Security starts silent witness

by James Joy

A silent witness program has been implemented on campus to allowcrimes to be reported anonymously.

Scott Nance, evening security supervisor, was the pioneer inimplementing the program, which can be accessed through thesecurity page of Simpson’s Web site.

“When someone uses it, a blind e-mail that is stripped of allinformation from the sender is sent, so we don’t know who it comesfrom,” Nance said. “There is no way to find out who sent it.”

The program allows people to submit information about a campuscrime without disclosing their identities. The anonymous e-mail isdirected campus security for a review and possibleinvestigation.

“Some people don’t feel comfortable carrying forward with acomplaint, [so] this gives them an anonymous outlet,” Director ofSecurity Chris Frerichs said. “This is another opportunity foreveryone to make us aware of a bad situation on campus.”

Frerichs knows the anonymity allows false claims to be madeeasily, so the legitimacy of reported incidents will be determinedon a case-by-case basis.

“We want this to be an avenue for individuals to provideinformation and not for a prank,” Frerichs said. “We want people tosubmit anything they feel is important for us to know.”

Paul Crittenden, information services system administrator, saidthe campus community shouldn’t be afraid to send a report becausethey think the e-mail could be tracked to their computer.Crittenden said the e-mail would be anonymous.

“We don’t log enough information to be able to determine whosent it,” Crittenden said. “The amount of data that would need tobe saved would be enormous.”

Programs much like this are used by campus security at theUniversity of Iowa and several schools in Missouri.

“There was a similar program at Park University in Missouri andall of my experiences were good,” Nance said. “We never had a prankreferral.”

Senior Mark Fuller agrees that the program is a good thing.

“Simpson is a close-knit campus, and some people will want toreport something without giving their name,” Fuller said.