By José Rodríguez
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Public Safety (UNODPS) published on Oct. 1 the Annual Campus Security and Fire Report for the 2016 academic year.
This report contains information, analysis, reviews, reports, policiesand statistics regarding crime, violence, unsafe behaviors and security on campus or near it. In addition, information regarding procedures to follow in certain situations and how to report them is provided, along with new objectives and improvements made by the university.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) (CLERY ACT) requires colleges and universities involved with federal student aid programs to publish and distribute an annual security report by Oct.1. This federal law also requires institutions like UNO to enact policies and procedures to follow, regarding the crime and violations in talk, and inform victims of their basic rights.
On top of following the CLERY ACT, UNODPS also supports the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program Systems Portfolio reporting requirements to, as the report states, “provide the community with a comprehensive and useful report regarding the safety and security of our campus.” Public Safety also emphasizesthat it “utilizes this report as another opportunity to review its practices and look for opportunitiesto improve its service to the university community.”
The report contains an Annual CLERY Reportable Crime Statistics chart where important information is given. For example, during the years between 2013 and 2016 there havebeen zerocases of murder, either non-negligent or negligent manslaughter on campus and near locations in general. Other on-campus criminal offenses like forcible sex offense, burglary, motor vehicle theft, liquor law arrestsand drug law arrests have seen small increases. Liquor law arrestsbeingthe one with a substantial increase from 17 in 2015to 51 in 2016.
Other criminal offenses on campus rose by a few numbers, like intimidation and destruction/vandalism which accounted for a total of fourincidents in 2016, while domestic violence and stalking accounted forthree and six incidents respectively in comparison to fewer numbers from prior years.
The UNODPS believes that such increase in reported criminal offensenumbers from 2015 to 2016 calendar year does not representan increase in crime at UNO, but “an increase in reporting due to enhanced cooperation with resident life staff and campus security authorities in accurate and complete reporting,” the report notices.