2.8 Safety and Health Policies

2.8.1 Office of Public Safety

2.8.1 Office of Public Safety

The Office of Public Safety is responsible for law enforcement, security, environmental health and safety, emergency response, and parking and traffic services at Ithaca College. The office is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is staffed by professional law enforcement officers, and other professional and trained staff.

The Office of Public Safety conducts investigations involving violations of criminal law and of the student conduct code and educates the Ithaca College community in the many aspects of safety and security. The office is divided into environmental health and safety, patrol and security services, and parking and traffic services.

2.8.1.1 Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), staffed by full-time professionals, is responsible for fire and emergency response and prevention, fire alarm and sprinkler systems, safety code enforcement, and building safety inspections for the College. This group also addresses a number of other areas, including environmental compliance issues, chemical hazard communication, employee and student safety training, and hazardous materials use, disposal, and reduction. The staff includes two certified code enforcement officers, a certified fire service instructor, a certified hazardous materials manager, and a certified chemical hygiene officer.

2.8.1.2 Patrol and Security Services (P&SS)

2.8.1.2.1 Patrol Officers

The College employs sworn peace officers. The patrol officers, who wear police uniforms, are responsible for patrolling the campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in patrol vehicles, on bicycles, and on foot. These officers have full law enforcement authority on the Ithaca campus: they are authorized to carry weapons, investigate violations or suspected violations of law, make arrests, conduct searches, and carry out any other activity expected of a peace officer in the state of New York.

2.8.1.2.2 Security Officers

Uniformed non-sworn security officers, licensed by New York State, also patrol the campus from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. every night of the year. Security officers maintain radio contact with the Office of Public Safety communications center and are responsible for reporting violations of law and campus rules and regulations, as well as emergencies. Security officers patrol the residence halls and academic buildings to ensure building security and check fire safety systems. Although they are not police or peace officers and do not have police powers, they work closely with patrol officers in maintaining the security of the College community.

2.8.1.2.3 Student Auxiliary Safety Patrol

In addition to the peace officers and security officers, the security and safety program includes the Student Auxiliary Safety Patrol (SASP) -- 35 to 40 students who patrol the campus nightly from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. whenever classes are in session. SASP members are trained to be alert to the safety needs of the Ithaca College community as they patrol the residence halls, parking lots, and other areas of campus. SASP members maintain radio contact with the Office of Public Safety communications center and can request officer assistance whenever needed.

2.8.1.3 Parking Services

Parking Services (PTS) is responsible for registering cars and administering parking regulations at the College. Parking areas are patrolled regularly by parking enforcement staff, student patrol, and patrol and security officers to enforce regulations and respond to or prevent crime. Appropriate lighting and strategically placed blue-light telephones in parking areas assist in deterring crime.

2.8.1.4 Law Enforcement Authority and Interagency Relations

Office of Public Safety patrol officers receive their law enforcement authority from deputization through the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department. They are certified peace officers, having received their training in the same manner as all other public law enforcement officers in the State of New York. The Office of Public Safety maintains a close working relationship with the Tompkins County Sheriff's Department, Ithaca Police Department, New York State Police, federal law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice agencies. Regular meetings with these agencies are held on both a formal and an informal basis, and crime-related reports and statistics are routinely shared.

Ithaca College is proud of its dedicated public safety staff and of the high standards set by the Office of Public Safety. An ongoing training program of in-service courses, seminars, weekly staff meetings, and conferences is maintained to ensure that the College's public safety program remains state-of-the-art.

2.8.1.5 In Case of Emergency or Suspicious Behavior

Report all on-campus emergencies, suspicious activities, and/or criminal offenses to the Office of Public Safety by calling 9-1-1 from any Ithaca College campus phone or 607-274-3333. Persons can also approach any member of the public safety staff, or use a blue-light telephone. Public safety is responsible for responding to and/or investigation such situations.

In addition, students, faculty, and staff can make timely reports to any of the staff listed below when a criminal offense occurs on campus. Once a criminal offense is reported, the staff member will contact public safety so that the crime can be investigated. Although we encourage any victim of a rape or other sexual offense to report the crime and have it further investigated, an investigation will occur only if the victim so chooses. The victim of a crime on campus can make a voluntary, confidential report to public safety about the crime and choose not to have it further investigated. The counseling center staff and chaplains are encouraged, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform the students they are counseling that the opportunity exists to make a confidential report of a crime to public safety if they so choose.

