At College of The Albemarle (COA), the safety and security of students, staff, faculty and visitors is a matter of the highest priority. The Director of Campus Safety and Security, with the support and cooperation of all college departments, strives to keep the campus safe and secure. Security officers are vital components of campus safety; however, a truly safe campus is achieved only through the collaborative effort of all college members. Our goal is for safety to be part of the educational process. Students and staff are encouraged to make responsible decisions in and out of the classroom, as well as on and off campus. It takes the combined effort of the entire college community to ensure maximum protection of people and property.
In 1998, the Campus Security Act was amended and renamed the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). The Clery Act requires COA to publish an annual report which sets forth its polices on crime prevention issues and provide statistics on the number of specific, violent crimes (murder and non-negligent manslaughter and negligent manslaughter, sexual offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, motor vehicle thefts and hate crimes) which have occurred on campus and directly adjacent to campus. COA must also provide the number of arrests for liquor law violations, drug use violations and weapons possession.
For all campus emergencies, call 911. All campus emergencies must also be reported to campus security.
|COA – Elizabeth City Switchboard||252-335-0821 ext. 0|
|COA – Dare Switchboard||252-473-2264 ext. 0|
|COA – Edenton-Chowan Switchboard||252-482-7900 ext. 2413|
|COA – Currituck Switchboard||252-453-3035|
|COA – Elizabeth City Security||252-312-3905|
|COA – Dare Security||252-216-6354|
|COA – Edenton-Chowan Security||252-267-3862|
|COA – Currituck Security||252-435-7804|
|Dennis Smith, Director, Campus Safety and Security||252-335-0821 ext. 2228|
|Don Harris, Assistant Director, Campus Security||252-335-0821 ext. 2320|
|Dr. Jack Bagwell, President||252-335-0821 ext. 2234|
|Lynn Hurdle-Winslow, Vice President,
Student Success and Enrollment Management
|252-335-0821 ext. 2251|
|Tim Sweeney, COA – Dare Dean||252-473-2264 ext. 7020|
|Robin Zinsmeister, COA – Edenton-Chowan Dean||252-335-0821 ext. 6016|
|Michelle Waters, COA – Currituck Dean||252-335-0821 ext. 2407|
Campus Law Enforcement
COA security officers have the authority to ask persons for identification and to determine whether individuals have lawful business at COA. COA security officers do not have arrest power. Criminal incidents are referred to local or state law enforcement agencies. Anyone who is a victim or witness to a crime is encouraged to report the crime immediately to campus security and/or local authorities.
COA’s security office works closely with local law enforcement agencies, as well as with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and State Bureau of Investigation. COA also relies on local emergency medical service agencies and fire departments to respond to emergencies on campus.
The above partnerships include training and table top exercises with the administration of COA and key personnel of the local law enforcement agencies, EMTs and fire departments.
Crime Prevention – Security Incident Reporting
Security officers are trained to observe and report. Upon receipt of a call, security officers are dispatched immediately to the site of the complaint to render assistance, to write a security incident report, to take statements from witnesses and to conduct follow-up inquiries as required. The Police Department and college personnel are notified of serious incidents for assistance and those which require further investigation.
Security can be contacted for assistance at any time. Security officers are available to escort students, staff, faculty, and visitors to and from any building and parking lot on campus. If security assistance is not requested, we suggest walking with a friend rather than alone.
You are the key to your personal safety and the safety of others. By following the precautions listed below, you can substantially decrease your chances of becoming a crime statistic:
- Be Aware — Recognize your vulnerability.
- Report — Report all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to campus security immediately.
- Protect — Protect your personal property. Keep your car locked at all times. Never leave valuables where they can be seen in your vehicle; lock them in your trunk. Do not leave any personal property unattended, such as books, book bags and purses.
- Report Crime — It is important to report all crimes. Individuals may contact 911, security or the appropriate Dean to report crimes. Remember, suspicion of a crime does not require proof. If you suspect a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, contact security. All reports are investigated in a timely manner.
Annual Fire Safety Report and Missing Student Policy
COA is a non-residential institution of higher education. Therefore, the college is not required to maintain a fire report or to have a missing student policy.
