Lehigh University Police Department
Finance & Administration

Missing Student Policy

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The Lehigh University Police Department will thoroughly investigate all reports of missing persons, whether they reside on or off-campus. To report a missing person, contact Lehigh Police at 610-758-4200, use one of the emergency phones, contact us through HawkWatch, or come to our station at 321 E. Packer Ave. Additionally, you may also contact any of our uniformed Security Guards, contact a police officer on patrol, or dial 9-1-1.

There is no waiting period required for reporting a missing person. Responding officers will carefully record and investigate the factual circumstances surrounding the disappearance in accordance with Departmental directives. Particular care will be exercised in the instances involving those who may be mentally or physically impaired, or others who are insufficiently prepared to care for themselves.

Students will have the opportunity to register a confidential emergency contact to be notified within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing if the student has been determined missing by the LUPD police or the local law enforcement agency. However, Lehigh is not precluded from contacting a student’s contact person or custodial parent or guardian immediately upon determination that the student is missing. The emergency contact need not be a parent or guardian; it can be anyone. Registration is voluntary, but is strongly encouraged. The information provided is confidential, and will only be used by University officials and Lehigh University Police Department in an emergency situation, including situations in which a student has been reported missing or where disclosure is legally required by a search warrant or subpoena. 

All students are required to complete a survey before registering for courses each semester. This survey requests that students review their emergency contact information on file to determine accuracy, or to add emergency contact information. Emergency contact information can be updated at any time through the Self-Service Banner, available at this link: http://www1.lehigh.edu/insidelehigh.

If the missing student residing on-campus has been missing for more than 24 hours, LUPD will notify the student’s designated emergency contact which is maintained in the Banner database. In addition to the contact person provided, if such a student is under the age of 18 and is unemancipated, the University will immediately notify the student’s custodial parent or legal guardian and the student will be entered into the National Crime Information Center.

Reports of students missing from off-campus residences will be referred to the police department having jurisdiction over the student’s local residence, if known, or the student’s permanent residence if a local residence cannot be determined.