All crimes occurring on campus should be reported immediately to the MSSU Police. Police officers are available on campus 24 hours of every day. The emergency number to reach them is 626-2222 or just 2222 from a phone on campus. A dispatcher is scheduled to be in the office anytime classes are in session. When no one is in the office the phone automatically rolls to a cell phone carried by an on-duty officer on campus. Officers will respond to all calls on campus, regardless of the nature and offer assistance. Since March of 2008 (when the Board of Governor's established a Campus Police Department) criminal cases are investigated by the MSSU Police Department. The Department is required to report all serious crimes and other crimes as required through Uniform Crime Reports submitted to the National Crime Information Center with the FBI, as well as for the national Clery law (Campus Security Act).
Each student is responsible for becoming aware of the parking and traffic regulations booklet provided to all freshmen. It is necessary for officers to enforce these regulations to ensure the safety of all students, visitors and faculty/staff members on campus.
All academic buildings are secured during the evenings and weekends. Access to the buildings is only allowed for faculty/staff members and students who are accompanied by faculty/staff members. The three residence halls are locked at midnight each night by Residence Hall staff members. Police officers secure the dorm buildings around midnight as well, performing random "walk-throughs" and vehicle patrols in the residence halls from 11:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. each night.
The MSSU Police has an excellent working relationship with area agencies and has mutual aid agreements with the Joplin Police Department, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and other small city agencies. The MSSU Police Department is a member of the Tri-State Major Case Squad and may call for investigators to assist with investigations of serious crimes.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires that these policies and statistics about crime on campus be made available to students and the entire campus community so that "informed decisions" may be made. The Clery Act also requires a timely warning to be given to the campus community in certain instances. In accordance with the act, the MSSU Police will issue a crime alert in a timely manner for safety risks and to aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Specifically, these crimes will include situations that are reported to the University Police and that are considered serious or continuing threats to the campus population. Warnings will be communicated via the "Big Voice" broadcasting speaker system, e-mails, the Emergency Early Warning System (ring down of office phones in each building), text messages (through the Rave system), posted notices, and/or media sources at the discretion of the University Police Chief.
In addition, missing students are a high priority for the University Police Department. The Vice-President of Student Affairs will immediately be notified when a student is reported as missing and everything possible will be done to ensure that the missing student is located as soon as possible.
These policies and procedures are published in the Student Handbook and distributed to all freshmen students. Each semester, during freshman orientations, students are given tips regarding personal safety, preventing thefts, date rape prevention and how Police officers can help to make students more successful.
Crime prevention programs are presented each semester by the Campus Activities Board, Student Services and the Residence Halls Association. Pamphlets regarding crime prevention are distributed to all resident students and are made available at the Student Center. A Rape Aggression Defense Class (RAD) will be offered by the MSSU Police Department to all MSSU female students at no cost each semester. See MSSU "Sexual Assault Prevention and Response" policy for additional details. The University Police Department uses the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert/Lockdown/Inform/Counter/Evacuate) training to teach students how to survive if they were to be confronted by a violent person with a weapon in a group setting. The "swarm" method (a technique for distracting and securing an attacker) is only used as a last resort when students are trapped and escape isn't possible.
MSSU does not have off-campus student organizations that are recognized by the institution.
Crime stats, as required through the Clery Act, are available at the University Police Department, as well as on the Internet at www.mssu.edu/police.