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University Police make annual report to Council
March 19, 2012Tweet
New York State University Police at Binghamton responded to nearly 45,000 calls last year, Chief Timothy Faughnan told the Binghamton University Council on March 16. “We’re a busy place,” he said.
Overall, Faughnan said reports are up, though not significantly. “We’re still down from 10 years ago,” he said, and factors for the increase include sheltering 2,000 people in the Events Center and West Gym during the September flood. “That generated additional reports,” he said, “but more significantly, we’re focusing on drawing the community in for shared response. We’ve been asking people to report what they see. Sometimes you get what you ask for and we’re getting good response.
“We’re not seeing an increase in crime on campus, we’re seeing an increase in reporting,” he said.
Collaboration with other departments is also a priority, Faughnan added. “We arrested 244 people on 347 charges in 2011, but referred nearly 600 on-campus cases to the Office of Student Conduct,” he said. “Some were also referred to the ombudsman for mediation. Continuous collaboration is the theme for the day. We’re reaching out. Help us help you.”
Criminal mischief, petit larceny, harassment and disorderly conduct incidents were the most commonly reported, Faughnan said, and serious offenses other than burglary and rape were down from the prior year. Faughnan again noted that reports were up because people are being encouraged to report, and can even do so anonymously via the Web at http://www2.binghamton.edu/police/emergency.html. “Let’s report these things so we can investigate,” he said. “We’re removing barriers to reporting and that allows us to provide services.”
Faughnan also called 2011 a year of change, referring in particular to the campus response to the flood last September. “For the second time in five years, the Events Center was an evacuation shelter, and we learned from our experiences,” he said. He commended the Decker School of Nursing – “it was astounding how the Decker School jumped in to help without being asked” − and called the shelter experience “a full two-week adventure.” Nearly 2,000 students and 100 faculty and staff stepped up to volunteer, and employees worked more than 20,000 hours to provide services to evacuees.
“One reason we were so successful at this, is the planning we’ve been doing for years,” Faughnan said. “Our Incident Management Team assembled prior to getting the call to be a shelter, and we had support from the top to the bottom of this campus to do what we had to do.”
As far as emergency management, Binghamton was the SUNY first campus to be compliant with the mandated National Incident Management System (NIMS), Faughnan said, “and the first SUNY campus to have a full-time emergency manager (David Hubeny). Binghamton leads the way when it comes to emergency management.
“We get it on this campus, and that’s why we’re so successful.”
Honors continue to come to the campus for its sheltering response, Faughnan said. Harpur’s Ferry, the student-run volunteer ambulance squad, was recently recognized as the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Agency of the Year for a second time (last time was 2005), in part due to its role with the shelter.
In addition, the Broome County Legislature declared March 15, 2012, as “Binghamton University Appreciation Day” due to its role supporting residents during the flood.
Faughnan also updated the Council on the University’s emergency communication vehicles, its continuing initiatives including safety measures and the assessment program for workplace violence prevention, new initiatives including solar-powered meter pay stations and collaboration with Watson School students on engineering projects, and its community outreach activities.
Finally, referring to the successful use of an automatic external defibrillator two weeks ago, Faughnan said, “We save lives.”
Also at the Council meeting – President Harvey Stenger’s first – he updated the Council on NYSUNY 2020. “The process is moving along,” Stenger said. “Our proposal and presentation has been approved by the governor’s aide and we’re hoping to schedule our presentation to the governor as quickly as we can.
“We’re also hiring faculty at a very strong pace, with 37 searches going quite well with great candidates,” he added. Stenger said the hiring will help Binghamton lower its faculty student ratio, even as the campus expects to enroll an additional 500 students in the fall.
Stenger also laid out the timeline for the provost search. “We’ll work to conclude the search by the end of the semester and have someone in place for the fall semester.”