ASUPD misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part One)

We have very briefly scratched the surface of issues (in previous posts here and here) regarding ASU’s compliance with the Clery Act. We’ve looked at specific cases where ASUPD allegedly violated the Clery Act, and now we’re shifting our focus from the micro to the macro level. Instead of looking on a case by case level, we are going to illustrate how ASUPD’s crime data collection/analysis are systemically flawed, which leads to a misrepresentation of its crime statistics (and also a misrepresentation of the safety of ASU’s campus).

Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of the discussion, it is important to know WHAT the Clery Act is and WHY it is so important for college/universities to follow.

We will break down this post into several sections: one, discussing Clery’s requirements; and two, how ASUPD isn’t following Clery’s requirements.

What is the Clery Act?

The Clery Act is a federal statute requiring colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information[1].

The law is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986. The backlash against unreported crimes on numerous campuses across the country led to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.[2][3]

Why is the Clery Act so important?

Colleges and universities who receive federal financial aid programs must comply with the Clery Act. Failure to do so may result in a civil penalty from the United States Department of Education of up to $27,500 per violation, or may suspend them from participating in federal student financial aid programs.[4]

What are the requirements for colleges and universities under the Clery Act[5]?

  • Publish an annual security report by October 1st.
  • Have a public crime log accessible to the public.
  • Disclose crime statistics for incidents that occur on campus, in unobstructed public areas immediately adjacent to or running through the campus and at certain non-campus facilities (remote classrooms) in seven major areas, including:
    • Criminal homicide
      • Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter
      • Negligent manslaughter
  • Sex offenses
    • Forcible
    • Non-forcible
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Burglary, where:
    • There is evidence of unlawful entry (trespass), which may be either forcible or not involve force.
    • Unlawful entry must be of a structure – having four walls, a roof, and a door.
    • There is evidence that the entry was made in order to commit a felony or theft.
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Arson
  •  Schools are also required to report statistics for the following categories of arrests or referrals for campus disciplinary action (if an arrest was not made):
    • Liquor Law Violations
    • Drug Law Violations
    • Illegal Weapons Possession
  • Hate crimes must be reported by category of prejudice, including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. Stats are required for four additional crime categories (theft, assault, intimidation, destruction of property.
  •  Issue timely warnings about Clery Act crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees
  •  Devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy.
  •  Compile and report fire data to the federal government and publish an annual fire safety report
  •  Enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students.

*The “On-campus” requirement would include ASU’s Tempe, West, Poly, Downtown, AND Lake Havasu City campuses!*

 So the Clery Act also requires colleges/universities to disclose crimes that may not have occurred directly on campus?

Yes; the Clery Act requires colleges/universities to include crimes in their statistics that have occurred on non-campus property, and public property.

 Stay tuned for Part Two of this post, where we will dissect the parts of the Clery Act requirements that ASU is failing to do, and thus misrepresenting its crime statistics.

Thanks to our friends at Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault who are taking the initiative to file a complaint with the Department of Education against Arizona State University for their failure to comply with the Clery Act and also Title IX. Check out their site here.


[1] http://studentaid.ed.gov/about/data-center/school/clery-act

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clery_Act

[3] http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20116872,00.html

[4] http://police.vanderbilt.edu/crime-info/clery-act-frequently-asked-questions/

[5] http://clerycenter.org/summary-jeanne-clery-act

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18 thoughts on “ASUPD misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part One)

  1. WheresMy907 says:

    It’s been going on for some time. A sexual assault call changed to assault. A strong armed robbery changed to an assault. There were proposals to change how mip’s, mic’s, were reported to minimize stats. More often than not you will find assistant chief Hardina involved in these calls where how they are reported gets changed.

    Not to single him out but morality among our command staff is a low bar to cross. He gets his direction from the chief who will probably claim he knew nothing about it. Every other college in the country can comply with Clery, so why aren’t we? The same reason the Patriots were covertly taping their opposition, to get ahead without the integrity, without honor.

    • Justanotherdispensible50 says:

      That’s Hardina and command in general. Laws, rules, policies, let’s just interpret them however we see fit, you know whatever works for us. Hopefully nobody will call us out on it, well it’s happening!

