700  University Police Department

Approved by President
Effective Date: May 13, 2022
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  University Police
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, University Police

I. Purpose

This policy establishes and communicates the policies and procedures pertinent to the Middle Tennessee State University Police Department (University Police or Department). The Department has the overall responsibility for overseeing safety and security initiatives of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) community.

II. Definition

As used in this policy the following term shall mean:

University Police Officer. A person commissioned by the University and rendered an oath to provide police services, enforce law, exercise arrest authority, and carry firearms in accordance with T.C.A. § 49-7-118.

III. Law Enforcement Activity

A.  The Department is an independent law enforcement agency recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State of Tennessee. University Police officers are commissioned pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-7-118.  

B.  University Police officers have all police powers necessary to enforce all state laws and law enforcement related MTSU rules and policies. Such police powers include the apprehension and arrest of any individual involved in illegal activity. If offenses involving University policies are committed by a University student, University Police may also refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.

C.  The police powers cited above may be engaged in on on-campus property and areas immediately adjacent to the campus; and, on all property or facilities owned, leased, controlled, or operated by MTSU, including any public roads or rights of way contiguous to, or within the perimeter of, such property or facilities.

D.  All University Police officers have graduated from a fully accredited law enforcement training academy and are required to meet all minimum standards set forth for law enforcement officers by the State of Tennessee. The training meets the requirements of the Commission, which mandates a basic police course and an approved forty (40)-hour in-service training session to include firearms proficiency each calendar year.  

E.  All University Police officers are authorized to carry firearms and use force when it is objectively reasonable and for a lawful purpose. In compliance with applicable law, officers shall use only the amount of force necessary and reasonable to accomplish lawful objectives and to control a situation, effect an arrest, overcome resistance to arrest, or defend themselves or others from harm. When force is necessary, the degree of force employed should be objectively reasonable to the amount of resistance exerted, or the immediate threat to the officer or others.

IV. Employment and Commissioning of University Police Officers

A.  The President is authorized by the Board of Trustees (Board) to employ and commission University Police officers who shall have all the police powers necessary to enforce all state laws as well as law enforcement related policies of the University. The President will directly oversee the commissioning of the Chief of Police, who will be the President’s designee for commissioning all sworn law enforcement personnel within University Police.

University Police officers, being so commissioned, may exercise their authority on all property or facilities owned, leased, or operated for educational business purposes by the  University, as prescribed by Tennessee law, including any public roads or rights of way which are contiguous to or within the perimeter of the facilities or property of the University. The authority granted to University Police officers shall also provide them with police powers throughout the state of Tennessee for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting criminal violations that originate inside their statutory jurisdiction, to include effectuating arrests, executing search warrants, and performing other law enforcement functions.

B. All University Police officers employed under this policy shall meet the minimum certification requirements set forth by the Commission. T.C.A. § 38-8-101 et seq.

C.  In addition, any person employed as a University Police officer shall meet the following minimum qualifications in accordance with T.C.A. § 38-8-106:

1.  At least eighteen (18) years of age;

2.  A citizen of the United States, or a permanent legal resident of the United States who is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces pursuant to T.C.A. § 38-8-105(d);

3.  Possess a high school diploma or high school equivalency;

4.  Not have been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor, controlled substances, or controlled substance analogues;

5.  Must be free of marijuana use for at least two (2) years prior to application for employment;

6.  Not have been released or discharged, under any other than honorable discharge, from any of the armed forces of the United States;

7.  Have his/her fingerprints on file with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation;

8.  Have passed a physical examination by a licensed physician or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant;

9.  Have a good moral character as determined by a thorough investigation conducted by the University Police Department; and

10.  Have been certified by a Tennessee licensed health care provider qualified in the psychiatric or psychological field as being free from any impairment, as set forth in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association at the time of the examination, that would, in the professional judgement of the examiner, affect the applicant's ability to perform an essential function of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation.

D.  The University is authorized to establish other minimum qualifications that are not in conflict with those established by the Commission or by Tennessee law.

E.  It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police or designee to ensure that the commissioned University Police officers meet the necessary standards.

F.  Any individual hired as a University Police officer shall remain on probationary status for a minimum of six (6) months, or until certification is received by the Commission, and the employee satisfactorily completes all field training requirements, whichever is longer.

