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Crime incidents stay level in 2013
March 24, 2014Tweet
Crime statistics remained stable in 2013 despite a growing campus, University Chief of Police Timothy Faughnan told the University Council at its March 21 meeting.
“As enrollment grows and the size of the campus grows, the numbers have been level,” Faughnan said. “That is a success. There was nothing in this year’s report that jumped off the page and made me say: ‘How am I going to explain that?’”
Faughnan delivered the “Annual Campus Safety Report” to council members. David Hubeny, director of emergency management, and Devin Howell, chief/executive director of Harpur’s Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service, also spoke.
Total reported crime incidents rose from 1,153 in 2012 to 1,174 in 2013, Faughnan said, but nearly all most commonly reported crimes and serious offenses decreased over the past year. For example, criminal mischief fell from 99 in 2012 to 88 last year, while harassment declined from 86 in 2012 to 79 in 2013.
Decreases in serious offenses included a 20-6 drop in burglary and a 28-26 decline in grand larceny.
Overall, 154 people were arrested on 181 charges in 2013, Faughnan said. More than 500 on-campus cases were referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
“Off-campus police don’t have this luxury,” Faughnan said. “They are faced with the option of arrest or not to arrest. We have the option of bringing students back into the fold and giving them a second chance. We don’t always have to resort to arrests.”
Faughnan credited much of the successful crime statistics to the University Police Community Response Team (CRT). Formed in 2012, the team focuses on student and community relations. CRT officers work from 7 p.m.-3 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“They are in the residence halls, University Union and the MarketPlace,” Faughnan said. “They are everywhere meeting with students and resident directors. It is a program that has become so successful that officers (request) CRT duty.
“This, in my opinion, is what policing is about. We are not reacting; we are pro-active. We are engaging the community.”
Other University Police accomplishments in 2013 included:
• On-campus Leadership Development Academy participation.
• Expanded department internship program
• Move-in day managed through Incident Management Team
• Department-wide Cultural Competency Training
Faughnan also discussed the role of University Police in President Obama’s visit to Binghamton University in August 2013. The University Police not only served as the lead agency for the visit, but received letters of praise from the United States Secret Service.
“The hospitality extended to the U.S. Secret Service was exceptional and the professionalism and diligence displayed by the University Police was excellent,” wrote Timothy Kirk, resident agent in charge, U.S. Secret Service.
“As you can imagine, this was a massive event for the police,” said Faughnan, who added that the presidential visit occurred as Moving-in Day was taking place. “It was an unbelievable experience. These are the kind of (events) that make Binghamton University premier.”
Faughnan emphasized the department’s ongoing collaborations with on- and off-campus groups such as Harpur’s Ferry, Vestal Fire Department, Binghamton Police Department and various student organizations. These collaborations have paved the way for many of the University Police’s accomplishments, Faughnan said.
“In all my years here, I’ve never seen this much activity and excitement,” he said. “The campus is bigger, better and continues to move forward. President Stenger tasks us and challenges us – and hopefully we rise to the occasion every time.”