By Alison Bergblom Johnsonfirstname.lastname@example.org
MCTC is covered under federal legislation, the Jeanne Clery Act, that primarily requires colleges to release crime statistics and timely warnings of dangers to the campus. Some colleges have received high profile attention in the last year for failing to accurately report crime statistics on campus. Among other requirements, the Act requires college public safety and police departments keep an incident log that lists crimes which occur on campus.
The log lists the report numbers, the date and time, the nature of the incident, the disposition of the incident, the type of incident and the location. The Department of Education issues a handbook for colleges to help them comply with the Clery Act.
According to the handbook “an entry … must be recorded within two business days of the reporting of the information to the campus police or the campus security department.” On April 20, except for one handwritten entry from April 15, the most recent update to the MCTC log maintained by public safety was from April 4 or April 5. Two and a half pages were empty save for the one entry related to automobile damage on April 15.
Violations of the Clery Act are subject to fines of $35,000 per incident. Each failure to enter crimes on the log within two days of the report could constitute a violation putting potential fines to MCTC in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Regarding the log not being completed, Curt Schmidt, director of public safety, said: “One of our officers is currently on medical leave and we didn’t follow that up.”
The crime log is available for anyone to view in public safety. Also, students may request copies of crime reports. Schmidt said “You’re going to get the narrative of the report without any names, student IDs, addresses, phone numbers. You’re not going to get any of the private information.”
When a student makes a complaint to public safety, the officer who takes the report will investigate and encourage the student making the report to write a statement. Schmidt and Public Safety have been very involved with Green Dot, a violence-prevention campaign that has a large presence on campus and had a major day-long awareness raising campaign last week. He encourages students to report incidents that happen on campus. He’s aware that students may not know what to do when they experience or witness harassment or any other incident on campus.
Schmidt has a solution, “They should report it to us. If they come to us, we’re going to try to go find the people right away.” He also said, “We have had people who are doing it [harassment] go through the conduct process and be held accountable.”