G.  Each University Police officer is required to fulfill in-service training requirements in accordance with the Official Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, Chapter 1110-4-.01, et seq.

H.  Any University Police officer whose certification is denied, suspended, or revoked by the Commission may be temporarily reassigned to duties for which certification is not required, such as the duties of a non-commissioned campus security officer, a non-sworn University Police Department position, or other university position, pending that University Police officer's appeal to the Commission of the denial, suspension, or revocation.

I.  The decision of the Commission in those matters, or subsequent appellate decisions as provided in the Official Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, Chapter 1110-2-.04, if pursued, shall be determinative of the individual's qualification to be commissioned by the University. Failure to maintain certification shall be grounds for immediate termination as a commissioned University Police officer.

J.  The University and each University Police officer must comply with the requirements of the Commission pertaining to all phases of the hiring and certification of law enforcement officers as found in the rules and regulations promulgated for the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission published in the Official Rules and Regulations of the Commission, Chapter 1110 of the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Administrative Compilation.

V. Relationship with Local Law Enforcement 

A.  University Police does not have a specific agreement with local law enforcement for the investigation of crimes. However, it does comply with the Nottingham Act, T.C.A. § 49-7-129, which specifies the investigative responsibilities of each agency in the event of a medically unattended death or a rape that occurs on the MTSU campus.

B.  University Police has a close working relationship with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Murfreesboro Police Department and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. University Police has a mutual assistance agreement with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office for additional personnel and/or equipment in the event of emergencies. Assistance from the city police and the county sheriff’s office is utilized when required. Assistance from other local, state, and federal agencies, including other law enforcement agencies, is requested as required.

VI. Mutual Assistance Agreements – Authority of Campus Law Enforcement Personnel

A.  The University Police officers employed by the University may exercise their authority on property or facilities owned, leased, or operated by another public institution of higher education only where there is an agreement between the State University Boards of the institutions involved that provides for such authority.

B.  The University Police Department may enter into written mutual assistance agreements with other law enforcement agencies, including a county sheriff's department, municipal police department, judicial district drug task force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, or Tennessee Highway Patrol, as necessary, to preserve and protect the property, students, and employees of the University and to otherwise perform their duties.

1.  These agreements may provide for the establishment of primary and/or secondary jurisdictional areas and boundaries; establish and maintain procedural processes and assistance to be used for both normal and unusual occurrences; and provide for the exchange of law enforcement officers when required for a particular purpose or for mutual assistance to effectuate arrests, execute search warrants and perform other law enforcement functions, when the law enforcement agency finds it necessary to act outside of their statutory jurisdiction.

2.  No mutual assistance agreements will be instituted that conflict with any state or federal law that provides for a particular law enforcement agency to lead or assist with the investigation of specified criminal acts.

VII. Preparation of the Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics 

A.  Each year on or before October 1, the University issues an Annual Security Report (ASR) to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. §1092(f). The report contains information about safety, security, and statistics for the three (3) most recent calendar years concerning the occurrence of crime on campus, in or on non-campus buildings or property, and on public property for the crimes of murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, rape, statutory rape, fondling, incest, robbery, arson, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, liquor law violations, drug law violations, weapons law violations, disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations, drug law violations, weapons law violations, and hate crimes.

B.  The ASR is prepared by University Police, in cooperation with information provided by the Murfreesboro Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Housing and Residential Life, Office of Student Conduct, and campus security authorities.

C.  The ASR is made available to the public on or before October 1 each year and is posted on the University Police webpage. An email is also sent to all students, faculty, and staff announcing when the ASR is available and how to access it. Printed copies are available at the University Police Department, or by request.

VIII. Video Surveillance Camera Management

With the exception of those controlled and operated by Housing and Residential Life, the University Police Department is responsible for the management of all electronic video surveillance systems, including, but not limited to, monitoring/reviewing surveillance images, authorizing the installation/de-installation of surveillance systems, and approving personnel designated to monitor/review surveillance images.

IX. Reporting Crime

A.  All faculty, staff, students, and visitors to MTSU are urged to report crime and suspicious activity to University Police as soon as possible. 

B.  University Police may be reached twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week using information contained on the University Police website.

