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Campus Police reports 30 percent drop in crime

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By Lauren Winther

The Grand Rapids Community College Police Department this month released it’s annual security report detailing a 30 percent drop in campus crime and calls for services during the last two years.

“The GRCC staff, faculty, and Campus Police work extremely hard to ensure that all students and visitors have a safe and rewarding experience while on campus,” said GRCC Police Lt. Scott Merlo. “I also have to give recognition to the area law enforcement agencies that are responsible for patrolling the public areas that are outside of our jurisdiction. Through their diligence and hard work students and visitors are safe as they travel to and from our campus.”

Photo by Lauren WintherThe report summaries crime statistics compiled of calls reported to GRCC Campus Police, as well as those statistics pertinent to GRCC from other local law enforcement agencies. It includes statistics from the previous three years and contains crime data that occurred on-campus, off-campus, in building or property owned or controlled by GRCC, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus; all of which are required by the Clery Act. The Clery Act requires campuses to report crimes such as murder, aggravated assault, and arson. It also requires the reporting of violations of liquor laws, drug abuse, and weapon violations.

The charts are reported from 2010 to 2012 and show zeros all across the board.

A chart of crime and calls for service information, lists crimes and calls such as disorderly persons, medicals, larcenies, and trespassing and how it has declined or increased over the past three years.

From 2010 to 2012, overall, crime has decreased. Specifically in larcenies, from 2011 to 2012 larcenies decreased 41 percent.

“The national crime rate for larcenies has been declining over the years. The decline here at GRCC does not surprise me,” said Lt. Scott. “We (Campus Police) have made a concerted effort at educating our students, faculty, and staff in crime prevention techniques, especially when it comes to larcenies as these crimes tend to be the most preventable. Campus Police also aggressively patrols those areas where larcenies tend to be most problematic.”

In addition to his duties as Lieutenant for the GRCC Police, Lt. Merlo is also a father.

“As a parent of a college student, I looked at two things when deciding where my daughter was going to attend college,” Merlo said. “Was the quality of the education worth the price, and would my daughter be safe? Obviously, the quality of the education here at GRCC is tremendous and definitely worth the price. But rest assured as a student, or a parent of a student, you will be safe while on campus.”