Police chief clarifies annual report

November 1, 2013 Latest Print Print
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The college experienced an increase in the number of reported burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and robberies last year compared to 2011, according to this year’s security/fire safety report issued by the campus police department.

Three counts of burglaries were reported on campus last year as opposed to one count in 2011, according to the report.

Three motor vehicle thefts were reported on campus compared to one reported theft in 2011.

There was one report of robbery in 2012 compared to none in 2011.

There was one drug violation arrest on campus last year as opposed to three arrests in 2011.

Other areas reported in 2012 remained about the same as in 2011 with one count of aggravated assault, the same as reported in 2011. The campus stayed free from reports of arson, forcible sex offenses, murder or non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, and non-forcible sex offenses as it did in 2011.

The report also shows the campus had no arrests of liquor law or weapon violations in 2012.

Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said this year’s original report documented 13 reports of burglary on campus, but after more research, the number was reduced to three.

“We’ve updated our statistics,” he said. “I kind of did a self-audit … We have amended the statistics to the Department of Education and we’re about to put out the amended report on the website.”

Fitzpatrick said the number was reduced from 13 to three because some of the reports did not fit the definition of a burglary.

“Essentially, three of [the reports] involved the construction company [on campus]…

“If you section off a piece of your campus and you give it to a construction company to shelter their goods and their trailers, that’s not considered on campus property, that’s private property. So the trailers that were broken into out there — those came off.

“The others were … when you look at the strict interpretation of what burglary is, the people that were in the rooms when the stuff was missing had lawful entry into the office. It wasn’t somebody [who] did not have access to the room, so technically, they are larcenies which are not Clery crimes. That’s why those came off.”

Fitzpatrick said the three motor vehicle thefts were either attempts or successful theft of a motor vehicle out of a campus parking lot.

He said an example of burglary on campus would be stolen items from a storage closet.

“We know the equipment is there on Monday, the door is locked, and we come back on Tuesday and the equipment is gone,” he said.

Fitzpatrick said there is a significant difference between burglary and robbery.

“Broken down into simple terms, a robbery is the taking of property from another person against their will by the use of force or fear,” he said.

“Essentially, burglary involves breaking (and) entering with the intent to commit a felony or a theft inside.”

Fitzpatrick said the one report of robbery did not involve an OCCC student.

“It occurred on our Clery jurisdiction right out on May Avenue at the entrance to Keels Blvd,” he said. “Even though it didn’t involve students, we have to count it.”

Fitzpatrick said the numbers in the report do not reflect when the crime happened but instead, when it was reported. He said the annual report is sent out as a requirement from the Department of Education in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act.

“It’s a federal law that requires any institution that gets funding under Title IV to file an annual security report.”

The report holds valuable information that is important for students to be aware of, Fitzpatrick said.

“I think students should read it,” he said. “At least be familiar of what’s in it, what information is on there.

“There’s policy statements that affect them — what we’re going to do in an emergency here, how we’re going to notify them of something that’s going on, how the campus will react to any type of a certain situation that’s part of the Clery act …

“It gives them a play-by-play of what we want them to do but it also tells them what they can do.”

The report is available to the public and can be found on the college’s website by searching “security/fire safety” in the search bar.

Fitzpatrick said the Oklahoma City Police Department is involved in the college’s investigative process concerning some reported crimes on campus.

“We get the OCPD involved to be the primary investigating agency, where they can take that case and be involved with looking at it globally and throughout their jurisdiction to see if there are other cases similar to it with a similar description of the offender or what have you.”

Fitzpatrick said this is due to time sensitivity. “We don’t have a forensics section. We don’t have a lab,” he said.

“We don’t have specific units where this is what they do all day long is work with that one particular type of crime.

“If we try to take on a major case, we wouldn’t have anyone to patrol the parking lots.

“We’d be stuck in here doing nothing but investigating and following up, so we don’t have enough people to have detectives.”

For more information, call Fitzpatrick at 405-682-7891.

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