C.  University Police officers respond to all calls for assistance that involve potential criminal incidents, medical injuries, or other emergencies that occur on the MTSU campus. Calls may be referred to other University departments, or to outside agencies, for appropriate assistance or guidance, depending on the incident. University Police will also contact other agencies, such as the Rutherford County EMS or the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department, to assist with ongoing or reported incidents that require additional resources, expertise, or specialized assistance.

D.  University Police encourages anyone who is the victim or witness to any crime to promptly report the incident to the Department. Because police reports are considered public records under state law, University Police cannot confidentially hold reports of crime. Confidential reports for purposes of inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics can be made to MTSU campus security authorities, as identified below. Confidential reports of crime may be made to Rutherford County Crime Stoppers at 615-893-STOP, if the reporter wishes to remain anonymous.

E.  Reports of crimes for purposes of inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics can be made to a campus security authority, as indicated below:

1.  Director, Housing and Residential Life, 615-898-2971

2.  Director, Institutional Equity and Compliance, 615-898-2185

3.  Vice President, Student Affairs, 615-898-2440

4.  Dean of Students, 615-898-5342

5.  Director, Campus Recreation, 615-898-2104

6.  Assistant Dean, Office of Student Conduct, 615-898-2750

7.  Director, Student Support Services, 615-898-5443

8.  Director, Student Unions, 615-898-5121

9.  Director, Health Promotions, 615-494-8704

10. Director, Student Programming, 615-898-2551

11. Director, New Student and Family Programs, 615-898-2454

12. Director, Student Athlete Enhancement Center, 615-904-8492

13. Director, Fraternity and Sorority Life, 615-898-5812

14. Director of MT One Stop, 615-898-2111

15. Director, Student Organizations and Service, 615-898-5812

16. Assistant Vice Provost, Admissions and Enrollment Services, 615-898-2111

17. Dean, Graduate Studies, 615-898-2840

18. Director, Facilities Services, 615-898-2414

19. Director, Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, 615-898-5812

20. Dean, University College, 615-898-2324

21. Director, June Anderson Center for Women/Nontraditional Students, 615-898-5812

22. Director, Disability and Access Center, 615-898-2783

23. Director, Student Health Services, 615-898-2988

24. Director, Athletics, 615-898-2450

F.  In accordance with ethical standards, state, and federal law, the MTSU Counseling Center staff take every reasonable precaution to protect the privacy of students utilizing their services. The identity of individuals using these services, along with the personally identifiable disclosures made in counseling, are held in confidence. Confidential information is not shared with anyone outside the center without the student’s written consent, unless there is a clear and imminent danger to the student or to others, or a special court order mandates disclosure. However, the professional staff have been deemed not to be campus security authorities and do not provide information for inclusion in the annual crime statistics.

X. Criminal Activity Off-Campus

A.  Monitoring criminal activity off-campus is done by the law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction where the crime took place. University Police has requested that local law enforcement agencies forward copies of their criminal activity reports occurring on any off-campus properties owned, leased, or controlled by officially recognized MTSU student organizations.

B.  The University relies on its working relationships with local law enforcement agencies to receive information about incidents involving students off campus. University Police will cooperate with local law enforcement to investigate any crime information received concerning and/or involving a member of the campus community. University Police will also supply information regarding the incident, as needed or required, to local, state, or federal law enforcement authorities.

C.  MTSU does not own, lease, or control any off-campus student organization property or facilities.

D.  Off-Campus Housing

1.  No MTSU office or department provides supervision for off-campus housing, apartments, or individual homes, as these are not owned or controlled by the University as official residential housing.

2.  Students, whether living on or off campus, are encouraged to report all crimes to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If community members report crimes or serious incidents to other University administrators, those administrators should notify University Police or the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

XI. Emergency Notification and Timely Warnings 

A.  Information regarding reported criminal activities or incidents that pose a grave and immediate threat to people and/or property that could impact the safety of the campus community will be disseminated through either emergency notifications (e.g., MTSU Alerts) or timely warnings (e.g., MTSU Advisories).

B.  Refer to Policy 715 Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings for detailed information regarding this topic.

XII. Emergency Response and Evacuation 

A.  Fires or Fire Alarms

1.  The fire alarm system should be activated upon detecting fire or visible smoke; the building should be immediately evacuated.

2.  All fires (regardless of size and even if extinguished), smoke, or fire alarms on campus should be reported to the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department by dialing 911.  

