Missing Person Policy

Troy University Police Department

Residential Student Missing Person Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the university’s response to reports of missing University residential students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.  (Note: Missing University non-residential students are reported to the local law enforcement authorities.)

For purposes of this policy, a University residential student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include, but not be limited to, a report or suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play, has expressed suicidal thoughts, is drug dependent, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.

I. Procedures for designation of emergency contact information

  1. Residential students age 18 and above and emancipated minors

    Students will be given the opportunity during each semester registration process to designate an individual or individuals to be contacted by the university no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below. A designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student.

  2. Residential students under the age of 18

    In the event a student who is not emancipated is determined to be missing pursuant to the procedures set forth below, the university is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian no more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

II. Official notification procedures for missing persons

  1. Any individual on campus who has information that a residential student may be a missing person must notify Troy University Police as soon as possible.
  2. Troy University Police will gather all essential information about the residential student from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances (description, clothes last worn, where student might be, who student might be with, vehicle description, information about the physical and mental well being of the student, an up-to-date photograph, class schedule, etc.). Appropriate university staff will be notified to aid in the search for the student.
  3. If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the student or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g., witnessed abduction), the Troy University Police will contact the appropriate local law enforcement agency to report the student as a missing person and request assistance as needed.
  4. No later than 24 hours after determining that a residential student is missing, the Dean of Students will notify the emergency contact (for students 18 and over) or the parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18) that the student is believed to be missing.

III. University communications about missing students

In cases involving missing persons, law enforcement personnel are best situated to provide information to the media that is designed to elicit public assistance in the search for a missing person. Therefore, all communications regarding missing students will be handled by law enforcement authorities, who may consult with the Office of University Relations. All inquiries to the university regarding missing students, or information provided to any individual at the university about a missing student, shall be referred to the Troy University Police.

Prior to providing the Troy community with any information about a missing student, the Office of University Relations shall consult with the Troy University Police to ensure that communications do not hinder the investigation.