By Emily Long, Claire Crittendon & Taylor Viles – Digital Editor, Feature Editor & 1851 Staff
Content Warning: domestic violence and rape
Campus Police and Human Resources recently released the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for the 2018 calendar year via an email. The report is released in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
Title IX Coordinator Jennifer O’Keeffe and Campus Police work in con- junction with each other to put the report together. It is to be released every year in October according to federal guidelines. The report is then submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Criminal offenses remained low however, it is important to note the acts that were reported. Sex offenses were reported in significant numbers as compared to the other reported crimes. In 2018 there were four reported cases of rape. This is an increase from two reports in 2017. There were two reported fondling offenses, up from zero in 2017. There were also four instances of domestic violence.
College Judicial Referrals topped the report with the highest number of instances. These include drug, liquor law and weapon violations. The highest number of judicial referrals came from liquor law violations at 80 referrals. This is down from 126 in 2017. Drug violations amounted to 47 referrals, down from 59 in 2017. Weapon violations remained at zero and has remained consistent.
Other crimes reported included aggravated assault and burglary. One aggravated assault was reported, which is equivalent to the number reported in 2017. Three burglaries were reported in 2018 which is a decrease from six in 2017.
It is important to note that reporting required by the Clery Act can often be misleading. According to O’Keeffe, “you are required to report the crimes when they are reported. For example, if some- body comes in to see me and says, ‘I was sexually assaulted two years ago,’ that’s going to go in this year’s Clery Report because that’s when it was reported, not when it happened.” This requirement can often lead to deceptive data on the report that isn’t necessarily straightforward.
Students can play a major role in keeping campus safe. Deputy Police Chief Bobby Shea says to stick to the age- old verbiage, “if you see something, say something.” To keep the campus safe, students are the first line of action when noticing if something is wrong.
“The kids are our eyes and ears. We’re not in all the classrooms with the students. You have no idea what is go- ing on in some people’s lives… If you’re in class with somebody… you see this kid in September and he’s vibrant and he starts changing and seems withdrawn, we can check it out,” said Shea. Students are with each other day in and out, resulting know of each other’s behavior and mannerisms that Campus Police would not be aware of.
Lasell’s small community allows for us to be aware of our peers and if some- thing is out of place.
“We’re not trying to have the kids judge people but if something doesn’t look right, let us vet it out and see what the story is. No call is a bad call. It’s then up to our guys to go and check it out,” said Shea.