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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

White House Offers Advice on Agreements with Law Enforcement Agencies

February 5, 2015

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, formed a year ago to help marshal resources to combat sexual violence, recently released advice on crafting formal memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with local or state law enforcement agencies.

"Building Partnerships among Law Enforcement Agencies, Colleges and Universities: Developing a Memorandum of Understanding to Prevent and Respond Effectively to Sexual Assaults at Colleges and Universities" provides sample language and suggests including the following sections in an MOU.

  • Communication and Coordination. Although ostensibly pertaining to instances of sexual assault, many of the suggested provisions apply more broadly to the relationships between the campus and local police, such as sharing of information and ensuring open lines of communication.
  • Sexual Assault Prevention. The sample language covers a variety of outreach activities on which the parties might collaborate.
  • Response to Reported Sexual Assault. Key measures to ensure clarity about each entity's role and responsibilities in the event of a reported sexual assault are laid out.
  • Training. The sample provisions call for cross-training on policies, procedures, and resources, with specialized "trauma-informed" training provided to 911 dispatchers, first responders, and individuals who conduct investigations.

Noticeably missing from the task force document is advice for institutions that wish to encourage law enforcement agencies to enter into an MOU with them. Historically, schools have had mixed success in negotiating formal agreements of this type.


Anne Gross
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs