What The “Timely Warning” Means for UCO Safety
The UCOPD station, located on the northwestern end of campus, serves as the hub for campus police officers who serve and protect UCO. UCOPD sends out warning emails to students with information regarding anything detrimental to student safety. (Photo from Vista Archives.)
The University of Central Oklahoma recently sent out a mass email to all students and faculty on campus titled Timely Warning. This warning was issued after a dead body was found within proximity of campus; here is what this warning means for the safety of UCO.
Every year the university releases an annual Security and Fire Safety Report, which is available to the public online, or a printed version could be provided by the UCO police department.
On the second page of this report is the Clery Act, or “The Clery Act (Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 1990, as amended),” as stated in the annual report.
This means that because UCO is an institution of higher education and receives federal financial assistance under Title IX of the Higher Education Act, they are required to release annual information about campus crime, security policies and timely warnings when deemed necessary.
The people who decide whether or not to send out a warning for the campus, such as the recent one that was sent on Oct. 5, would be the President of UCO, Don Betz, and the UCO Chief of Police, Jeff Harp.
According to Harp, UCO was not involved in the investigation of the body that was found because it was not a UCO student, but because of the suspicion and proximity to the UCO campus, they decided to send out a warning that read:
“Edmond Police are investigating a death that occurred near the northeast side of the UCO main campus in Edmond. The deceased is not a UCO student. We have no information to indicate that there is any threat to the UCO community but wanted you to be aware of this information. We will continue to work with Edmond Police and will provide updates as new information becomes available.”
The email was constructed by Harp and Betz for this situation. This is to keep everyone on campus informed with their surroundings and to be on guard because there was suspicion with the body that was found, but there was no known threat.
“We don’t want to scare people, but we want them to be aware,” said Harp.
Until the investigation is over, students and faculty have been urged to keep their heads up and pay attention to their surroundings.