Cops note decrease in crime in annual campus report

Crime rates are decreasing on campus.

A significant decrease in crimes on campus occurred from 2008 to 2009, according to the recently released 2009 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report which was made available to the public Oct. 1.

According to the report, there was a noticeable drop in burglaries with only six in 2009, compared to the 34 in 2008 and the 26 in 2007.

“The amount of burglaries was mainly attributed to having less summer camps on campus. A lot of those burglaries occurred over the summers. (The decrease results from) not having as many of them,” Police Captain Timothy Grant said.

There were no aggravated assaults or robberies on campus in 2009, which is an improvement from two aggravated assaults and one robbery last year.

No acts of arson occurred on campus, following the trend of the past three years.

Drug-related and liquor law violations evidently decreased since 2008. In 2009, there were 433 alcohol violations, although there were 512 in 2008 and 590 in 2007.

The category of Liquor Law Violations encompasses those who are caught drinking underage by residential staff and those who are charged criminally for misconduct by police.

Because of New Jersey’s new Lifeline Legislation, if someone who has been drinking calls 911 for a friend who is in need of medical attention after alcohol consumption, the person who calls the police will not be charged criminally.

When asked about the decrease in alcohol violations, Grant said, “Students can be given credit for that. We enforce it the same way. Also, credit to the (Alcohol and Drug Education Program) and Joe Hadge.”

Although areas such as alcohol-related violations lessened in quantity, there was one reported sexual offense last year, there were none in 2008 and three reported in 2007.

There was only one Motor Vehicle Theft, compared to 14 in 2008. This can be attributed to speculation about a supposed car theft ring operating out of the campus. After suspects were arrested elsewhere, the thefts stopped on campus, Grant said.

There were three interior fires reported. The fires occurred within Eickhoff Hall, Townhouses East and Townhouses West. Townhouses West topped the list of unplanned fire alarms with 11.

The fires in the townhouses resulted in a total of $1,800 worth of structural damage.

“For the future, there is a camera proposal, but it will probably take over a year before stages of that take place. There are 63 cameras on campus (currently), mostly in the newer buildings. (Adding cameras) was put into the planning of those buildings,” Grant said.

While cameras were integrated into the construction of the new Art and Interactive Multimedia Building, Hausdoerffer Hall and Phelps Hall, there are still no cameras in the parking garages, which Grant says is “the number one recommended action for the overall camera plan.”

The full report is available at tcnj.edu/~tcnjpd/documents/security_report09.pdf or can be found through the Campus Police website.