The annual Security and Fire Safety Report 2019-2020 was sent to the student body via email last Friday, reporting the crime statistics for the past three calendar years. The report included reports of rape, fondling, burglary, and liquor law violations in 2016,2017, and 2018.
Lafayette is required to publish the annual report under the Clery Act that was signed in 1990 after a Lehigh Student was raped and murdered in 1986. Through this act, colleges and universities that take federal money under Title IV and have a police or security department publish this report with policy statements and provide statistical data, according to Jeff Troxell, the Director of Public Safety.
“We publish it once a year to let the campus community know that it exists, and where they can get a copy of it,” Troxell said.
Troxell explained that the criminal offense only needs to be reported if it is one of the 12 crimes outlined in the Clery Act. Some of these offenses include murder, robbery, and arson.
“They’re the higher level [offenses] and then below is a subset of this report,” Troxell added. “We have to track the previous three year’s number of arrests for liquor, drugs, weapons, and then the discipline referrals for liquor drugs and weapons.”
The 2019-2020 report disclosed the number of reported rape offenses in 2016 and 2017 at seven, which nearly doubled to 13 in 2018. There was, however, a decline in burglaries in the past three years, with incidences of liquor law violations remaining fairly consistent, which is what Public Safety normally sees, according to Troxell.
The report includes offenses that occur on-campus, in certain off‐campus buildings and property owned or controlled by Lafayette College.
The report also details statistics of hate crimes for the past three calendar years over biases such as race, gender and religion among others. The most recent report shows zero hate crimes reported at Lafayette over the past three years under any bias.
The data for the report is gathered by the Department of Public Saftey, Troxell said.
“Every time we receive a call, a report is generated by the investigating officer. We review them on a daily basis. Every single report is reviewed by the chief of police or myself,” Troxell said. “At the end of the year, every report that we get has been classified according to Clery.”
Troxell explained that any Clery crime reported to Public Safety is used for statistical purposes in the annual report. This includes offenses reported by Campus Security Authority (CSA), which can include faculty, staff advisors and students contracted by the college such as Resident Advisors.
“We educate the CSA. We identify who our CSA’s are and as a part of their training they get a list of the Clery crimes and if anybody were to directly report to that person, they would then for statistical reasons, let us know what the report was,” Troxell said. “They don’t have to provide personally identifiable information we just want the statistic and the geographic location of what happened.”
In addition to security, another amendment to the Clery Act requires colleges and universities to record and report actual fires on campus and whether it was in a residence hall, Troxell explained. Public Safety is also required to report on fire-related injuries, deaths, category/cause of the fire and cost of any property damage.
The report also provides data on a number of fire drills conducted in each building, and which buildings contain fire alarm monitoring by Public Safety, sprinkler systems, smoke and heat detectors and fire extinguishers.
In addition to fire and security statistics, the report also includes valuable information for students, Troxell added, such as the 101 policy statements designed to protect students on campus.
“It has sexual assault policies, disciplinary policies, good contact information for confidential reporting, who can I confidential report this to, who can I privately report this to, that kind of information is in there too. Questions about our department policies on our leopard alert system is in there,” Troxell said.
“That’s a big important piece to us, not just crime statistics. It’s really policy statements on what we do.”