Office

Staff member

Phone number

Public Safety

Any staff member

607-274-3333

Residential Life

Director

607-274-3141

Associate Director

607-274-3141

Assistant Director

607-274-3141

Coordinator of Residential Facilities

607-274-3141

Coordinator of Housing Services

607-274-3141

Towers/Terraces Residence Halls

Area Coordinator

607-274-3300

Terraces 1, 2, 3, 4

607-274-1109

Terraces 5, 6, 7, 8

607-274-1101

Terraces 9, 10, 11, 12

607-274-1113

Towers Satellite Office

607-274-3428

West Tower

607-274-1090

East Tower

607-274-1151

Quads/Emerson/Gardens and College Circle Residence Halls

Area Coordinator

607-274-1095

Holmes, Hood, Hilliard, Eastman

607-274-1098

Rowland, Boothroyd, Tallcott

607-274-1096

Bogart, Landon, Lyon, Clarke

607-274-1097

Emerson/Garden Apts.

607-274-1092

Circle Apartments

607-274-1662

Judicial Affairs

Assistant Director

607-274-3375

Coordinator of Judicial Services

607-274-3375

Student Affairs and Campus Life

Vice President

607-274-3374

Associate Vice President

607-274-3374

Assistant Vice President

607-274-3374

Coordinator for Special Services and Programs

607-274-3374

Center for Student Leadership and Involvement

Director

607-274-3222

Associate Director

607-274-3222

Assistant Directors

607-274-3222

Intercollegiate Athletics

Director

607-274-3209

Associate Director

607-274-3199

Assistant Director

607-274-5708

Assistant Coaches

607-274-3209

Recreational Sports

Assistant Director

607-274-3294

Program Coordinators

607-274-3290 or
1063

 

2.8.1.5.1 Emergency Telephones

If you report an emergency or crime by using one of the College's emergency telephones, the public safety dispatcher will gather specific information from you while an officer is sent to assist you. If you contact an officer in person, he or she will assist you directly.

The Office of Public Safety maintains both direct telephone and two-way radio contact with the Ithaca Police Department, Tompkins County Sheriff's Department, Ithaca Fire Department, emergency medical services, and the College's Office of Facilities. The Office of Public Safety can obtain assistance and support from these agencies when necessary.

There are two kinds of emergency telephones available to the campus community for the reporting of crimes or emergencies:

2.8.1.5.1.1 Blue-Light Telephones

There are over 100 blue-light telephones at strategic locations near roadways, sidewalks, and pathways on the Ithaca College campus. (See map at /map/safety.php). These telephones are mounted on poles that have a bright blue light at the top so that they can be seen from a distance. Blue-light telephones provide, with the touch of a button, direct and immediate voice contact with the Office of Public Safety. While the dispatcher is receiving information from the caller, a computer identifies the location of the telephone from which the call is being made, and an officer is sent to assist the caller.

2.8.1.5.1.2 Indoor Emergency Telephones

Ithaca College also has a system of emergency telephones located in the residence halls and selected campus buildings such as the library. As with blue-light telephones, these emergency telephones put the caller in direct and immediate voice contact with the Office of Public Safety, and an officer is sent immediately to assist the caller.

2.8.1.5.2 Suspicious Activity
2.8.1.5.2.1 Signs of a Crime
  • A scream or call for help
  • An unfamiliar car repeatedly driving down the street or through a parking lot
  • A broken window
  • A door that should be secured but is unlocked
  • An unfamiliar person who is
    • entering your own or your neighbor's room or home
    • entering an office or lab with no apparent business to transact
    • loitering in a parking area or near your home, residence hall, or work area
    • trying to force open a car window

Any of the above incidents or any other activity you feel is unusual may be the sign of a criminal act. Don’t hesitate to activate a blue-light or indoor emergency phone or call 9-1-1 from any campus phone or 607-274-3333 whenever you see or hear something suspicious. Always call the Office of Public Safety immediately; the longer you wait, the harder it will be to find the offender.

How to Describe a Suspect

  • sex
  • age
  • weight
  • height
  • race
  • hair color and style
  • distinguishable gait or limp
  • eye color
  • teeth (missing)
  • speech impediment or accent
  • tattoos or scars
  • amputations
  • complexion
  • mustache, beard, or sideburns
  • weapon
  • hat
  • glasses
  • shirt, jacket, and pants or other clothing
  • necklaces or earrings
  • rings or bracelets

How to Describe a Vehicle

  • make
  • color
  • body style (two-door, convertible, etc.)
  • year
  • license number
  • identifying dents, scratches, or paint marks
  • bumper stickers
  • antennae


2.8.1.6 Timely Reporting of Crime

Reporting Emergencies

Timely information sharing is absolutely critical to our success in protecting our community. For emergency conditions occurring on and immediately surrounding the campus, the Ithaca College Office of Public Safety (OPS) is the best point of contact because we can respond quickest and are available 24/7 year round. When you contact IC Public Safety, the on-duty dispatcher will initiate contact with appropriate authorities and/or emergency care providers as needed, to include police, fire or emergency medical responders. 

Immediately report any dangerous conditions, safety hazards and unusual/suspicious persons, vehicles or packages to the IC Office of Public Safety by dialing “911” from any Ithaca College campus phone or (607) 274-3333 from any other phone. You may also use the emergency call boxes (Blue Light Phones) which are strategically located throughout the campus and offer direct, two-way communication with the Public Safety dispatcher, at all times (24/7 year round). Dialing “911” from a cell phone will put you in contact with the Tompkins County Emergency Dispatch Center, which will relay information to the IC Office of Public Safety as necessary. 

Timely Warning - Public Safety Alert (PSA) 

In the event of certain crimes or unsafe conditions that pose an immediate or ongoing threat to the health or safety of the campus community, whether on or immediately near the campus, a campus wide Public Safety Alert (PSA) will be issued. The PSA is issued by the Office of Public Safety in collaboration with the Office of Media Relations, using the College e-mail system for distribution to students, faculty, staff and the College student newspaper, The ITHACAN. The Office of Public Safety will also post notices on the College’s myHome at Ithaca web portal and the Public Safety web site at /sacl/safety/alerts/. Both sites are immediately accessible via computer by all faculty, staff and students. Additionally, and following electronic dissemination, the Office of Public Safety will coordinate with the Office of Residential Life to post copies of the PSA in each residence hall and at the main entry doors of on-campus facilities.


Depending on the seriousness of the crime or condition, and in situations that pose an immediate or ongoing threat to the campus community, thereby requiring more immediate notification, the Office of Public Safety will coordinate with the Office of Media Relations for multiple methods of dissemination and to provide pertinent information on the situation as well as appropriate response. Multilayered communication methods may include the campus-wide emergency notification system (ENS) and/or outdoor warning system (OWS), Intercom, the College’s website home page, and a recorded message on the Emergency Hotline at (607) 274-1495.

For more detailed information on the College’s Timely Warning Policy and the issuance of Public Safety Alerts, reference the College’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, available on the Office of Public Safety website at /sacl/safety/docs/AnnualSecRep/

Emergency Notification System (ENS)

Ithaca College utilizes an Emergency Notification System (ENS), in conjunction with Blackboard Connect to enhance the College’s ability to reach all students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies. The ENS is part of the College’s overall emergency planning effort. The system uses voice, e-mail and text messaging to allow Ithaca College officials to provide pertinent details and instruction on appropriate responses during critical incidents. In order to receive these important messages all three ways, you must provide contact information via an online form. By default, ENS messages go to all active Ithaca College e-mail accounts and to faculty and staff office telephones that are listed in the campus directory. We strongly encourage all members of the campus community to take advantage of the opportunity to provide multiple contact options. For more information on the College’s ENS and to sign up for this service, visit https://www.ithaca.edu/emergencynotification/.

Sign up now!

The ENS will be used when it is imperative to contact students, faculty and staff as quickly as possible. This can include, but is not limited to, cancellation of classes due to severe weather conditions, a fire or a chemical leak requiring the evacuation of a building or closing of a portion of the campus, or an ongoing criminal incident that requires members of the campus community to take action to ensure their safety.

Outdoor Warning System (OWS)

In addition to the ENS, the College has installed an outdoor public address warning system. The system features two siren towers, with one located on the roof of the Campus Center and the other situated near the upper-campus athletic fields. In the event of an emergency, and depending on the circumstances, a siren tone may be used to alert the campus community, followed by a loudspeaker message giving information and instructions on how to respond. The OWS is another component of the College's comprehensive emergency response plan.

2.8.1.6.1 Reporting of Bias-Related Incidents

Ithaca College is a diverse community committed to learning and an open exchange of ideas. Unfortunately, bias-related incidents sometimes occur on campus. These actions, motivated by hate, ignorance, insensitivity, and fear, have no place in our educational community.

If you are ever a victim of a bias-related incident or become aware of such a violation of College policy, call the Office of Public Safety immediately. Responding in a timely manner will increase the likelihood that the investigation will be successful. (See section 2.8.4, Hate Crimes)

2.8.1.7 Investigation and Referral

Once an incident is reported to the Office of Public Safety, it will be investigated. Alleged violations of the student conduct code will be referred directly to the Office of Judicial Affairs. Any serious criminal matters will also be referred to the Tompkins County District Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution.

Last Updated: September 18, 2011