Solon seeks improved campus security

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A lawmaker is seeking heightened campus security and crime awareness through educational institutions’ disclosure of their campus security policies and crime statistics.

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Rep. Sol Aragones (3rd District, Laguna) raised the proposal as she noted that crime incidence in campuses has steadily risen.

She said her proposal embodied in HB 3256 (Campus Security and Crime Awareness Act of 2013) aims to provide a safe and healthy environment for students by requiring educational institutions to develop security policies and procedures, report crimes on campuses and develop policies and procedures to address violent crimes on college campuses.

“There is need to inform parents and guardians, as well as their children and wards, about crimes that happen in a particular educational institution and about its security policies and procedures,” said Aragones, a former television reporter and anchorperson.

HB 3256 provides that upon effectivity of the proposed Act, each eligible campus shall begin to gather campus crime-related statistics and campus security policies.

The bill provides that a year thereafter, the campus shall prepare, publish and distribute through appropriate publications and mailings, to all current students and employees and to applicants for enrollment or employment upon request, an annual security report containing information regarding campus security policies and campus crime statistics of that institution.

The information shall include a statement of current policies regarding procedures and facilities for students, reports of criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus and policies concerning the institution’s response to such reports.

The bill defines campus as any building or property owned or controlled by an institution of higher education within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or related to its educational purposes and any building or property owned or controlled by student organizations recognized by the institution.

In cases where branch campuses of an institution of higher education, schools within an institution are not within reasonably contiguous geographic area, the bill provides that such entities shall be considered separate campuses for purposes of the reporting requirements of the proposed Act. PNA

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