks are designed to educate members of the college community about the services provided by EMCC Public Safety and how to avoid becoming the victim of a crime at the college.
Policies Regarding Weapons, Smoking and Children
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 promulgated the weapons policy 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.
Smoking, including e-cigs and vaping, and all tobacco products are prohibited at EMCC and on all Maricopa County Community College District campuses and properties.
Children on campus:
Children younger than 18 years of age may not attend a class unless they are officially registered for the class. Children who are not officially registered are not allowed on campus unless participating in an authorized college program or under the immediate supervision of an adult.