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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Public safety shares crime statistics via e-mail

Published: October 9, 2009
Section: News

<i>PHOTO BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot</i>

PHOTO BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot

The Department of Public Safety has begun using e-mail instead of snail mail in order to send information to students about the campus’ crime rates and security policies, as required by the Jeanne Clery Act of federal law.

In 1986, Jeanne Clery, a student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, was raped and murdered in her dorm room.

After Jeanne’s death, her parents learned that the students at Lehigh had not been told about dozens of violent crimes on campus.

They, along with other campus crime victims, succeeded in convincing Congress to enact the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, which, since 1998, has been now called the Jeanne Clery Act.

The federal Department of Education requires that three years of crime statistics at colleges and universities be published, either in print or online. The necessary information includes crimes on campus and the nearby vicinity, where they could affect students.

The crimes listed are: murder and manslaughter, sex crimes (both forcible and otherwise), aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson.

In 2008, the crimes reported at Brandeis were two forcible sex crimes (both in residential facilities), aggravated assault (two cases on campus), burglary (17 incidents, 15 in residential facilities), one motor vehicle theft, and three counts of arson (including two in residential facilities).

In addition to the crimes listed under the Jeanne Clery Act, Public Safety also keeps a monthly log of the number of incidents in three categories: crimes against a person (assault, battery, sex offenses, harassment and robbery), crimes against property (breaking and entering, vandalism, larceny) and crimes against the public order (alcohol, drugs, disturbances, bomb threats and fire alarms).

Between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, the Department of Public Safety investigated reports of 26 crimes against a person, with harassment being the most common, whether by mail, phone, or in person.

They also investigated 89 reports of crimes against property, mostly larcenies and 108 reports of crimes against the public order, mostly disturbances such as noise complaints.

Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan has been chief of police at Brandeis for the past 10 years believes that the department of public safety does a good job of preventing crime on campus. In addition to managing the escort safety service and the student-staffed Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCO), Public Safety takes many precautions on a daily basis to ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty.

All over campus there are emergency telephones, often called “blue light phones,” that anyone can use in an emergency to immediately contact Public Safety.

There is also a network of closed circuit cameras that feed into the communications room of the Public Safety office, which has more than a dozen televisions monitoring different areas of campus at all times. Uniformed patrol officers are always on duty, as well as two to three police cruisers. At the beginning of the year, Public Safety works with Orientation Leaders and Community Advisors to ensure the safety of students, and there are always police officers at large on campus events like Pachanga and concerts.