By Oscar Marin
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act and Fire Safety Report was released on Oct. 1.
The report is part of the Jeanne Clary Act, which requires college campuses to report crimes and security policies.
In 1986, Jeanne Clary, a 19-year-old student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was brutally raped and murdered in her dorm room, prompting her parents to push Congress for stricter on-campus safety laws.
Since then, every university is required to release an annual safety report detailing their security policies as well as statistics from the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on and off campus.
Cal Poly Pomona is the second largest campus in terms of area among the 23 Cal States and has more than 3,000 faculty and staff as well as more than 21,000 students. With a university of this size, campus police is a necessity.
“We have police officers on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Administrative Services Coordinator Kris Surber. “Their responsibilities include responding to emergencies and patrolling the university.”
The most common type of crimes committed on campus deal with vehicle theft and burglary.
According to the report, there have been 53 vehicle thefts since 2009.
“Vehicle theft is a really big concern,” said Surber. “Our crime rate went down last year but one crime is too many. We have over 10,000 cars on campus a day and it is kind of a crime of opportunity.”
Another major focus for the police department is also trying to prevent burglaries from occurring. Commercial burglary is more common than an individual on campus being robbed. According to the report, there have been 48 burglaries since 2009.
Even though CPP is a very safe campus, there are still those who have a slight fear for their safety while on campus.
“I do feel safe here on campus, but there is also that thought in the back of my mind where you never know what could take place on any given day,” said fifth-year Communication student Sammy Sarmiento. “Thinking about what took place at Virginia Tech makes you think if that can happen at a place like this.”
Because the school is so large and many people visit the campus on a daily basis, it is a very accessible university for anyone, not just students.
“I always see people handing out material and flyers that aren’t students here on campus,” said fifth-year Accounting student Anabely Lopez. “But I do trust that those people have been given permission and are not a threat to us students and the faculty.”
The university offers plenty of safety awareness on campus through seminars, as well as safety training courses. Campus police also works together with the Violence Prevention Women’s Resource Center in relation to crimes associated with sexual assault.
In the past three years, there have been two rapes and 14 sexual battery crimes on campus and in residence communities.
“I had no idea that had even taken place on campus,” said Lopez. “I certainly hope other students become aware of what’s going on and can help others if situations like those occur.”
Campus police certainly urges students to report any suspicious individuals on campus because often times, it is those reports that can prevent a crime from taking place.
“We try to increase crime awareness, so we really rely on community members to be vigilant and if someone doesn’t look quite right, to report it,” said Surber.
Crime will take place regardless of where it is, but it is important for students to be aware and try to help the crime rate continue to decrease.
Jenilee Umali/The Poly Post
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