New Clery Report Talks Campus Crime: Crime Spike Triggers Increase in Safety Procedures

Sean Mickalitis
News Editor

The East Stroudsburg University Police Department has issued the Annual Clery Crime and Fire Statistics Publication for the year 2017; the document lists all crimes reported to campus police for public review and covers a wide array of mischief with the most common being alcohol and drug-related offenses, but one figure stands out among the rest.

The most shocking statistics from the Clery Report were three accounts of burglary, four accounts of robbery and one account of homicide. These statistics are all correlated and connected to a group of three individuals—Israel Berrios, Carolina Carmona and Salvador Roberts—who are responsible for the death of a Dominos delivery driver in December of 2017.

Since the incident, the East Stroudsburg University Police Department has made a prompt effort to increase campus safety.

“We’ve installed additional cameras on campus, and we have secured security services from a private contractor to augment our security. They supply three security officers from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We have one that circulates University Ridge; one that circulates the dorms near the library; one that circulates Sycamore, the traditional dorms, University Center and the Mattioli Recreation Center. Their job is purely to observe and report,” said Chief of Police William Parrish, who has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement.

Currently, there are a total of 12 campus police officers, but the department is adding more.

“We hired two new police officers a month ago. They’re currently in the process of being certified.”

Aside from these incidents, alcohol-related crime was the most prevalent.

Last year, there were 65 alcohol-related arrests on campus, a 25 percent increase in arrests from 2016.
“Alcohol-related arrests are the biggest [crime] by volume, either conduct of, possession or usage of or behavior because of alcohol; the number of ambulance calls we get because of intoxicated students needing medical treatment because they’ve fallen out of bed or fallen period [is common],” said Chief Parrish.

There was also an increase in alcohol-related disciplinary referrals.
According to the report, a disciplinary referral is when an individual is referred to the Office of Student Conduct by the Office of Student Affairs for either a liquor law, drug law or an illegal weapons violation.
In 2017, there were 105 alcohol-related disciplinary referrals filed to the Office of Student Conduct, an increase of 25 percent from 2016.
According to the ESU’s alcohol policy, no student or employee of East Stroudsburg University may use, possess, distribute or sell alcoholic beverages on campus property or university-leased properties, including student residents over the age of 21.

There were many incidents where students roam around campus [intoxicated], and in areas adjacent to campus, who cause vandalism to campus, private and public property, according to Parrish.
In the report, there were nine offenses for vandalism, three accounts of public drunkenness, six accounts of disorderly conduct and one account of DUI.

The second highest crime was theft, with a total 49 offenses.
The third highest statistic from the report were drug arrests with a total of 30 last year. There was neither an increase nor decrease in arrests, but disciplinary referrals rose.

There were 47 disciplinary drug referrals, a spike of 42 percent from the year before.

According to Parrish, marijuana crimes, such as possession, were the most common drug-related arrests and disciplinary referrals on campus.

“We’re always working in conjunction with Stroud Regional Police and the Monroe Country Task Force. We’re not ignorant to the fact that entities off campus see the demand [for illegal substances] who may sell off campus to students or may attempt to come on campus to sell; so, it’s a continual effort to work with different agencies to make this a place that isn’t worth dealing drugs,” said Parrish.

Although the crimes mentioned are the most prevalent, there were other statistics on the report that startled some students.
“I’m surprised by the stalking statistics; they’re very high,” said Sophomore Victoria Dyson, who was in disbelief as she read the report.

According to the report, there were 6 incidents of stalking, a 50 percent increase from 2016.

“After seeing the statistics, I’m a little paranoid.”
Another student had a different reaction to the annual publication
“The numbers are surprisingly low; that’s because a lot goes unreported,” said Sophomore Faith Oster, who was surprised that the report even existed.

The Jeanne Clery Act was signed into law in 1990. The act requires all accredited universities to reveal every crime that takes place on campus, as well as every policy the university imposes to the community. The law was enacted and is named after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery, who was murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in April 1986.

“It’s scary,” said Oster, after learning why the report exists.
“I don’t like to walk at night on campus.”
Though these statistics from the report may be unsettling to some, there are many ways students can increase their vigilance and safety. One way is with the LiveSafe app.

The app has many features that students can use any time they feel unsafe. Some of the features are:
— Emergency Options: Call 911 or ESU Police.
— Safety Map: Local incident info and safe locations.
— GoSafe: Provides virtual or physical safety escorts.
— Report Tips: Provide non-emergency tips to ESU’s police department.

The app is free, and it is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

“The overall goal is the safety of our students, and that’s paramount,” said Chief Parrish.

For anyone who would like to see the report for themselves, the Clery Report is available on the East Stroudsburg University Police Department website.

Email Sean at:
smickalitis@live.esu.edu

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