Department of Public Safety Publishes Campus Safety Guide and Annual Crime/Fire Safety Report

Department of Public Safety Publishes Campus Safety Guide and Annual Crime/Fire Safety Report

On September 23, the Department of Public Safety sent a notice of availability of the 2022 University of Redlands Campus Safety Guide and Annual Crime/Fire Safety Report, accessible online with hard copies available at the Department of Public Safety located in the Willis Center. 

Published every three years, this year’s report includes statistics from 2019 to 2021. It covers reported crimes that occurred on University of Redlands campuses; on off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the university; and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. 

The report is published in compliance with the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The act amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 and requires the disclosure of the post-secondary institution’s current security policies in addition to crime statistics for the three most recent years. 

On campus, crimes are enforced by the Public Safety Officers of the University of Redlands in conjunction with the Redlands Police Department. Students and other community members are encouraged to report crimes to the Department of Public Safety where one has occurred. They may also file a report with the Redlands Police Department, which enhances the capability of locating the suspect. 

While Public Safety Officers are non-sworn personnel, they have the authority to arrest individuals while on duty and acting in an official capacity. All Public Safety Officers have completed, at a minimum, a state-approved basic law enforcement academy, and are licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. 

Last year, 24 crimes were reported. Every crime except one occurred on campus, with 14 of those reported in residence communities, and the one being on public property. The most commonly reported crimes were hate crimes, at seven. In fact, every type of crime decreased in the three years covered by the report with one exception: hate crimes. After none were reported in 2019 and 2020, seven hate crimes were reported on campus in 2021. Six of the seven incidents were reported by one complainant reporting multiple occurrences over a 45-day period. 

There were five hate crimes of vandalism, based on religious affiliation, which occurred in a residential facility in 2021. There was one hate crime of larceny based on religious affiliation that also occurred in a residential facility last year. On campus, there was one hate crime of intimidation, based on perceived sexual orientation. 

Nationally, hate crimes have been on the rise in recent years. According to statistics from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, many of the most populous cities across the country experienced an uptick in hate crimes last year. The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” 

The study by CSUSB examined hate crimes in 16 of the biggest cities in the country. Those 16 cities experienced a cumulative 44% increase in reported hate crimes. Notably, Los Angeles reported the highest amount of hate crimes of any U.S. city in the 21st century. 

The University of Redlands community also appears to reflect the national trend in college crime, which has been decreasing over the past three years. Forcible sex offenses constituted 43 percent of all criminal incidents on college campuses in 2019, while burglaries accounted for 33 percent of crimes. 

Of the nine total burglaries reported on the Redlands campus in the last three years, seven were reported in 2019, while only one occurred in 2020 and 2021 each. Sex crimes also declined. Rape incidents fell from six in 2019 to one in 2021, while there were nine fondling cases reported in 2019 but only three in 2021. The Salzburg, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, and Burbank campuses have perfect records, with no crimes, arrests, or disciplinary referrals in the last three years. 

Of course, the decline may partially be due to the pandemic. The number of crimes in every category significantly declined from 2019 to 2020. For example, there were six rapes reported in 2019, but none in 2020. The vast majority of students were only on campus until mid-March in 2020, as the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester and the entire Fall 2020 semester were held online. The comparatively low crime numbers in 2021 are perhaps attributable to the Spring 2021 semester being held online as well, with students fully returning to campus in the Fall. 

However, it is noteworthy that college crime had been steadily decreasing in the decade preceding this report. Since 2009, on-campus crimes have decreased by 20 percent (from 34,100 to 27,300) according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Perhaps the recent decrease in nationwide college crime and crime on the University of Redlands campus is merely a continuation of the trend of the past decade. 

If you need to contact the Department of Public Safety, you may do so at (909) 748-8888, or on-campus extension 8888, or email at: public_safety@redlands.edu. 

Photo contributed by Photo Editor Kyle Eaton.