Access to College Facilities
The buildings at all college locations are generally open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. College buildings and facilities are closed on weekends and holidays except for weekend classes and special events. Special events may be held during times the college is closed by coordinating the opening and closing of buildings with security and the Director of Physical Facilities.
All employees of the college must notify the duty security officer when entering any building at any campus or site on holidays, weekends, or after hours unless it is a scheduled class or event and security was notified before the class or event. Security will be notified when the employee departs the campus or site.
Visitors are welcome at the college. However, persons who do not have legitimate reasons for being on the campus are not allowed to use the campus facilities. Legitimate reasons include an orientation by an escort to learn about the campus and college programs, attending an official program or event, visiting the bookstore and using the library. Loitering is prohibited. The campus is closed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Only registered students are permitted to attend college classes/labs and utilize certain institutional support services (i.e., tutoring, career interest inventories, etc.). Students, faculty and staff of COA are not to bring children to the campus, to class, or to the workplace. Children are not allowed in any classroom, laboratory, library or student areas. Children may not be left unattended in vehicles at any time. Children may be brought to special college events and registration. Exceptions to this may be cleared with the appropriate administrative officer or department chair.
Timely Warnings/Text Alert System
In an event that a situation occurs, either on or off campus, that in the judgment of COA or proper authorities, poses an ongoing or continuous threat, a timely warning alert will be issued. The warning may be issued using a variety of methods:
- Campus mass notification system
- Early alert text system to all students, faculty, and staff who opt in
- Campus email sent to all college students, faculty, and staff
- COA website
- Written notice on bulletin boards or near entrances
A crime log documenting any criminal act or alleged criminal act at COA that was reported to campus security is located at COA – Elizabeth City. The crime log is available for public review and documents incidents for each campus. The crime log can be viewed by contacting the Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management.
Campus Drug and Alcohol Policy
Promoting a drug and alcohol free environment is everyone’s responsibility. COA supports and is committed to maintaining such an environment for all employees and students. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance by employees or students at any official college location or any location while engaged in activities on behalf of the college is prohibited. “Controlled substance” generally refers to drugs that have a high potential for abuse. Such drugs include, but are not limited to heroin, cocaine, “crack,” marijuana, and PCP. They also include “legal drugs” which are not prescribed by a physician. Likewise possessing, consuming, or serving alcoholic beverages at any college location is prohibited.
If anyone needs to seek assistance for any reason related to the use/abuse of drugs or alcohol, a member of the COA counseling staff will act as a referral source. COA has counselors at each campus. The COA Substance Abuse Policy is distributed to students at orientation and available annually to all students.
COA is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment. Sexual assault violates the standards of conduct expected of COA students and all members of the college community. An individual who commits sexual assault will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the Student Code of Conduct policy.
Sexual assault may be defined as:
- Nonconsensual, intentional touching or attempted or threatened touching of an intimate bodily part of another person, or any part of another person’s body with the intent of performing a sexual act.
- Nonconsensual, inappropriate disrobing of another person.
- Nonconsensual, intentional exposure of one’s genitals to another person.
- Forcing, or attempting to force, any other person to engage in sexual activity of any kind without his or her consent.
- Rape or involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse.
Victims or witnesses of sexual assault should immediately contact local law enforcement authorities or college security. Immediate reporting is stressed since delays may jeopardize the collection of evidence. A student accused of and found responsible for sexual assault will be subject to disciplinary sanctions including up to dismissal from the college as stated in the Student Code of Conduct policy. The procedures of the Student Code of Conduct policy will be followed which includes due process for the accused and support for the alleged victim.
A sexual assault victim should seek immediate counseling or medical attention by contacting the Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management or appropriate campus dean. Counseling service and/or referrals are available at each campus. All students are made aware of counseling services at new student orientation.
Unlawful Harassment Policy
It is the policy of COA to prohibit sexual and other unlawful harassment of staff, faculty, and students. All administrators, department heads, and supervisors are responsible for disseminating and enforcing this policy.
