The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
Safety and Security discloses many, but not all incidents
By KARA SPOELSTRA, Staff Reporter
Published: November 14, 2012
Last month, residents of Sixth West Ashton had an encounter with an unwelcome visitor to their floor.
The visitor followed a student into the hall and then made his way up to the bathroom, according to a report from the Office of Safety and Security.
“He had a blonde mohawk, piercings, tattoos,” said sophomore Kajana Movery.
Movery, a resident of Sixth West, was on the floor when Safety and Security responded.
“Every 15 to 20 minutes, a Safety and Security guy would walk into the bathroom, hang in there for about 10 minutes and come back out,” Movery said.
The Seattle Police Department was notified, officers arrived and after a few hours, the man was escorted out of the building.
This incident, however, was not publicly listed in the Office of Safety and Security’s crime log because the visitor did not commit any crimes.
The Office of Safety and Security is required to report every incident they respond to in a public crime log available in their office. However, for various reasons, some incidents don’t make it into the log.
The crime log contains the date of the incident, the type of crime and a summary of the incident.
The log also includes Safety and Security’s response to the incident. It often has reports of missing or suspected stolen items, vandalism and fire alarm notifications.
According to the SPU Office of Safety and Security webpage, the crime log is required by the Clery Act, which is part of the Higher Education Act.
The Higher Education Act says that colleges and universities must “maintain a daily log, written in a form that can be easily understood, recording all crimes reported to such police or security department, including the nature, date, time, general location of each crime and the disposition of the complaint, if known.”
The crime log is maintained by Associate Director of Safety and Security Vic Peirsol.
“We go beyond what the Clery Act requires,” Peirsol said. “The Clery Act requires a series of crimes.”
“What we do with the crime log is add to it what we think the campus needs to know about. That would be car prowls, ordinary thefts, trespassers,” Peirsol said.
Some crimes aren’t recorded because they are a part of an ongoing case.
“If that information would hinder the investigation that we are doing, then we are not required to put it in the crime log,” Peirsol said. “We are required at some point, after it’s been resolved, to put it in the crime log.”
In addition, some incidents are not classified as crimes, and therefore, are not entered into the crime log.
Safety and Security officers will report to every call they recieve, and address the issue.
“We will come,” Peirsol said. “But if we resolve it, and we don’t take any legal action against the person, then that wouldn’t show up.”
This was the case with the Ashton intruder.
According to an email from Safety and Security, the “individual that entered Ashton didn’t commit a crime,” and therefore, wasn’t entered into the crime log.
“We did not take any legal action. We admonished him. We gave him a warning,” Peirsol said. “If he comes back, that would show up on the crime log as a crime because he violated the admonishment.”
According to the email, Seattle police officers warned the man that if he were to return to SPU property, he would be subject to arrest.