Campus crime reports released

Clery Report reveals statistics on sexual assault, domestic violence and other crime incidents on EWU’s campus


By Dylan Harris, Copy Editor

The 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for EWU was released last month. The report, which adheres to the Jeanne Clery Act of 1998, is provided to EWU students and faculty each year in an effort to provide information regarding security policies, safety programs, available resources and recent crime statistics.

The EWU Police Department strives to protect the people and property within the community, while also ensuring people are treated fairly and with respect, according to its goals statement.

“It’s not our goal to arrest our students as much as it is to educate,” Chief of Police Tim Walters said. “There’s some really vital information in [the report]. Not just about the statistics on crime, but what we do as a police department and university to make this a safe environment.”

The crime statistics provided in this report cover the past three years, with data from 2017 being the most recent.

In general, there were not any drastic increases or decreases in the on-campus crime statistics in 2017 in comparison to the previous two years.

Reports of on-campus rape and fondling incidents decreased from 2016 to 2017, going from five to three (rape) and four to one (fondling). Reports of on-campus burglaries and on-campus motor vehicle thefts also decreased from 2016 to 2017: burglaries were down from nine to three and motor vehicle thefts decreased from five to zero.

Arrests made for liquor and drug law violations have increased in each of the past two years. Walters said part of this may be related to the growth of the recreational marijuana industry, but it’s also related to how many crimes are actually reported.

“There are occasions where [with] a specific crime, the data will show an increase in it, but we don’t necessarily attribute that to the fact that it has increased as much as the reporting has gotten better,” Walters said. “I really believe that that’s due to the fact of the trust that we’ve built through the community with our police officers.”

To better understand these crime statistics, it’s helpful to compare them with crime statistics from other schools of similar size. For example, there were 72 liquor law arrests at EWU and just 26 at Central Washington University in 2017. There were three reported rapes at EWU, and 25 reported rapes at CWU. EWU had three reported burglaries on campus, while CWU had 13. Most of the other statistics between the two schools were relatively similar.

Some notable differences between EWU and the University of Montana were in the domestic violence and stalking sections. EWU had nine reports of domestic violence on campus in 2017, compared to 18 at UM. Additionally, there were five reported stalking cases at EWU in 2017, compared to 16 at UM.

While the crime statistics offer helpful comparisons between universities, there are many other valuable resources and pieces of information in the report.

The report details crime prevention programs, including “Shots Fired on Campus” training, which teaches students the safety procedures should there ever be an active shooter situation.

Another crime prevention program, “Critical Incident Response” training, teaches EWU employees about violence prevention and reporting on campus.

Other resources discussed in the report include alcohol and drug education programs, safety escorts for students and faculty who have to walk on campus after dark, self-defense classes and vehicle safety checks.

There are also sections dedicated to services provided for sexual assault victims, along with reporting procedures for sexual assault or harassment.

While the EWU Police Department is responsible for the safety of EWU students and faculty, it needs the help of students and staff to keep a safe environment.

“The students are part of the safety process,” Jenny Miller, Clery compliance officer said. “Because if we don’t hear what’s happening on campus and it’s not reported to us, then there’s nothing we can do to make it a safer place.”

The 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report may be a long read, but the information it provides is of great importance for the entire EWU community. The report can be found online and was sent out to all enrolled students’ and current faculty members’ EWU emails. •