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Public Safety informs RF about crime

October 12, 2006

The annual Campus Crime Report is e-mailed to UW-River Falls staff and students from Public Safety to raise awareness of criminal issues on campus from the past three years.

The report is required because of the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1990 in response to the 1986 rape and murder of 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Ann Clery. 

Clery’s parents raised support for the law after discovering students at the Bethlehem, Pa., university weren’t notified of 38 violent crimes committed on campus during the previous three years. This year’s UW-RF crime report was compiled by Interim Director of Public Safety Mark Kimball. It provides comprehensive data, along with security and preventative information for students, their parents and any other interested party.

Kimball said he hopes every student reads the report.

Freshman Amanda Monarski said she read the report because it looked interesting. She said Public Safety does a good job of keeping campus safe.

“Basically, they’re everywhere,” Monarski said.

Kimball, who took the director position in March 2005, said Public Safety does the best it can to keep campus safe with the resources available.

UW-RF has no reported instances of murder or manslaughter during the three-year span of the report.

There were two reported forcible sex offenses on campus last year and one reported incident each of the previous two years.

The residence halls are one area Kimball has recently focused on.

Last spring, Public Safety decided to experiment by adding liaison officers to tighten security in and around the 10 UW-RF residence halls.

“Adding this liaison on campus is kind of reorganizing our patrols,” Kimball said.

He also said two officers are patrolling the residence halls for an average of 16 hours per day.

“We want to have more double coverage so that we can better serve the campus community,” Kimball said.

Monarski lives in Hathorn Hall and said adding the liaisons was a good idea because it allows Public Safety to react quickly in emergency situations.

Freshman Anna Peterson lives in Crabtree Hall, and said she hasn’t seen the liaisons and questioned their effectiveness if students aren’t noticing their presence.

“We can’t be in all 10 halls at the same time,” Kimball said.

He said requests for additional staff are still pending approval from UW-RF administration.

Kimball said at least one Public Safety staff member is on duty every hour of every day.
According to the crime report, the number of incidents in the residence halls stayed steady in most areas since 2003. 

One area has shown major improvement — burglaries in 2003 peaked at 13, dropped to four in 2004 and three last year.

Kimball said the decrease might be due to fewer incidents being reported.

He said students need to use better judgment to prevent incidents in the residence halls.

“Students need to take responsibility for who they’re letting into the halls,” Kimball said. “They shouldn’t hold the door open just because they know who I am.”

The crime report also plays a role for prospective students and their parents.

“In our publications and presentations, we refer to that report for anyone who is interested,” Executive Director of Enrollment Services Alan Tuchtenhagen said.

“Generally, our campus tends to look very good on that report compared to other campuses, so it really is less of an issue for many of our prospective families than it might otherwise be.”