TEMPE, AZ – Most public universities are required to follow the Clery Act — which states a university must post accurate crime statistics.
The federal law requires universities to ask neighboring police agencies for Clery crime statistics in three separate areas: on-campus, public property (as in streets, sidewalks and parking lots near campus) and non-campus areas.
Attorney Judd Nemiro says, “Non-campus places would be things that are owned and operated by ASU, but not specifically on campus, so things like student run organizations.”
Crimes handled by Arizona State University Police get reported immediately, but the ones that occur near campus don’t always get added because they fall into a grey area.
For example, back in 2010, ASU student Kyleigh Sousa was brutally killed directly across from campus.
The 21-year-old was robbed and then dragged behind a car. However, the robbery started in a private parking lot. Under the Clery Act, it doesn’t have to be included in ASU’s crime report.
ASU’s Annual Fire and Safety handbook says various police departments are “unable to provide a statistical breakdown appropriate for the Clery Act.”
ASU Official Julie Newberg says that clause doesn’t mean the police departments don’t provide the university with information.
“Letters are sent to each of the agencies every year and many of them do respond with the statistics that they can filter out,” said Newberg.
Newberg says it’s because how data is reported differs.
“Cities report data by FBI standards, which is not the same as universities that are asked to report crime data according to the Clery Act,” said Newberg. “Definitions of crimes also differ according to the difference in federal reporting law. That is why the statistical breakdown of city crime data is not appropriate for the Clery Act report.
Newberg says police departments do send them information and ASU filters out what statistics work under the Clery guidelines.
ASU says they provide a third party link to a website to get local statistics for “extra measure since the definitions of what each captures is different,” said Newberg.
Violating the Clery Act could result in losing some federal funding.
We’re happy the local media has decided to probe further into issues surrounding ASU’s Title IX and Clery Act reporting; hopefully this will be the first of many stories the local media does on these issues.
In the video on the abc15.com site, you can see excerpts from emails sent on behalf of Tempe Chief Ryff to ASU Chief Pickens, in which Ryff expressed concern over ASU stating they were not able to appropriately report some crime statistics. It is very concerning when another agency’s Chief has more regard for providing accurate crime statistics than our own Chief does.
Finally, Commander Hardina: you are very much aware of the department’s assertion that it was unable to provide a breakdown in crime statistic information; in addition to the fact that Pickens was discussing this issue with Chief Ryff, we have mentioned this assertion several times on The Integrity Report (and we know you are an avid reader, sir).
In the interiem, standby folks…this article could be the start of something bigger