The ACU Police Department’s annual crime report sent to students on Friday showed a significant decrease in burglaries on the ACU campus in 2012.
The ACUPD is required by federal law to release the 2012 Clery Act Campus Crime Statistics report to students and employees. The report focuses on crimes ranging from minor offenses to certain major offenses such as robbery and manslaughter that have occurred over the past three years on campus and other properties owned or controlled by ACU, Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said.
Ellison said the department felt good about the overall numbers contained in the report, especially the number of burglaries, which were reduced by almost 50 percent compared to last year.
“It could be just due to this was a down year, but I would like to say it was at least in part due to the intentional crime prevention information that we constantly put out,” Ellison said. “We’re constantly reminding students to make sure and lock your dorm room, stay safe, report suspicious activity, things like that.”
Ellison said there’s always room for improvement, though.
“One number that continues to bother us every year is the liquor law violations and that’s where students are typically returning to campus from off-campus with possession of alcohol or having consumed alcohol,” Ellison said. “Obviously, we’d like to see that number go down. That’s a number that always troubles us from a student safety perspective as well as a compliance perspective.”
Another incident that troubled Ellison was a single incident that was classified as both a hate crime and an aggravated assault that occurred during 2012.
In that case, a student was assaulted by another student and suffered a significant injury. The victim alleged that the assault was based on the offender’s bias regarding sexual orientation. This required the offense to be classified in two categories in the Clery report as both a hate crime and aggravated assault.
“This type of case troubles us from a law enforcement standpoint, that we had a crime allegedly committed with sexual orientation bias,” Ellison said. “However, we’re very pleased that the victim in this case was aware of their Title IX rights, and they chose to come forward months after the attack and report it anonymously. This tells me that ACU’s efforts at educating the campus community about Title IX rights and options are working.”
Ellison said ACUPD wants to know every crime that happens on campus, no matter how major or minor. He said he’s troubled by victims who don’t report the crimes for fear of exposure. Victims can choose to stay anonymous.
The ACUPD works to keep the campus community informed throughout the year, not just when they publish the report, Ellison said.
“I think it’s important that the United States Department of Education requires the report to be filed so that students stay fully aware of what’s going on around and in their campus,” Ellison said. “We want to make sure students are informed and aware. We hope our community always feel informed and aware.”