The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act


May 2013

An Annual Report for Students, Employees, and Applicants for Admission or Employment

WPCC Campus Security
Scott Kerley, Chief of Security and Safety

About Western Piedmont Community College

Who we are

Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC) was chartered on April 2, 1964, as a member of the North Carolina Community College System. In 2008, it was one of seven colleges in the state to receive recognition for Exceptional Institutional Performance based on standards established by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Located in the rolling foothills of Morganton, North Carolina, Western Piedmont is surrounded by scenic views of Table Rock, the South Mountains, and Linville Gorge.

Approximately 4,000 students enroll each year to pursue college transfer degrees, two year associate degrees, and diplomas. More than 10,000 students enroll in continuing education courses for professional development and personal enrichment. The College also provides programs for high school completion.

Mission Statement

The College’s mission is to provide accessible, high-quality education that improves lives and promotes growth in our community.

Our Commitment to Students

At Western Piedmont Community College our focus is on you, the student. We are here to help you meet your personal, professional and educational goals, while at the same time meeting the needs of an ever changing, increasingly diverse community and workforce. Western Piedmont is an open-door institution, and we encourage you to contribute to the College by participating in and leading campus clubs and campus activities and by serving, when possible, on college-wide committees. Our mission is to provide accessible, high-quality education that improves lives and promotes growth in our community. Our vision is to achieve excellence in teaching and in the programs and services we offer you. With your active participation in the learning process, we commit to the following:

  • To provide the best learning environment that our resources can support,

  • To design and provide the finest programs of study possible,

  • To provide support services which enhance your chances for success,

  • To provide opportunities to engage in civic activities which benefit the community through service learning,

  • To provide classroom and extra-curricular activities that promote critical thinking, self-esteem, cooperation, and diversity.

  • To develop a competent citizenry by encouraging the democratic principles of academic freedom, fair play, teamwork, and individual responsibilities.

Keeping the College Safe and Secure

Western Piedmont Community College is concerned about the safety, welfare, and protection of all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and college property. The college is committed to providing a safe and secure environment to everyone. The information contained in this document is prepared to increase awareness of the current programs that exist to assist in protecting the safety and well-being of all individuals. A college community, like any other community, experiences accidents, crimes, and injuries. No wall exists to protect the college from dangers that exist in the surrounding community. Unfortunately, absolute safety cannot be guaranteed to anyone. Therefore, students, staff, and visitors are also responsible for taking measures to protect themselves and their possessions. WPCC has been fortunate in experiencing few crimes, but such incidents could occur. All crime is serious. This document is provided as a part of WPCC’s commitment to safety and security and is in compliance with federal law, specifically The Clery Act.

The Jeanne Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act

In November 1990, the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act (Title II, Public Law 101-542) was signed into law. This law requires colleges and universities to produce and make available certain policy statements and statistics about campus crime. In November 1999, this Act was renamed The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crime Statistics Act or simply, The Clery Act.

It is the policy of Western Piedmont Community College to publish by October 1 of each academic year an annual security report that informs current students and employees of its safety and security policies, procedures, and practices. This annual report will also disclose statistics from the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property either owned or controlled by the college and owned or controlled by student organizations recognized by the college, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

The WPCC Campus Security Department is responsible for preparing and distributing this report with assistance from other Western Piedmont departments, such as student support services staff, as well as local law enforcement agencies, to compile the information. It is available on the web at www.wpcc.edu. Members of the WPCC community are encouraged to use this report as a guide for safe practices on and off campus. Each member of the college community receives notification that describes the report and provides its web address. Anyone wishing to obtain a paper copy of the report can contact Western Piedmont Community College, Campus Security, 1001 Burkemont Avenue Morganton, NC 28655.

The Clery Act report is found in its entirety at www.ope.ed.gov/security/search.asp.

About WPCC Campus Security

Contact and Location Information

The Campus Security office operates during the College’s normal business hours and other hours as needed. The Campus Security office is located on the Main Campus in the Health Science building, room 151. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns regarding this document or Campus Security you may contact Scott Kerley, Chief of Security and Safety at skerley@wpcc.edu. Campus Security personnel are available to assist you and to provide a safe and secure environment during your time on WPCC campuses.

Enforcement Authority

Campus Security is a department of the College charged with the responsibility of providing faculty, staff, students, and visitors with the safest educational environment possible and reports to the Vice President for Administrative Services / Chief Financial Officer. They are responsible for a full range of public safety services including, but not limited to, investigation of all reported crimes committed on campus, responding to medical and fire emergencies, parking regulations, crime reports, initial and follow-up investigations, medical and fire emergencies, parking regulations, enforcement of college policies, reporting violations of local, State, and Federal ordinances.

Campus Security is comprised of both sworn and non-sworn officers; however, all officers have law enforcement backgrounds. They are uniformed officers employed, trained and charged with the task of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of campus security. These officers should be notified in the event of any and all emergencies. They should be kept informed of all campus activities and events in order to provide appropriate assistance. WPCC Campus Security officers respond to college emergency calls and requests for assistance. A daily crime log is kept in the Campus Security office on the Main Campus for review by the general public upon request.

Campus Security also provides additional services to the college community including, but not limited to, the following: personal assistance, assistance with vehicle jump starts, unlocking vehicle doors, and escorts upon request for individuals going between locations or to their vehicles. The Campus Security officers recognizes it is vital to maintain a close working relationship with all local police, state agencies, and other emergency response agencies, specifically those with joint or mutual jurisdiction considerations and responsibilities.

