Published: Mon Jun 21, 2004According to the recently released 14th annual Crime on Campus Report, Tennessee Tech University’s crime statistics remained relatively stable over a year’s time despite an increased campus population.
The report, compiled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation based on data from all Tennessee colleges and universities, profiles crime for the 2002-2003 school year. The latest statistics are based on a fall semester campus population, which includes 10,048 faculty, staff, students and university police, up from 9,731 for the previous year.
According to Tennessee Tech University police, the only significant increases from the previous year’s report were in the categories of burglary, liquor law violations and disorderly conduct. Reported burglaries jumped from seven to 38, liquor law violations went from five to 17, and disorderly conduct reports rose from 12 to 28.
“Most of the burglaries committed were a result of people carelessly leaving their offices unlocked or personal belongings unattended and other people taking advantage of that,” said Tennessee Tech University Police Chief Gay Shepherd.
“We can bring this number down by educating the campus community about securing campus and personal property,” Shepherd said. “Everyone has a role to play in keeping crime down.”
Shepherd said the increase in the other two categories reflects the department’s work to gain a tighter control over less violent offenses before they turn in to more serious offenses.
“An increase in liquor law violations reflects our efforts to police that activity more closely,” said Shepherd. “When people have too much to drink, they are more likely to commit other types of crimes. Enforcing liquor laws helps us reduce other types of crime.”
Shepherd says often violent crimes, including sexual and assault offenses, are committed by perpetrators fueled by too much alcohol. Tennessee Tech reported a decrease in aggravated assault cases during the past year. That number fell from 36 to 18.
No criminal homicides, including murder, or robberies were reported for the year. One rape was reported but was not prosecuted.
Tennessee Tech’s reported numbers did not reflect the trend in violent crime found across the state. Due in large part to the decrease in aggravated assaults, Tennessee Tech’s violent crimes were down almost 50 percent. The report shows violent crime on college campuses across Tennessee was up by 22 percent over the previous year.
TTU’s University Police maintain annual crime statistics and comparative crime rates for three years on the university’s web site. More crime rate information may be found at www.tntech.edu/police/crimestats.html.