B.  Medical Emergencies. An ambulance and immediate medical assistance on campus can be summoned by dialing 911.

C.  Bomb Threats. Bomb threats, or suspicious objects/devices, on campus should be responded to by dialing 911. More information about bomb threats can be found online on MTSU's Alert4U webpage

D.  Tornadoes. During a tornado warning, building occupants must be notified to move to the safest place in the building where individuals should remain until University Police or other emergency response personnel give the “all clear signal.”

E.  Other emergencies. All other emergencies on campus may also be reported by dialing 911.  

F.  Persons with disabilities. Students and/or employees with disabilities should notify the instructor in each class, or the employee's supervisor, of the disability if they require assistance in case of an emergency. Instructors and/or supervisors must notify emergency response personnel of any persons with disabilities in their classes or area of responsibility.

XIII. Security and Access to Campus Facilities 

A.  The campus, facilities, and property of MTSU are restricted to use by MTSU, MTSU administration for official functions, affiliated individuals/entities, and invited or sponsored guests of MTSU, except as specifically provided by policy or when part or all of the MTSU campus, buildings, or facilities are open to the public for a designated time and purpose. All persons on the campus of MTSU shall be subject to all rules and regulations of the University and/or to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

B.  All persons on the campus of MTSU must comply with all guidelines set forth in Policy 100 Use of Campus Property and Facilities Scheduling, as well as Policy 745 Building Access.

C.  For security purposes, not all MTSU buildings are open to the public. MTSU student residence halls and apartments are private residences, and a person must be a guest of a resident to enter any area of student housing. Furthermore, most buildings open to the public are closed and locked after regular business hours. Recorded video surveillance is used in some areas to provide additional security measures on the campus of MTSU.

D.  All persons on the campus of MTSU shall provide adequate identification, upon request, to appropriate officials and security personnel of the University. All MTSU students, faculty, and staff are issued an identification card and are required to carry it while on campus. Personnel and students of the University who refuse to provide such identification shall be requested to leave campus, and, if they refuse, may be subject to lawful removal and prosecution.

E.  Employees are issued keys to University buildings upon recommendation and approval of the property authority. A key card is completed by the employee issued the key, and an inventory of keys issued is maintained. Keys may not be transferred between employees, and keys may only be duplicated by the University locksmith. Loss or theft of keys must be reported to University Police. Cores will be changed if security has been lost on that lock. Employees who transfer to another department, or who ceases employment at the University, must turn in the keys issued to them.  They will also have card access terminated.

F.  Students use their identification cards to gain entry to the Recreation Center, residence halls, and campus computer labs with an installed card access system. Students are issued electronic access to other buildings, classrooms, and labs upon written request of the pertinent department.

G.  Some residence halls are equipped with security doors which may be used to exit from the residence hall. At no time are these doors allowed to be propped open.​

H.  Residence hall visitation. Opposite gender visitors are required to check in at the front desk, or other designated area, and must be escorted at all times. Visitors are not allowed to wander alone in the residence halls, nor are they permitted in community restrooms on the floors. 

I.  All residence halls with interior hallways are secured by locking the exterior doors during breaks. All other keys issued to residents are retrieved between fall and spring, and spring and fall. 

J.  University Police patrol the campus, within and around the residence halls, and residence hall parking lots throughout the year.

XIV. Security Considerations Used in the Maintenance of Campus Facilities 

A.  University Police personnel report all hazardous or unsafe campus conditions found to exist on campus. These conditions may include overgrown trees or landscaping, lack of outdoor lighting, or inoperable lights. These reports are sent directly to each respective department, or to central work orders, to ensure expeditious corrective measures are taken.

B.  Safety inspections are conducted monthly in all apartments according to an announced schedule. Maintenance inspections will be conducted by University personnel during reasonable hours.

C.  MTSU Facilities Services is responsible for properly maintaining buildings and structures to meet fire, safety, health, and other required codes and regulations. 

D.  The MTSU Fire Marshal reviews existing campus occupancies and conditions, the design and construction of new buildings, remodeling of existing buildings to determine the acceptability of technologies, processes, products, facilities, materials, and uses attending the design, operation or use of a building or premises under applicable codes. The MTSU Fire Marshal shall have the authority to require plans and specification to ensure compliance with applicable codes and standards.

