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How to Report a Crime

Police Reporting


Western Carolina University has a number of ways for campus community members and visitors to report crimes, serious incidents, and other emergencies to appropriate University officials. It is critical for the safety of the entire campus community that you immediately report all incidents to the University Police Department promptly to ensure an effective investigation and appropriate follow-up actions, including issuing a Crime Alert, Timely Warning or emergency notifications. In the event of a reported crime or emergency, there will be a public safety response to your location and the Western Carolina University Police will take appropriate action. All reported crimes will be investigated by the Western Carolina University Police on the property of Western Carolina University and at its discretion may conduct further investigation into the initial report.

Contact Information

For NON-EMERGENCIES dial 828.227.7301. For EMERGENCIES dial 828.227.8911. Additionally, during emergencies, individuals may dial 9-1-1 from their cellular telephones and report an emergency to the Jackson County Communications Center who in turn will relay the information to the WCU Emergency Services Communication Center. If you suspect a crime-in-progress, please call the police emergency number. If the incident does not appear to be a crime-in-progress, you may call the police non-emergency number and report the information. Please be prepared to give as much information as possible about the person, vehicle, or situation.

Voluntary and Confidential Reporting

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the University System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. 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, Western Carolina University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to a potential danger. Reports led in this manner are counted and disclosed in Western Carolina University’s Annual Fire Safety and Security report.

NOTE: It is important to note that the TIPS Line and Silent Witness reporting systems are not monitored at all times and should not be utilized for crimes in progress. Police reports are public records under state law, and the University Police cannot hold reports of crime in confidence. Victims or witnesses may make confidential reports on a voluntary basis for the purpose of inclusion in the Annual Fire Safety and Security report by one of the following methods:

Police TIPS Line - 828.227.TIPS (8477)

The TIPS line is an unmonitored telephone line that allows the caller to leave a recorded message. Since the TIPS line is unmonitored, it should not be used to report crimes-in-progress. When leaving a message, the caller should be prepared to give as much information as possible about the person, vehicle, or situation. The caller does not have to leave his or her name.

Silent Witness Website

The Silent Witness website allows a user to send an e-mail message to the Police Department. The message does not capture the sender’s e-mail address; therefore, the message is submitted anonymously. When sending a message, the caller should be prepared to give as much information as possible about the person, vehicle, or situation. It is optional if the sender wishes to provide his or her name and contact information.

Blue Light Phones

Western Carolina University has blue light emergency phones throughout the campus. Emergency phones provide direct voice communications to the Western Carolina University Emergency Communications Center. These phones should be used to report suspicious activity, crimes in progress, or any emergency situation.

Reporting to Other Campus Security Authorities

While Western Carolina University prefers that community members promptly report all crimes and other emergencies directly to the University Police Department 828.227.8911, we also recognize that there will be reports to other individuals or University offices. The Clery Act recognizes certain University officials as “Campus Security Authorities (CSA).” The Act defines these individuals as “officials of an institution who have signifcant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.”

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