Federal Clery report offers insight into college campus security

Only two crimes were reported in 2017 at community colleges in Apache Junction, San Tan Valley and Queen Creek, according to federally mandated campus-security reports released Oct. 1.

An on-campus weapons violation with an arrest by law enforcement was reported last year at the Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona Community College, 805 S. Idaho Road in Apache Junction, according to CAC’s report.

CAC’s San Tan Campus, 3736 E. Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley, had no crimes in 2017, according to the report.

An unfounded — false or baseless — arson report was filed in 2017 at Communiversity at Queen Creek, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek, according to Rio Salado College’s campus-security report.

Clery reports

The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, renamed “The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Crime Statistics Act,” was signed into law in November 1990. In 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2013, Congress amended the law via the Higher Education Opportunity and Violence Against Women Acts to expand the reporting criteria, according to CAC’s Clery report for 2017.

Jeanne Clery was 19 when she was raped and murdered in her college dormitory. Her parents, Connie and Howard Clery, could not have known the danger she was in; standards for campus crime reporting did not exist in 1986, according to clerycenter.org, the website for the nonprofit Clery Center.

“The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report to employees and students every Oct. 1. This ASR must include statistics of campus crime for the preceding three calendar years, plus details about efforts taken to improve campus safety,” according to the website.

Crimes that are required to be listed by the colleges are, according to the reports: Murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. They also included crimes handled by local police, such as liquor, drug and weapon violations.

The Clery reports also include unfounded crimes.

“Unfounded: Sworn or commissioned law enforcement personnel have fully investigated the reported crime and based on the results of this investigation have made a formal determination that the crime report is false or baseless,” according to CAC’s Clery report.

E-mails with questions on the Clery reports were sent to officials at Maricopa County Community College District, which includes Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Rio Salado College; Central Arizona College; Ottawa University; and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences.

Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College has been in operation for more than 48 years. It has five campuses and three centers in Pinal County, and offers associate degrees that transfer to all three Arizona public universities, according to centralaz.edu.

The Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona College, which can be found within Apache Junction city limits, is at 805 S Idaho Road. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

A total of 9,741 students were enrolled and took classes at Central Arizona College in 2017. The enrollment at the San Tan Campus was 1,240 and at Superstition Mountain Campus was 1,228, officials said.

The annual Clery safety report/fire report is on Central Arizona College’s website and students can print out a copy if needed, Angela Askey, CAC’s executive director for public relations and marketing, said in an e-mailed response to questions.
An email was sent to all faculty and students detailing how they could review the report, she said. The report is at centralaz.edu/resources/police/annual_security_fire_report.pdf.

The 2017 annual security and fire safety report covered Central Arizona Colleges’ Aravaipa Campus, Casa Grande Center, Corporate Center, Florence Center, Maricopa Campus, San Tan Campus, Signal Peak Campus and Superstition Mountain Campus. CAC has its own police department.

The report provides crime statistical information for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017, Greg Roberts, CAC’s chief of police, said in the report.

“Our officers are sworn, certified and trained in accordance with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board requirements. They have full police authority and powers of arrest. It is a great asset for CAC to have its own police department,” he said.

“Our officers provide more than enforcement; they are a vital part of the college experience by partnering with and engaging the campus community in safety issues. CACPD Officers are encouraged to be proactive and innovative in dealing with campus and community issues and concerns,” Chief Roberts said in the report.

Central Arizona College’s San Tan and Superstition Mountain campuses remained mostly crime-free over the last three years in part because of partnerships with other law-enforcement agencies, Chief Roberts said in an e-mailed response to questions.
“In 2017 CACPD officers were assigned to the San Tan and Superstition Mountain campus during business hours to build stronger relationships/liaison with area PD’s/students/faculty,” Chief Roberts said.

“Having the same officer on campus daily has enhanced the partnership/relationships – similar to a School Resource Officer in high schools – with our students, staff, area residents, PD’s, etc.,” he said.

“The assigned officers have been able to provide on-campus safety training, be available for questions/advice with the end result also helping with crime prevention,” Chief Roberts said.

The 63-page report provided by Central Arizona College also includes sections on crime and emergency reporting procedures, sexual-harassment policies, federal Clery Act definitions, obtaining an order of protection or injunction against harassment, missing-person procedures and fire-reporting and evacuation procedures.

The CAC Police Department maintains a daily crime log of the most recent 60 days, which is available to the public for review through police or security at the Superstition Mountain and San Tan campuses, according to the report.

Communiversity at Queen Creek

The Communiversity at Queen Creek is hosted by Rio Salado College in collaboration with the Town of Queen Creek, according to its website at queencreek.azcommuniversity.com.

Communiversity’s academic partners offer certificate-to-degree pathways in business administration/management, communication and liberal arts, early childhood, healthcare and human services, justice studies and teacher education, according to the website.

Communiversity at Queen Creek had students in 2017 from Rio Salado College, which reported the unfounded arson case; from Ottawa University, which shows no crimes in 2017 in its Clery report; Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, which shows no crimes in 2017 but did not break out communiversity in its report; and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, which did not include communiversity in its report. Benedictine University in Mesa added a campus at Communiversity at Queen Creek in summer 2018.

The Maricopa Community College Police Department works 24/7 and has personnel on campus to take reports, help students and patrol the campus, Janae Melvin, Ottawa University public relations and social media manager, said in an e-mailed response to questions. Ottawa University’s total enrollment in 2017 was 2,917, she said.

Copies of OU’s Clery report can be provided at no cost to students, parents or anyone who asks by sending a request to carrie.stevens@ottawa.edu. The report can also be found online at www.ottawa.edu, she said.

The Clery Act only requires and allows reporting of specific crimes, Ms. Melvin said.

“These crimes are listed on the report itself in the section labeled, ‘Crime Statistics.’ That section of the report also sets out the crime categories that are reported and the ‘Clery definition’ for each crime. In some cases, the Clery definition differs from the legal definition, so the explanations set out are to help the reader understand what crimes are being reported,” she said.

“To avoid confusion with the numbers on the MCCPD Clery statistics with the OU statistics, note that there is one ‘unfounded arson’ and one ‘larceny-theft’ (in 2015) listed on the MCCPD report. These are not noted on the OU report because ‘unfounded’ crimes can only be determined by police,” Ms. Melvin said.

“This would have been a report to the police that was investigated and determined by the police to be false or baseless. Schools do not include these in their statistics,” she said.

“For the larceny-theft, that offense is only counted when it is a hate crime, which the police determined it to not be, per the report,” Ms. Melvin said.

The 91-page Rio Salado College report includes sections on how to report crimes, safety escorts, sexual-violence prevention and response, reporting hate crimes and Marizopa County Community College District’s policy on substance abuse. It is at riosalado.edu/about/news-resources/Documents/2017_RIO_Clery_Report.pdf.

The main campus of Rio Salado College is within the boundaries of the City of Tempe, Cmdr. John Porvaznik, of the Maricopa County Community College Police Department, wrote in the Clery report.

“RSC also has a number of satellite locations throughout Maricopa County. The college police and/or contract security staff are on-site during business hours at the satellite locations,” Cmdr. Porvaznik said in the report.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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