Last April, when the White House released the first report from its Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, they promised to provide schools with a sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local law enforcement. On Monday, the White House finally released their sample MOU. The release coincided with last week’s anniversary of President Obama establishing the White House Task Force.
As described in the document, Memorandums of Understanding “describe the responsibilities of the parties in carrying out an activity or process of mutual interest.” These documents help schools, local law enforcement, and other key stakeholders respond to and prevent incidents in a more coordinated, collaborative, and effective way.
The sample MOU, however, is only meant as a road map; each institution will have to tailor it to its unique needs. As the Department of Justice’s press release explained, “the sample MOU is…intended to be a starting point for a conversation between campus administrators, campus police and local law enforcement on how to improve collaborations between critical first responders.”
Furthermore, while the sample MOU is focused on sexual assault, it encourages schools and local enforcement agencies to develop MOUs around other issues, including domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
We’ll continue to keep you informed as the White House Task Force releases more resources and information.