Preserving the safety and security of our faculty, staff, and students is a top priority for Longwood University and one that requires vigilance, communication, and coordination. The purpose of this policy is to 1) establish a violence prevention committee and 2) provide a framework for threat assessment and intervention designed to reduce the risk of violence. This policy is guided by both Code of Virginia § 23.1-805and Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.80: Workplace Violence.
- Course of Conduct: A course of conduct is any series of acts over a period of time, however short, that evidences a continuity of purpose, such as following or stalking an individual to or from the workplace/campus, telephone calls to the employee or student, and correspondence with the employee or student, whether by public or private mail, e-mail, text, online communication, interoffice mail, or fax.
- Credible Threat: A credible threat is defined as a knowing and willful statement or course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to believe there is a threat.
- Threat: A threat is the expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the present ability to carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional, or future. Threats may be communicated directly to any intended victim or to third parties.
- Threat assessment: Threat assessment is an investigative procedure involving a possible or potential act to cause physical or mental harm. The goal of threat assessment is the prevention of violence and not necessarily the identification and arrest of a perpetrator.
- Substantive Threat: A substantive threat is one that requires some form of protective action to prevent the threat from being carried out.
- Prohibited Conduct:
- Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to an expression:
- of intent to injure another person physically;
- that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person;
- that subjects another individual to extreme emotional distress;
- of intent to damage property.
- Such conduct may be verbal or nonverbal and may be communicated orally, in writing, through gestures, behaviors or by any other means, including electronic transmission.
- Threats will be subject to disciplinary action by the institution and may include criminal prosecution if the behavior constitutes a violation of Virginia law.
- Violence Prevention Committee:
- The Code of Virginia § 23.1-805 defines the makeup of the violence prevention committee for institutions of higher education. The team includes members from law enforcement, mental health professionals, and representatives of student affairs, residence life, and human resources.
- Membership of the Longwood University Violence Prevention Committee (VPC) shall be the same as the threat assessment team.
- VCP provides guidance to students, faculty, and staff regarding the recognition of threatening behavior that may represent a threat to the community and helps to identify how threatening behavior should be reported.
- Threat Assessment Team:
- The Code of Virginia § 23.1-805 defines the makeup of the threat assessment teams for institutions of higher education. At a minimum, the team must include members from law enforcement, mental health professionals, representatives of student affairs and human resources. University counsel shall be invited to each threat assessment meeting.
- Members of the Longwood University Threat Assessment Team (LUTAT) include:
- Longwood University Police Department / Director of Public Safety;
- Dean of Students;
- Director of Human Resources;
- Provost and Vice President / Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs;
- Director of Counseling and Psychological Services;
- Title IX Coordinator; and
- Director of Student Conduct and Integrity.
- LUTAT may also include one or more members of senior staff and representatives from the Longwood University Community, as appropriate.
- The Longwood University Police Department / Director of Public Safety shall chair the LUTAT.
- The LUTAT shall be responsible for developing a set of threat assessment procedures and protocols.
- The LUTAT shall establish relationships or utilize existing relationships with local and state law enforcement agencies as well as mental health agencies to expedite assessment and intervention with individuals whose behavior may present a threat to safety.
- LUTAT Scope of Authority:
- The LUTAT is charged with developing comprehensive fact-based assessments of students, employees, or other individuals who may present a threat to the University or individuals engaged in University activities, and is empowered to take timely and appropriate action, consistent with University policy and applicable law.
- The LUTAT shall address all cases that involve threat of violence by students, faculty, staff, community members or anyone else that would affect the campus community. If there is any doubt whether a case will be referred to the LUTAT, the case shall be referred and the LUTAT will determine what action, if any is appropriate.
- Upon a preliminary determination that an individual poses an articulable and significant threat of violence to others, the Longwood University Police Department / Director of Public Safety shall (i) obtain any available criminal history record information and health records for such individual; (ii) notify in writing within 24 hours upon making such preliminary determination (a) local law enforcement – Farmville Police Department or Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Department, local law enforcement for the city or county in which the individual resides, and, if known to LUTAT, local law enforcement for the city or county in which the individual is located, and (c) the local attorney for the Commonwealth in any jurisdiction where the threat assessment team has notified local law enforcement; and (iii) disclose any specific threat of violence posed by the individual as part of such notification.
- The LUTAT may provide recommendation for administrative action, disciplinary action or other methods of intervention, such as counseling and dispute resolution. All such actions will be taken according to Commonwealth of Virginia Human Resource Policy, the Faculty Policy and Procedures Manual or the Student Handbook, as appropriate.
- In a health or safety emergency, no information that is necessary to protect the health or safety of others shall be withheld as confidential. In such cases, health or safety emergency, medical, mental health, employment, and academic records that are ordinarily regarded as confidential may be released to the LUTAT.
- Responsibilities of Employees:
- All University employees shall report threats or threatening behavior to the LUTAT as soon as the threat is identified. (Threat Reporting Procedure Link)
- All University employees are expected to cooperate with the LUTAT in order to respond to a threat or threatening situation.
- Record Keeping:
- Access to the threat assessment file shall be limited to members of the LUTAT and legal counsel. The threat assessment file shall be maintained in the office of Longwood University Police Department / Director of Public Safety.
- Threat assessment files shall be protected for security purposes as investigations of possible criminal behaviors. Because threat assessments are essentially investigations of criminal behavior, these records created by the LUTAT are not generally eligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act.
Approved by the Board of Visitors, December 04, 2009
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, June 9, 2023