XV. Programs to Inform Students and Employees about Crime Prevention 

A.  The Department offers various programs and presentations that inform students and employees about campus security procedures, personal safety, and crime prevention. These programs include: CUSTOMS, Adopt-a-Cop, Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), Operation ID, Shots Fired on Campus, University 1010 and 2020 class presentations, and other programs. These programs are offered throughout the year, or upon request, and the CUSTOMS program is offered multiple times during summer for new and transfer student orientation.

B.  MTSU Human Resource Services offers a new employee orientation. The orientation is an overview of the MTSU campus and the many services available to its employees.

C.  The Department issues calendars each year that includes information pertaining to safety and security. The calendars are provided to each employee and distributed to students attending CUSTOMS, and are available in the Department office.

XVI. Disclosures to Alleged Victims of Crimes of Violence or Non-forcible Sex Offenses 

A.  The University will, upon written request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence, or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by MTSU against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense.

B.  If the alleged victim is deceased because of the crime or offense, MTSU will provide results of the disciplinary hearing to the victim’s next of kin, if so requested.

XVII. Alcohol and Drugs

A.  The University complies with the provisions of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1989.

B.  Alcohol

1.  The use, distribution, and/or possession of alcoholic beverages on University owned, leased, or otherwise controlled property is governed by to Policy 755 Alcoholic Beverages and Policy 540 Student Conduct. The enforcement of alcohol laws on campus is the primary responsibility of University Police.

2.  Pursuant to T.C.A. § 1-3-113 and § 57-4-203, it is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, wine, or beer. Such offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than eleven (11) months, twenty-nine (29) days, or a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), or both.  The receipt, possession, or transportation of alcoholic beverages without the required revenue stamp is also a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) days or a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00), or both. Such laws are strictly enforced by University Police.

3.  MTSU will impose sanctions against individuals determined to have violated policy concerning the use, possession, or distribution of alcohol. Students are subject to Policy 540 Student Conduct; employees are subject to Policy 800 General Personnel. Sanctions for students using or possessing alcohol may include disciplinary probation and, in appropriate cases, suspension or expulsion from the University. Employees, including students, are prohibited from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or consuming alcohol during work hours. Sanctions against employees for use or possession of alcohol in the workplace include termination of employment for gross misconduct. Referral for criminal prosecution may be made in appropriate cases.  

C.  Drugs

1.  MTSU prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and the illegal use of drugs on campus property or on institutionally owned, leased, or otherwise controlled property. The lawful use of prescribed drugs taken under a doctor’s care is not prohibited.

2.  Various federal and state statutes make it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or sell, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, or sell controlled substances. Such laws are strictly enforced by University Police.

3.  MTSU will impose sanctions against individuals determined to have violated policy prohibiting the use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs pursuant to Policy 540 Student Conduct. Sanctions for students involved in the using, possessing, selling, or distributing illegal drugs may include probation and, in appropriate cases, suspension or expulsion. In addition, residential students will be removed from the housing system for the use or possession of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. Referral for criminal prosecution may be made in appropriate cases. Sanctions for students are described in Policy 540 Student Conduct.

4.  All employees, including students, agree as a condition of employment to abide by the prohibition concerning illegal drugs in the workplace. Sanctions against employees for use or possession of drugs in the workplace include termination of employment. Additionally, employees are required to notify the University of any drug convictions resulting from a violation in the workplace no later than five (5) days after the conviction.

D.  Drug and Alcohol Abuse Education Programs. MTSU recognizes that the use of alcohol and drugs can have a negative impact on students and the learning process. To inform students of these hazards, MTSU Student Health Services provides educational outreach programs that are available on the MTSU Student Health Services website

XVIII. Missing Residential Students 

Refer to Policy 720 Missing Residential Student Notification

Forms:  none.

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); May 13, 2022.

Last Reviewed: May 2024.

References: T.C.A. §§ 1-3-113, 38-8-101; 38-8-105(d); 38-8-106; 49-7-118, 49-7-129, 57-4-203;  Official Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, Chapter 1110-4-.01, et seq.; Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. §1092(f); Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989; Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1989; Policies 100 Use of Campus Property and Facilities Scheduling; 540 Student Conduct; 715 Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings; 720 Missing Residential Student Notification; 745 Building Access; 755 Alcoholic Beverages; 800 General Personnel.