  2. Justanotherdispensible50 says:

    Integrity may mean nothing to people running this university, but it means everything to a police department and that’s something unlearned by leadership at ASUPD. Here ethics are like oxygen, the higher up you go the less there is of it!

  3. fixmycorruptpd says:

    You can be fired from law enforcement for lieing. The public trust in a police department is built by the integrity of the officers in that department. What does it say about ASU PD so-called leadership when their own officers can’t trust them, when the public can’t trust them, and they don’t trust one another? Total bullshit.

  4. FlamingPileMallcoppery says:

    Are stats being willfully misrepresented or is command at ASUPD just that incompetent? I could believe both, but I’m leaning toward the fact they have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of integrity in policing and are cheating the system, breaking the law. Nobody here trusts them unless they have something to gain themselves.

  5. RUkiddingMe says:

    At this point nobody would be surprised. The phrase “less than truthful” comes to mind when dealing with our superiors. The second they start talking they are politicing. Why do we need a public relations firm? We have them!

    The problem here is they are more interested in petty highschool political gags than effectively operating a police department. The goal of promoting here is to get paid much more for much less work. Success?! Only in government.

  6. popo39machine says:

    I would like to see our command answering investigator questions about this in the future. What is the message to the victims of crimes when you are officially downplaying what happened to them? This isn’t just a message to victims. This is a message to the Arizona State University Community as a whole.

    The message is this: ASU leadership believes it’s image in the eyes of the public is more important than how you individuals were victimized. We are sorry you had to take one for the team, but remember we’re all in this together. Now go away quietly and lick your wounds. We have a business to run. Bad publicity is bad for business, so smile for the camera.

  7. smokey261 says:

    Command at ASUPD took the quick and easy path a long time ago. Fudge crime stats, what’s reported, how it’s reported, so it looks like they’re doing their job.

    What they didn’t count on is their own people having a problem standing by as they did unethical shit. Lying is wrong, but integrity is discouraged at ASUPD.

    I’m surprised the chief didn’t tell the ALEA (police academy) to keep the recruit that lied about being in the service and being a drill instructor. Thank god that guy resigned before the chief could save him.

  8. Supervisor Facepalm says:

    This one will bite us in the ass. I knew it was only a matter of time.

  9. DontLOLmeJP says:

    With our command staff morality is whatever they make it out to be. They do what they do because there have been no consequences for years, for those before them, for their entire careers.

    There is a conflict of interest for the university and it’s police department when pressure is made to artificially lower crime stats through misreporting or not reporting at all. Corruption isn’t on the list of values for our police department, but it should be as a warning to others.

  10. DL500unit says:

    This is an ethical free zone. Our management is so unethical as a rule nothing, nothing would surprise me. The world, the nation, looks at crime stats and decides whether or not to send their children here to go to school. Fudging the numbers to get a low reporting of crime is certainly believable for some of these wannabe politician bobbleheads.

  11. ASUPDsmokeNmirrors says:

    It sounds like some higher powers need to become involved. Criminals are supposed to be the cheats, the liars, not cops.

  12. Godhelpasupd says:

    If we had the police department we advertise we wouldn’t have to hide from the truth.

  13. yurhuckleberry says:

    This is an outstanding topic, I think Commander M. Rourke is in charge of this data collecting and it would be interesting to see her try and explain how the federally mandated Clery reports show a virtually crime free Arizona State University, but all the media coverage tends to say otherwise.

    How could this be? Let’s not look at just her, let’s look at ASUPD Assistant Chief of Police J. Hardena who is on record for changing crime charges to avoid Clery reporting standards. Again a federally mandated issue. The game is up, people in the know are upset, and this issue isn’t going away. Integrity is supposed to matter in policing and we intend to make it matter at ASUPD even if the leadership of ASU thinks otherwise.

  14. […] our last Clery post, entitled “ASUPD misrepresents its crime statistics, violates Clery Act (Part One)” , we looked at what the Clery Act is, what reporting is required  of universities who are […]

  15. […] have previously discussed the requirements ASU is must follow under the Clery Act (due to their status as a university which accepts federal financial aid), but we have yet to […]

  16. […] February 2014, we did a lengthy article explaining what the Clery Act is, the reporting requirements under the law, and how it is […]

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