Actions, words, jokes or comments based on an individual’s protected characteristic such as gender, race, national origin, age, religion or any other legal protected characteristic will not be tolerated. Unlawful harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome unlawful advances, requests for unlawful favors, unlawful discussions or comments and other verbal or physical conduct of an unlawful nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work or student’s education performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Examples of unlawful harassment include, but are not limited to, deliberate, unwelcome touching; suggestions or demands for unlawful involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats; pressure of unlawful activity; continued or repeated offensive unlawful flirtations, advances or propositions; continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual’s body, physical characteristics, nationality, religious beliefs, race or other protected characteristics; unlawfully degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual; or the display in the workplace of unlawfully suggestive objects or pictures. Unlawful harassment does not include personal compliments welcomed by the recipient or social interactions or relations freely entered into by employees or prospective employees.
Any other act of harassment relating to protected characteristics that is demeaning to another person or group of persons, undermines the integrity of the employment relationship, or creates a hostile or offensive working environment is strictly prohibited.
In addition to constituting a violation of the policy of COA, discrimination is unlawful and a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 where submission to such conduct is made (explicitly or implicitly) a condition of an individual’s employment or education; or, submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individuals; or, such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment. The College will make diligent efforts to correct, prohibit or remedy the harassment, and to protect the employee or student from further harassment. Retaliation against an employee or student who reports improper conduct in good faith is strictly prohibited.
Any faculty, staff, or student, male or female, found to have engaged in unlawful harassment, whether or not same rises to the level of a civil rights violation, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures commensurate with the offense, including but not limited to termination of employment or expulsion as a student. Any faculty or staff who receives a complaint of unlawful harassment from another faculty, staff, or student and fails to report the complaint to the proper office as hereinafter stated shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including but not limited to termination of employment.
Irresponsible accusations made against another employee or student with a motive to harass, embarrass, or discredit that employee or student, are contrary to this policy and may lead to disciplinary action.
Retaliation in any form against any person who has made a complaint of unlawful harassment in violation of the policy of COA is prohibited. Retaliation is defined as seeking to get back at, punish, or cause harm or detriment to the employment or academic standing of a person who asserts a claim of unlawful harassment. Regardless of the merits of the alleged unlawful harassment, any faculty, staff, or student found to have retaliated, or threatened to retaliate, against any person pursuing his or her rights under COA’s “Unlawful Harassment Policy and Procedures” shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures, including but not limited to termination of employment or expulsion as a student.
Because of the sensitive nature of conduct constituting unlawful harassment, a balance must be struck between confidentiality and due process. Accordingly, an informal grievance procedure is offered with emphasis on confidentiality and with the following procedural features:
- Most complaints are handled informally.
- Informal procedures are optional, and individuals can choose to bypass them, discontinue them, or initiate a formal complaint while using them.
- The purpose of dealing with a complaint informally is to stop the offending behavior and to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible.
A formal grievance procedure is offered with emphasis upon due process.
Any faculty, staff, or student who believes he or she has been a victim of unlawful harassment should contemporaneously document in writing the name of the person believed to have engaged in unlawful harassment, the objectionable conduct believed to constitute unlawful harassment, the nature of the objectionable conduct, and the names of any other witnesses thereto. The writing or documentation is not required, but it will be useful in any investigation or proceeding subsequently arising from the objectionable conduct.
Upon receipt of a complaint alleging unlawful harassment or retaliation arising out of conduct alleged to constitute unlawful harassment, the Vice President, Student Success and Enrollment Management or Director, Human Resources, as applicable, shall immediately schedule a confidential appointment with the victim of the alleged unlawful harassment or retaliation.
Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
In accordance to the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act” of 2000, COA provides a link to the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry. The Act requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the campus community where law enforcement information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires registered sex offenders of that state to inform their employer or college they are attending. North Carolina law requires sex offenders who have been convicted of certain offenses to register with their county sheriff. The website for North Carolina and websites for other state registers are listed below and can also be found on the COA security page on the website:
- NC Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry
- State Websites: FBI Resources
- National Sex Offender Public Registry
Title IX (1972) protects students from gender bias in educational environments. The 2013 reauthorization of Title IX expands the definitions of gender bias, to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence and stalking, and the expectations of colleges and universities handling gender bias incidents. COA is dedicated to providing an educational and work environment that is free from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence and stalking. As part of COA’s efforts to fully comply with the Title IX law, all employees of the college are mandated to report to the Title IX Coordinator any known or suspected violations of Title IX.
