Liquor law violations remain the top crime on campus, according to the ACU Police Department’s annual report of crime statistics released this month as required by federal law.
The Clery Act mandates all colleges and universities receiving federal money for financial aid scholarships to disclose crime statistics from the last three years. The act also requires university police departments to outline police policy and report serious crimes against persons, such as robbery and sexual assault, in a timely manner.
For the last three years, liquor law violations have topped the crime chart with the most number of violations in 2010 at 26.Â The 26 violations do not necessarily reflect 26 separate incidents but rather 26 individual liquor law violations.Â That figure is up from 20 in 2008 and 18 in 2009.
Burglaries boost the second highest number of incidents at 16 in 2008. ACUPD Chief of Police Jimmy Ellison said although burglaries have gone down in the last two years, on-campus incidents still occur.
“Burglary is typically the number that catches a person’s eye,” Ellison said. “But people need to understand that those figures could include dorm rooms, campus buildings and other campus locations.”
One count of aggravated assault occurred on-campus last year when a non-student living at University Park attacked two joggers on the Lunsford Trail with a baseball bat. The individual was arrested by ACUPD.
Ellison said students should take note of the annual report because it will give them an overview of the crime occurring within their community.
“A better informed public is a better protected public,” Ellison said. “In my opinion, that’s what the Clery Act is trying to achieve – a better informed campus community.”
Ellison said it is important to note that the statistics reflect violations of state law and not violations of university policy.
“Some schools’ policies are stricter than others,” Ellison said. “So this levels the playing field.”
The student body should understand the complexities of the federal act, Ellison said.
“It’s not a once a year thing but an ongoing program of awareness,” Ellison said. “When students see those occasional crime alerts through text or email, that’s the Clery Act in action.”
Adam Hawkins, senior criminal justice major from Glenwood Springs, Colo., works with the ACU Police Department as support staff and said he believes students should be aware of on-campus dangers.
“It’s important for us to know the crime statistics around campus so we know how safe or guarded we should be,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins notes that the Clery Act not only requires the police department report on-campus crime, but also criminal activity in the surrounding neighborhood.
“Especially during pledging, women can decide if they want to drive to their activities instead of walk,” Hawkins said.Â “It gives you the opportunity to be proactive in keeping yourself safe.”