Simpson security releases results of annual Clery Act

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

Last week, Simpson’s department of security released their statistics for on-campus crime for the year of 2007.

The data, which is required to be released under the Jeanne Clery Act, indicates consistency with data from the past few years.

“Some of the categories you might see some change in,” Director of Security Chris Frerichs said. “The alcohol, for example, changes a little bit, and we’ve seen a few more burglary cases, but overall it’s remained consistent.”

Although Simpson College keeps track of every incident reported to security, not all of them are published in the annual report.

“The Clery Act only requires certain crimes to be reported,” Frerichs said. “Currently, it does not require us to report thefts or larcenies, or fire alarms. However, next year, they [fire alarms] will be required.”

Senior Kirsten Towne, who works for security, said that the data can sometimes be misleading.

“One of the most frustrating stats I have found is that no one likes to talk about racial issues and problems on campus,” she said. “But the crime that is reported, I feel is reported accurately.”

According to the data, there was one more liquor arrest in 2007 than in 2006, as well as one drug law violation that was referred for disciplinary action, of which there were none of in 2006.

In the incidents that decreased, there were no robberies or aggravated assaults reported to security, and there were two less forced sex offenses than in 2006. There were six fewer burglaries, and four fewer liquor law violations that were referred for disciplinary action.

Senior Tim Delaney, who also works for Simpson security, said depending on the situation, higher authorities may be called to the scene.”If it’s something beyond us, we call 911 or the Indianola Police Department,” Delaney said. “Then we either contact the C.A. or Mandy Fox [director of residence life].”

Delaney said there is one incident that is more frequent than others.

“Usually we get noise complaints,” Delaney said. “When someone’s music is too loud and they won’t turn it down when asked. We have to ask them to turn it down then.”

Simpson is required by a federal law known as the Clery Act to publish its annual crime statistics. The act is named after Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old freshman at Lehigh University. Clery was raped and murdered in her dorm room on April 5, 1986 while she was asleep. Upon further investigation, it was determined that there had been 38 violent crimes on the campus dating back to three years before her murder. None of the students knew about this information.

As a result of advocacy by Clery’s parents, as well as other victims of campus crime, the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 was passed. Since then, it has been amended several times. In 1992, it required schools to give support to victims of sexual assaults, and in 1998 it was formally renamed the Jeanne Clery Act. It was last amended in 2000 to require campuses to inform their community as to where information about registered sex offenders living near campus could be found.

Simpson’s department of security has many ways of trying to deter crime on campus. These include issuing warnings via email about crimes that have taken place on campus, and keeping a daily crime log that can be viewed by the public.

Frerichs said that the job of making a campus safe is for everyone, not just security.

“Our goal is to see a decrease, and every year we look at our numbers and track our progress,” Frerichs said. “Security is not just the job of one department. Everyone needs to take an active part.”

Simpson’s annual report can be found online at Simpson’s web site. That is also where a copy of the Clery Act may be downloaded.