Analysis of campus fire and safety reports confirms low crime rate, indicates October as most common time for illegal activity

The Etownian February 4, 2016 0

The students of Elizabethtown College are fortunate to live in a relatively safe area where crime is not a constant fear among them on a daily basis. However, all colleges have their issues and Etown is no exception to this rule. Violations take place on and around campus throughout the academic year, many of which go unnoticed by the students unless they know where to look. Compiled by month on the college website are Daily Crime and Fire Logs that document student violations and incidents all year long. With the Spring semester of 2016 already in full swing, it is likely that some crimes will surface here and there for the next few months. Even the month of January this year has seen its fair share of drug, alcohol, and other violations on campus.

The majority of incidents during this academic year took place in the month of October, which totaled in twenty-five separate recorded incidents involving mostly drugs and alcohol, but also those linked to theft, sexual assault, and other crimes. October has certainly seen the greatest amount of activity this year, January following the closest behind with only thirteen recorded incidents. November has seem the least number of violations this year at just five incidents for the entire month.

According to the Campus Security Director Andrew Powell, it can be difficult to predict exactly when the majority of illegal activity will occur, but that there usually tend to be more problems at the beginning of the Academic year than during other points in time. While the month of October goes into the middle of the Fall semester, events such as Homecoming and Halloween make it a more likely time for bad behavior. In contrast, there is often less activity recording in the winter as a result of the cold weather, although issues may become more frequent again as the as the air warms up and the snow melts come springtime.

Powell says that the most common types of offenses he sees involve alcohol, which matches up well with the data collected in the Crime and Fire Logs online. While he reports a fair amount of drug violations as well, he says that theft and burglary tend to be rare occurrences. According to the logs, throughout the year there have only been nine instances of theft or attempted theft on campus, while there have been almost three times as many reported alcohol violations.

However, although crime does occur, Powell reaffirms that Etown, overall, is a safe campus and that Security does all it can to help students feel comfortable stepping forward in the event of an incident. Most importantly, they try to get to know the students and engage with them as much as they can. Being a part of the community is how they work to promote honesty and openness with the students so that the students feel they can trust them. Powell says that they have also been utilizing the option of anonymous reporting as further encouragement, particularly this year with the new inclusion of the Livesafe App. According to him, there has been a great increase in shared info and tips this academic year with the help of this new tool.

Powell says that “safety is a shared responsibility”, and that is not only the job of Campus Security or the police but everyone to keep the community and the campus safe from crime. What makes Etown as safe as it is with the small numbers of incidents that occur here is that there are already many students who are conscious and aware of measures they must take to keep themselves safe. Even the little things like remembering to lock doors and refraining from leaving valuable items unattended make a difference in the amount of crime on campus. By staying vigilant and practicing good habits and integrity, students can reduce the likelihood of crime all by themselves and help in making the community a safer place for everyone.

To learn more about staying safe and to keep up to date on the latest crime incidents, visit www.etown.edu and look up the Daily Crime and Fire Logs or read for information in the 2015 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

 

–Amanda Jobes

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