Clery Act and the Clery Act Regulations require that each campus provide a
"timely warning" to the campus community concerning the occurrence
of a Clery crime that the campus believes represents a continuing threat to
the campus community.
1. Legal Requirements
The Clery Act regulations require the following:
a. A campus must, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the
prevention of similar crimes, report to the campus community on crimes that
▪ Required to be reported in the
Annual Security Report;
to campus security authorities as identified under the institution's
statement of current campus policies for reporting criminal actions and
by the campus to represent a threat to students and employees.
b. A campus is not required to provide a timely warning with
respect to crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor.
2. Definition of “Timely Reports”
To date, the Department of Education has declined to provide a
definition of "timely reports." The Department has advised that
"timely reporting to the campus community. . . must be decided on a
case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including
factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus
community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement
3. Confidentiality Issues
All Clery reportable crimes are subject to the timely warning
requirements when police believe the crimes pose an ongoing threat regardless
of whether or not the victim or perpetrator is a member of the campus
community. However, there are often concerns raised regarding confidentiality
if the information disclosed in the timely warning report would personally
identify an individual. Information that might personally identify students
may be disclosed, if disclosure of this information is necessary to protect
the health and safety of the student or other individuals. For example, see
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") and the
FERPA regulations: personally identifiable information may be disclosed from
an education record of a student without the student's consent "to
appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the
information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or
other individuals." The campus may disclose personally identifying
information about an individual if it determines "that compelling
circumstances exist which affect the health or
safety of an individual." This standard also applies to the
disclosure of personally identifying information about any other individuals,
including campus employees and individuals not associated with the campus.
4. Timely Warning Procedure
The amount and type of information that the campus discloses
in a "timely warning" report will vary depending on the
circumstances of each case, as noted above in the Department of Education
explanation of this provision. In general, whenever a report of a violent
crime against a person or a major crime against property on campus is
received by the campus police department that is determined by the police
department to represent an ongoing threat to the safety of the campus
community, the campus police department must issue a Campus Crime Alert. The
alerts should be sequentially numbered, beginning January 1 of each year, and
should include the following details of the crime, if available:
▪ A succinct description
of the incident.
▪ A physical
description of the suspect, including gender and race.
▪ Composite drawing of
the suspect, if available.
▪ Apparent connection
to previous incidents, if applicable.
▪ Race of the victim,
▪ Sex of the victim,
▪ Injury sustained by
▪ Date and time the
campus crime alert was released.
An example of a Campus Crime Alert can be found on this
website under: Timely Warning.
Campus Crime Alerts should be distributed as soon as possible
after the time the incident is reported, subject to the availability of
accurate facts concerning the incidents. The alerts are distributed to
the PIO’s (Public Information Officers) of CCD, Metro State, and UC Denver
and posted on relevant campus websites, electronically mailed to the three
PIO’s to distribute to their specific campus population, and posted in
1998 amendments to the Clery Act introduced the requirement, effective October
1, 1998, that campus police departments maintain a daily written crime log of any crime (not just those required to
be included in the Annual Security Report) that is reported to the campus
police department. The Clery Act regulations require as follows:
A campus that maintains a campus police or a campus security
department must maintain a written, easily understood daily crime log that
records, by the date the crime was reported, any crime that occurred on
campus, on a non-campus building or property, on public property, or within
the patrol jurisdiction of the campus police or the campus security
department and is reported to the campus police or the campus security department.
This log must include:
▪ The nature, date,
time, and general location of each crime; and
▪ The disposition of
the complaint; if known.
2. Data Entry
The campus must make an entry or an addition to an entry to
the log within two business days of the report of the information to the
campus police or the campus security department, unless that disclosure is
prohibited by law or would jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim.
3. Disclosure Exceptions
The campus may withhold the information required above if
there is clear and convincing evidence that the release of the information
▪ Jeopardize an ongoing criminal
investigation or the safety of an individual;
▪ Cause a suspect to flee or evade
▪ Result in the destruction of evidence.
The campus must disclose any information withheld for these
reasons once the adverse effect is no longer likely to occur.
4. Public Inspection
The campus must make the crime log for the most recent 60-day
period available for public inspection during normal business hours. The
institution must make any portion of the log older than 60 days available
within two business days of a request for public inspection.
5. Department of Education
The Department has declined to describe the contents of “crime
log” entry: “the nature, date, time, and general location of each crime.”
The Department responded to a comment regarding protecting the
confidentiality of a victim by noting that a campus "may only withhold
this information when it is sufficiently clear the victim's confidentiality
is in jeopardy." The Department's guidance on this issue should be read
in the context of the comment to which it responds. It is clear from the
guideline promulgated by the Department that the campus may withhold from
disclosure not only information that would jeopardize confidentiality of the
victim, but also information that would jeopardize an ongoing criminal
investigation or the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or
evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence.
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