GSUPD issues annual report for 2012-2013

Grambling State University has released the annual campus security and fire report for 2013. 

In the GSUPD’s annual report for 2013, there were 15 more aggravated assault cases, three more drug violations and one less weapons violation reported between 2011 to 2012. 

Chief Willie Bell said this might have to do with more police patrolling and walking the campus. They are encouraging the officers to get out their squad cars and walk residential halls and high-populated areas. By doing so, they are more inclined to find reportable crimes. 

“We have beefed up our police numbers,” said Cato. “Officers’ presence will reduce some crime.”

GSUPD is required to publish this information every year because of The Clery Act. 

The Clery Act, originally named as the Campus Security Act, is a federal law that mandates colleges and university in the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. 

“The Jeanne Clery Act began with a young lady that was raped and killed in (her) dormitory,” said GSUPD Cpl. Patricia Cato. 

Clery was a 19-year-old freshman who attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Her campus failed to reveal a number of crimes on campus, so students did not realize a higher level of caution was needed. 

As a result of their daughter’s death, Clery’s parents fought for laws to be passed in her honor that required colleges and universities to publish annual security reports, provide a public crime log and disclose statistics for crimes that occur on campus and areas around the campus.  

Cato said she would be shocked if the crime numbers increased over the next years. She believes students are less inclined to partake in crimes when police are visible. 

One update from the Clery Act is how officers can respond to “dating violence.” 

In the past, when dealing with dating violence, it was at the discretion of the abused to press charges. But now, the university police have the discretion to make an arrest.  

“This puts the power into the police hands,” said Bell. “If they see physical injury, we no lower have to ask students to press charges.” 

Bell is a higher education security consultant sent to Grambling by Leon Sanders, the vice president of Finance and Administration. Bell arrived in Grambling in April and his job is to help with recruitment and employment for GSUPD and lead them into the better direction. GSUPD fired five of its police officers in February, not including Police Chief Michael Storr

According to the report, arson, murder, neglect manslaughter, forcible sexual offense and non-forcible sexual offenses are all not either highly reported or non-factors on Grambling’s campus. 

In 2012, there were zero robberies but 36 reported burglary cases. 

“The difference is in a burglary they have to go into your place of resident and take something that doesn’t belong to them,” said Cato. “It has to be something of value.” 

Cato is the Crime Prevention Officer, a new position for the department. Her “job is to educate students” on the hazards of binge and under-age drinking, smoking marijuana, domestic violence and other problems that impact college students. Campus organizations to use Cato as a mentor and resource for information dealing with crime prevention. 

“I am more than willing to assist in anyway possible to educate students,” said Cato.

She can be reached at 318- 274-6541.