If you wish to report a Title IX violation, please contact Joseph Turner, Title IX Coordinator, at extension 2211. You may also contact Lynn Hurdle-Winslow, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, at extension 2251; Wendy Brickhouse, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, at extension 2236; Dennis Smith, Director, Campus Safety and Security, at extension 2228; Don Harris, Assistant Director, Security, at extension 2320; or Eushekia Hewitt, Director, Advising and Student Success, at extension 2256.
There are also confidential reporting options available:
- Albemarle Hope Line 24-Hour Crisis Line: 252-338-3011
- Dare County Hot Line (24 hour): 252-473-3366
- NCCASA (24 hour): 919-871-1015
Emergency Operations Plan
COA revised its Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) in August 2014 (Revised 2018). The primary purpose of the EOP is to protect the lives of individuals who work, study, or are visitors to the college. A secondary purpose is to protect property and restore the college community as efficiently as possible. The EOP is designed to provide general guidance and organizational structure in the event that the college faces a crises or emergency at one or more of its campuses or locations. This plan is intended to emphasize advanced planning, preparation, and teamwork by internal and external assets.
COA embraces the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) concepts, requirements, and policies. The plan includes: scope, crisis team, type of crisis and response priorities, crisis procedures and responsibilities, emergency procedures, and working with the media.
COA is a commuter campus. The Director of Campus Safety and Security is responsible for compiling crime statistics for COA.
The statistics are collected through incident reports which go to the Director of Campus Safety and Security. The Director of Campus Safety and Security reviews each incident report and logs it in the Daily Crime Log as appropriate. Crime Statistics are also collected from local law enforcement agencies and are included in this report. Separate reports are required for each of the campus locations. Crimes that occur on property owned off campus are reported separately.
The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report statistics of specific crimes. These crimes consist of seven categories contained in the Federal Uniform Crime Report as compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The categories are:
- Criminal Homicide
- Murder and non-negligent manslaughter
- Negligent manslaughter
- Sex Offenses
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Harassment
- Dating or Domestic Violence
- Aggravated Assault
- Motor Vehicle Theft
The Clery Act also requires a report of arrests and/or disciplinary referrals for the following:
- Liquor law violations
- Drug law violations
- Illegal weapons possession
In addition, the Clery Act requires a report of hate crimes that have occurred on campus or on public property adjacent to campus. Any of the crimes noted above as well as larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property, and of other crimes involving bodily injury to any person that manifests evidence that the victim was selected because of the perpetrator’s bias is considered a hate crime. The categories of bias are:
- Gender/gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Ethnicity/national origin
|Type of Incident||2016||2017||2018|
|Criminal Offenses — On Campus||2 — Trespassing*
1 — Larceny*
|1 — Larceny*
1 — Simple Assault*
1 — Indecent Exposure**
1 — Larceny**
1 — Damage to Real Property**
1 — Simple Possession Schedule III***
1 — Open Alcohol Container***
|Criminal Offenses — Non-Campus
COA – Elizabeth City Only
|Criminal Offenses — Public Property||0||0||0|
|Hate Crimes — On Campus||0*
|Hate Crimes — Non-Campus
COA – Elizabeth City Only
|Hate Crimes — Public Property||0||0||0|
|Arrests — On Campus||2 — Trespassing*
1 — Larceny*
1 — Simple Possession Schedule III***
1 — Open Alcohol Container***
|Arrests — Non-Campus
COA – Elizabeth City Only
|Arrests — Public Property||0*
|Disciplinary Actions — On Campus||2 — Trespassing*
|1 — Simple Assault*
1 — Indecent Exposure**
1 — Larceny**
1 — Damage to Real Property**
|Disciplinary Actions — Non-Campus
COA – Elizabeth City Only
|Disciplinary Actions — Public Property||0||0||0|
*COA – Elizabeth City
**COA – Edenton-Chowan
***COA – Dare