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UPPS 01.04.40 - Reporting Criminal Offenses

Reporting Criminal Offenses

UPPS No. 01.04.40
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 11/22/2013
Next Review Date: 6/01/2017 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Police Department


    1. The university expects its employees to follow all rules, policies and laws and also expects its employees to report actual or suspected violations and crimes to the appropriate department.

    1. Suspected – To believe or feel that someone is guilty of an illegal, dishonest, or unpleasant act, without certain proof.

    2. Probable Cause – When facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge, and about which the officer had reasonably trustworthy information, cause a man of reasonable caution to believe that an offense has been or is being committed (see Source references for SA/PPS Nos. 02.02 and 02.03 for definition source).

    3. Reasonable Suspicion – Is more than a hunch but less than proof of probable cause by a preponderance of the evidence (see Collection and Preservation of Evidence for information that must be included).

    4. Evidence – Anything, physical or biological, which may reconstruct the crime, identify the elements, obtain the facts, establish motive, develop suspects, apprehend offenders, or provide something that is legal to submit to a competent tribunal as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter or act under investigation before it.

    5. Seizure of Electronic Data Storage Devices – In the event that an electronic data storage device needs to be seized for evidence processing, the department will not take any action until notifying the University Police Department (UPD). Any action will be under the direction of a police officer, a trained information technology employee from the university, or other trained individual available for this purpose to assist in preserving the evidence. The officer in charge of the scene will fill out an evidence tag, seize and secure the property within the UPD evidence room. In the event a trained individual is unavailable, the equipment will be seized following the guidelines specified in the US Secret Service’s “Best Practices for Seizing Electronic Evidence v.3 A Pocket Guide for First Responders.” This document is available for download from the UPD website, “Best Practices Electronic Evidence v3.”

    6. Chain of Custody – A written record indicating each change in the custodial responsibility of an article of evidence (see Collection and Preservation of Evidence for information that must be included).


    1. All Texas State employees have an obligation to report actual or suspected crimes such as physical harm, theft, fraud, embezzlement, destruction of property or other irregularities resulting in the loss of cash, property or other assets of the university to UPD. Such reporting should be as timely and concurrent as possible to preserve and facilitate collection of evidence under the law enforcement supervision. Collection of evidence includes the seizure of electronic data storage devices as defined in Section 02.05 above.

    2. Employees are expected to cooperate with police and internal audit investigations. Investigations conducted by these offices are confidential.

    3. Section 554.002 of the Government Code prohibits retaliation against employees who in good faith report violations of law to appropriate law enforcement authorities.


    1. Employees who reasonably believe that a criminal offense has been committed involving a guest or member of the university community should report the suspected criminal act to UPD. Employees who are unsure about filing a UPD report should seek immediate guidance from their supervisor or administrative head. The UPD should notify the Office of Audits & Analysis, in cases involving theft, fraud, embezzlement, and irregularities resulting in the loss of cash or other assets of the University or when Audits & Analysis requests such information.

    2. The director of Audits & Analysis will report criminal offenses to the UPD.

    3. The director of Human Resources (HR) should report suspected or actual criminal offenses to the UPD. The HR director will notify the UPD when HR is contacted about an involuntary termination resulting from a personnel matter involving a suspected or actual criminal offense.


    1. The UPD will involve an internal auditor when investigating the possible loss or misappropriation of university assets and may have an internal auditor present when interviewing parties thought to have knowledge of the possible loss or misappropriation.

    2. In the course of an investigation, the UPD or the Office of Audits & Analysis may require access to university information resources (e.g., electronic mail, centrally-managed file shares, employee computers, etc.). In all such situations, investigators shall request access from the vice president for Information Technology (IT) in accordance with Section 07. of UPPS No. 04.01.02, Information Resources Identity and Access Management. The request shall specify any evidence preservation or chain of custody procedures to be followed by IT staff.


    1. The UPD and internal audit reports will follow established procedures. The police will forward copies of their report to the appropriate district attorney.

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Director, University Police Department June 1 E4Y
      Captain of Patrol, University Police Department June 1 E4Y
      Sergeant of Criminal Investigations Division, University Police Department June 1 E4Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Director, University Police Department; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Student Affairs