Security releases annual report

by Clint Hutchcroft & Zach JamesStaff Writers

Simpson College Security Director Chris Frerichs released the results from the Annual Security Report to faculty and students last week. The report included information for the 2008-2009 school year.

Security officials are required to release information on all incidents reported to Student Development, Security, Residence Life and Greek Life.

“Ultimately, this report should bring attention to all people involved,” Frerichs said. “For the students, it should provide them with a sense of making better decisions so Simpson can be a better and safer environment.”

According to Frerichs, reading the report and analyzing the statistics should also provide students a better understanding of what occurs around campus.

“Protecting yourself and everybody by making the right decisions and not getting into trouble is what this report should mean to every student on campus,” Frerichs said.

According to the report, the crimes committed most frequently at Simpson included alcohol-related violations with disciplinary action. In 2008, 120 violations were reported, up 17 from 103 in 2007. Eight burglary cases were reported last year, compared to six in 2007.

There was one sex offense case reported in 2008, the same as 2007. Other individual reports included auto theft, and two cases of drug abuse which led to disciplinary action.

The report is released in accordance to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The act requires that all colleges that receive financial aid from federal institutions are required to submit and make public records of criminal reports in a categorized and dated fashion, while also protecting the names of the alleged criminals and victims.

Data is released annually showing crimes reported over the duration of three years.

“When we come across a reported crime, (we) want to make sure all the facts are included so if we need to contact police or higher jurisdictions of law enforcement we have an accountable record of the events,” sophomore Pat Gerhardt, who works for Security, said.

The crimes reported are a combination of various crimes used by the FBI to collect statistical data of the types of crimes reported to police departments from all over the U. S. The list includes homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft and possession of illegal substance or items (firearms, poisons, etc), among others.

Simpson’s data is available online on the school Web site.

Beginning in 2010, the report will include more information, Frerichs said.

“Crimes which will be new next year include hate crimes, emergency response situations, missing persons and fire safety,” he said.

Frerichs said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by any of the statistics, but that the number of crimes reported may be concerning.

“Overall violence is something to be concerned about,” Frerichs said. “You look at what happened at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois and try to apply if something like that happened here. That’s why I want students to take the Clery Act seriously.”