Claremont Sees 57 Percent Less Burglaries and Theft

Crime is down in the city of Claremont: there were just six burglaries and 20 thefts this October, compared with last October’s 11 burglaries and 50 thefts.“We’ve had a big decrease [in thefts and burglary] in comparison to last year,” said Captain Jenkins of the Claremont Police Department.This may be in part due to e-mailed “security alerts,” which provide students with safety information and reminders to stay cognizant of their surroundings, as well as precautions to take in response to certainincidents.“We want people to be conscientious about their safety at all times,” said Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes. “You can make good decisions for yourself if you know [about security concerns]. The concept is to err on the side of telling people, versus not telling [them].”Security incidents involve cooperation between campus safety and the dean on-call.The e-mails are circulated among all the colleges, so the entire student population receives notice of security instances on each campus.“The colleges have done a good job in relaying that information so that people are more vigilant in looking for people that don’t belong on campus and alerting campus safety or [Claremont Police],” Jenkins said. “The more that people who don’t belong on campus are questioned, the less of an easy target the colleges become.”Part of gathering pertinent information means collaborating with the Claremont Police Department.“Our relationship with [the student deans] in the past few years has been as good as it’s ever been,” Jenkins said.In addition to increasing awareness, the college is in frequent contact with the Claremont Police and Fire Department about instituting Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.“We’re looking at developing … teams on campus and that seemed like a nice way to actually utilize the expertise and resources of the fire and police departments,” Feldblum said.The federal Clery Act handbook requires the security alert notifications that students at the 5Cs receive by e-mail.According to this handbook, these alerts are sent out “in order to keep the campus community informed about safety and security issues on an ongoing basis, an institution must alert the campus community of certain crimes in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes.”Additionally, the act mandates that statistics must be published for a variety of crimes on campus, including murder, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.The institution must describe instances of bodily injury resulting from hate crimes, as well as any arrest for illegal weapons possession and state and federal alcohol violation.But the 1990 act is vaguely worded, leaving room for interpretation of timely notification.“Sometimes it’s not clear that [a report] should go out, you don’t have all the information,” said Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum. “As you start to gather the information, you realize you should send out anotification on campus.”It may take time to gather all the information pertaining to an event, which creates a lapse between the actual event and any security notification.“You want to be timely, but you want to be accurate,” Feldblum said.If an institution is notified of an incident well after it has occurred, it is the school’s prerogative to publicize the event.“‘Timely’ is [determined] from the time that you found out about it,” Feldblum said.The deans of the respective campuses collaborate with Campus Safety to decide whether an incident is publicized; in many respects, though, notification is the dean’s decision.“It’s a judgment that we make,” Townes said.

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