Missing Persons Policy

Statement of Policy

The Higher Education Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires that all institutions that provide on-campus student housing must establish a student notification policy and procedures.

Each resident at the Hawaii Loa and Aloha Tower Marketplace campuses has to identify and register confidential contact information for an individual to be contacted by the university no later than 24 hours after the time that the student in question is determined missing. This is done via the Missing Person Emergency Contact Form at housing check-in. (In the event a student is under 18 years of age, and has not been legally emancipated, the student’s parents will also be contacted.)

If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a resident is missing for 24 hours, he/she should immediately notify Joseph Tillotson, the Director of Security and Safety, via phone at (808) 236-3597 (office) or email jtillotson@hpu.edu. He will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation with the assistance of Residence Life staff.

Should the Director of Security and Safety determine that the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours, he will notify the Honolulu Police Department, and the Director of Residence Life & Commuter Services will contact the resident’s emergency contact or the resident’s parents if the resident is under the age of 18 and not legally emancipated, no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

For students who live off-campus in non-University housing, the Director of Security and Safety will investigate any report of a missing student and take appropriate action. Non-residential students are highly encouraged to identify and register contact information for an individual to be contacted in the event a student is determined missing. This can be done via HPU Pipeline’s Quick Links.

Missing Person Procedures

Missing person procedures are in place in the event a report is made regarding a missing student. They apply to resident students and students residing in non-University housing.

For the purposes of these procedures, a student may be considered to be a missing student if the student’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include a reasonable/reliable report or suspicion that the missing student may be endangered. Examples may include the missing person is the victim of foul play, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare. Procedures are as follows:

  • Any and all reports of missing students shall be directed to Joseph Tillotson, the Director of Security and Safety, via phone at 236-3597 (office) or email jtillotson@hpu.edu.
  • The Director of Security and Safety will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation with the assistance of University personnel as appropriate. The investigation includes:
    • Gather essential information about the student
    • Making contact with the student via his/her cell phone and email address.
    • Interviewing the person(s) who filed the report.
    • Interviewing the student’s roommates, friends, and professors.
    • Getting the student’s course schedule.
    • Following up on leads given by those who are interviewed.
  • If the Director of Security and Safety makes contact with the reported missing student, the Director will pass on the information to contact those that have expressed concern.
  • If the report is determined valid and credible, and the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, the Director will notify the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and submit a missing person report.
  • Once the HPD report has been filed, the Director will notify the Dean of Student Life. The Dean of Student Life will contact other senior University administration as appropriate.
  • If the reported missing student is under 18 years of age and has not been emancipated, the Dean of Student Life or his/her designee, will notify the custodial parent or legal guardian that the student is believed to be missing no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the policy. 

If the reported missing student is 18 years of age or older, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will contact the Emergency Contact listed on the student’s HPU account no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the policy.

Note: If the student lives in resident housing, he/she will be given the Missing Person Emergency Contact Form at housing check-in. For a student that lives in non-University housing, the emergency contact information can be saved on his/her Pipeline account throughout the year. The student may also contact the Registrar’s Office (808-544-0239) to designate an emergency contact person. This information will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student.

  • Once a reported missing student is found and needs assistance with the transition back to HPU, the student will work with the Dean of Student Life or his/her designee.
  • Campus Communication about missing students: All communications regarding missing students will be handled by Honolulu Police Department, who are equipped to provide information and to work with the media.

Students and employees who want to make a report or aid in the search of a student should contact the Director of Security and Safety, who will work closely with HPD officers.

Prior to making a notification to the University community, HPU’s media relations staff will work with HPD, the Director of Security and Safety and the Dean of Student Life to ensure the