Procedures for Reporting Crimes and Emergencies

A.  Bridgewater State University Mandatory Crime Reporting Policy

Except for victims of sexually based offenses (including instances of sexual conduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), all Bridgewater State University students, staff, and faculty are required under this policy to report any crime occurring on campus to the Bridgewater State University Police Department.  Victims of sexual offenses may report such crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the university’s annual disclosure of crime statistics by mailing a written statement to the chief of police, Bridgewater State University Police Department.

B.  Legally Mandated Crime Reporting

In addition to BSU’s policy mandating the reporting of all crimes to the Bridgewater State University Police Department, the following individuals on campus are legally required to report crimes under certain circumstances:

1. “Campus security authorities” under the federal Clery Act.

For the purposes of the Clery Act, a “campus security authority” is any university official who has “significant responsibility for student and campus activities,”including, but not limited to, student housing or student disciplinary proceedings. See 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f).

Campus security authorities are required by law to receive Clery crime reports and to; 1) report them to law enforcement; and 2) forward all crime reports received for statistical purposes to the institution’s coordinator of campus security authorities.  (At BSU, the university’s chief of police.)

Examples of individuals who meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include:

  • A vice president for student affairs who oversees student housing, a student center or student extracurricular activities.
  • A director of athletics, a team coach or a faculty advisor to a student group.
  • A student resident assistant or a student who monitors access to dormitories.
  • A coordinator of Greek affairs.

Examples of individuals who would not meet the criteria for being campus security authorities include:

  • A faculty member who does not have any responsibility for student and campus activity beyond the classroom.
  • Clerical or cafeteria staff.

Limited Voluntary Confidential Reporting:

Campus “pastoral counselors” and “professional counselors,” when acting as such, are not considered to be campus security authorities for the purposes of the Clery Act and are not required to report crimes for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics. However, as a matter of policy, counselors at Bridgewater State University are encouraged, if and when they deem it appropriate, to report incidents on a voluntary basis for inclusion in the university’s report of annual crime statistics.

Counselors are defined as:

Pastoral Counselor—an employee of the university who is associated with a religious order or denomination, recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling and who is functioning within the scope of that recognition as a pastoral counselor.

Professional Counselor—an employee of the university whose official responsibilities include providing psychological counseling to members of the institution’s community and who is functioning within the scope of his or her license or certification.

2.“Mandated reporters” of child abuse or neglect.

Certain professionals are required understate law to report child abuse or neglect to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.  They may also report the abuse or neglect to law enforcement or the state Child Advocate.See G.L. c. 119, § 51A. Mandated reporters include (but are not limited to):

  • Health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, psychological therapists, drug and alcohol counselors, and EMTs.
  • Educational administrators.
  • Child care workers.
  • Police officers.
  • Social workers.
  • Religious leaders, priests, ministers, rabbis, and other members of the clergy.

Reports of child abuse or neglect must be made to the Bridgewater State University Police Department, which will assist with the notification to the Department of Children and Families in conformance with G.L. c. 119, § 51A.

3. Mandated reports of elder abuse.

As with child abuse reporting, certain professionals are required to report elder abuse.  Reports of elder abuse must be made to the Bridgewater State University Police Department, which will assist with the notification to the Department of Elder Affairs in conformance with G.L. c. 19A, § 15.

4. Witnesses to certain violent crimes.

Massachusetts state law requires a witness to a murder, manslaughter, rape, armed robbery, or hazing to report that crime to law enforcement “to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others.” See G.L. c. 268, § 40; G.L. c. 269, § 18. Reports of violent crimes must be made to the Bridgewater State University Police Department.

5. Physicians treating rape or sexual assault.

Massachusetts law requires any physician who provides treatment to a rape or sexual assault victim to report the offense to law enforcement, but without including the victim’s name or other identifying information.See G.L. c. 112, § 12A1/2. Physician reports of sexual assault must be made to the Bridgewater State University Police Department.

6.Witnesses to carrying a firearm or other dangerous weapon on campus.

Faculty and administrators are required to report the unlawful carrying of a firearm or other dangerous weapon on campus in conformance with G.L. c. 269, § 10(j).  Reports of unlawful weapons-carrying must be made to the Bridgewater State University Police Department.

C.  Contacting the BSU Police Department to Report a Crime

The Bridgewater State University Police Department is the law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction and responsibility to provide police service to the university community, in accordance with Chapter 15A, Section 22 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Bridgewater State University Police headquarters are located in the Operations Center, 200 Great Hill Drive, and the department’s communication center can be reached (24 hours a day, year-round) by dialing 911 or 9-911 from any campus telephone, or 508-531-1212 from a mobile phone.  The office of the chief of police can be reached (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) at 508-531-6140 regarding administrative and business matters.

The Bridgewater State University Police Department responds to all reports of criminal incidents or emergencies and investigates crimes and takes whatever action is necessary to resolve emergencies.

Updated 6/2019 by David Tillinghast, University Police