Incident Reporting

Incident Reporting and Response

Western Piedmont Community College encourages faculty, staff, students, visitors, and community members to report all crimes and public safety-related incidents to the Campus Security office in a timely manner. If the person believes that someone may be in imminent danger or if the incident in question has resulted in anyone being physically harmed, the person must immediately contact WPCC Security. Reports can be made as follows:

In Person:
WPCC Main Campus, Information Desk Moore Hall (2nd Level)
Campus Security Health Sciences Building, Room 151
Emergency (Immediate) 911 (9-911 for campus phones)
WPCC Main Campus, Information Desk extension 3500
Outside the College or Off Campus 828.448.3500
Scott Kerley, Chief of Security and Safety skerley@wpcc.edu

Be prepared to tell your name, location, and location and nature of the incident. If you are in a safe location, stay there. Do not attempt to interfere with the situation except for self-protection. Try to note distinguishing characteristics of any suspects involved. Also note a description of any vehicles involved; license number, model, make, color, occupants.

Reporting Violent or Threatening Behavior

Any person who becomes aware of, or believes that he or she has witnessed an incident of violent or threatening behavior, or who is the recipient of threatening and/or violent behavior, should immediately report such incident(s) as follows:

Violations by employees – Report all incidents to the Chief of Security and Safety, the employee’s supervisor, the supervisor’s manager, or the Human Resources office.

Violations by students – Report all incidents to the Chief of Security and Safety, Dean of Student Services, or any College official.


WPCC Security investigates all reports and obtains additional information as needed or collected during any follow-up. The Chief of Campus Security and Safety reviews all incident reports and forwards to the Dean of Student Services and/or Vice President of Administrative Services, as appropriate. If additional assistance is required, the local law enforcement agency will be contacted.

Any off campus activities including, but not limited to, student organization actions, classes that engage in off-campus activities, or employees participating in college sponsored off-campus events should report crime incidents to the local law enforcement agency where the incident occurred and to the WPCC Campus Security office.

This publication contains information about on-campus and off-campus resources. The information is made available to provide the WPCC community with specific information about the resources that are available in the event that they become the victim of a crime. The information about resources is not provided to infer that those resources are “reporting entities” for WPCC. Crimes should be reported to the WPCC Campus Security office to ensure inclusion in the annual crime statistics and to aid in providing timely warning notices to the community, when appropriate. For example, a crime that was reported only to the local law enforcement agency would not be included in the WPCC crime statistics.

Personal and crisis counseling is available through Student Services for any student who is the victim of a crime on WPCC’s campuses.

Confidential Reporting Procedures

If you are the victim of a crime at WPCC or while participating in a college-sponsored
off-campus activity and do not want to pursue action through the college or the criminal
justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your
permission, the Chief of Security and Safety or one of the WPCC Security Officers can
file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of
a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while
taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information,
the college can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students,
faculty, staff, and visitors; determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a
particular location, method, or assailant; and alert the campus community to potential
danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the college’s annual
crime statistics.

Reports of crimes may also be made anonymously to Burke County Crimestoppers at
828- 437-3333. Crimestoppers will keep the caller’s identity confidential and will refer
crimes that occur on campus to WPCC Campus Security. All reports are investigated
and the perpetrators are either prosecuted, referred to the Dean of Student Services for
discipline under the Student Code of Conduct, or both. Campus Security Officers
prepare cases and testify in court or disciplinary hearings as necessary.

Daily Crime Log

A daily crime log is available for review during normal business hours at the WPCC
Main Campus in the Campus Security office, Mondays through Fridays, excluding
holidays. The information in the daily crime log includes the nature, date, time, general
location, and disposition of each crime. Information may be withheld if release of the
information may jeopardize an ongoing investigation.

Warnings and Notifications

Western Piedmont Community College makes timely warnings and campus alerts to the
college community in the event any situation arises that is considered to be an ongoing
threat to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The situation may involve safety, security,
or health. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, active shooter, tornado, and
dangerous chemical release. The college will immediately notify the campus community
upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an
immediate threat. WPCC is prepared to take self-protection measures appropriate to the
emergency, such as, but not limited to, shelter in place or evacuation, depending upon
the circumstances or incident.

The campus alert will result in a notification that is disseminated with the goal of
notifying as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible. Warnings may be
dispersed through flyers, electronic notifications using email, text, or the College
Learning Platform (Blackboard or Moodle), local news agencies, and by notices posted
on the college web site at the following address www.wpcc.edu.

For further information faculty and staff should refer to the Emergency Action Plan found
on the college’s intranet. If you should have questions or concerns related to any of the
posted warnings or alerts, please contact the Chief of Security and Safety at
828.448.6196 or by email at skerley@wpcc.edu.

Alerts may include any or all of the following:

Emergency Messaging System- (BEAM)
This technology allows Senior Administration and Security to send an electronic
message to all computers on campus.

WPCC Messaging Service- (Regroup)
The WPCC Messaging Service is a convenient method to voluntarily receive voice, text
or email messages regarding campus emergencies and inclement weather closing
announcements as well as other important campus information.

Emergency Alert System- (Telephones and Speakers)
Immediate notifications may also be sent through all college telephones utilizing the
speaker function through the VOIP functionality. The WPCC Technology division is in
the process of enabling outside speakers to communicate immediate notices to the
campus. This system should be in effect for the main campus before the end of 2013.

Mass e-mail
WPCC may send a message via email to all students, faculty and staff through their
employee or student email accounts.

Local media
If necessary, WPCC may need to send notifications through local media channels. All
media information and contact should be directed through the Office of Student
Development public relations personnel. Local media outlets include, but not limited to,
the following:

Radio WMNC FM, 92.1 Morganton
Print The News Herald Morganton
The Hickory News Hickory
Television WCNC, NBC Charlotte
WSOC, ABC Charlotte WBTV, CBS Charlotte WLOS, ABC Asheville