By: Delaney Holman
Vol State’s Annual Safety and Security Report was released from campus police this past October. The report detailed that there were 10 crimes reported to the Gallatin campus police from 2019-2021, and no other reports of crime to the Cookeville, Livingston, or Springfield campus.
The Annual Security Report (ASR) provides information on, “The college’s policies and procedures for reporting crime, safety and security prevention and protection programs, sexual assault reporting and prevention, victim assistance services, and other material,” per the Campus Police.
The ASR is made and released in compliance with the Jeanna Clery Acy.
“The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety,” stated the Clery Center
“Campus Police Department is responsible for creating and updating the report annually,” shared Campus Police Chief Angela Lawson.
Out of the 10 crimes reported, “Only 2 crimes have occurred on the Vol State-Gallatin campus, both occurring in 2019. All other listed crimes occurred on public property which is in close proximity to our campuses but fall within local law enforcement jurisdiction(s),” said Chief Lawson
The ASR covers offences in geographic areas of:
- On campus, all four Volunteer State campuses.
- Public property within the campus, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.
- Non-campus buildings or property, “Owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution, or any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institutions educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.”
The offenses reported on the ASR to the Gallatin campus were:
- 1 report of Aggravated Assault on public property in 2021
- 1 report of Motor Vehicle Theft on public property in 2021
- 1 report of Motor Vehicle Theft on public property in 2020
- 1 report of Domestic Violence on campus in 2019
- 1 report of Domestic Violence on public property in 2021
- 1 report of Domestic Violence on public property in 2020
- 1 report of Stalking on public property in 2021
- 1 report of a Liquor Law Arrest on public property on 2019
- 1 report of a Drug Law Arrest on campus in 2019
- 1 report of a Drug Law Arrest on public property in 2019
“I believe our proactive approach to crime prevention aids in the low crime rate on all campuses,” said Chief Lawson.
“I feel relatively safe here,” shared Vol State student Mariah Morris. Although Morris also shared, she doesn’t see police often within buildings on campus.
“I see them in the parking lots a lot, mainly the parking lots, I don’t ever see them by a building,” explained Vol State sophomore Abby Hammond.
A low presence of police on campus should be taken into consideration when evaluating the low crime rate because, “Visitors, faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to report all crimes and other emergency/safety-related incidents in an accurate and prompt manner to the Vol State Campus Police Department,” explained within the ASR.
The ASR clearly depicts information to, “Report criminal activities or other emergencies in several different ways.” Yet students such as Hammond and Morris who were not aware of the ASR may not be aware of the procedures for reporting criminal activities, and that, “Campus safety and security is only truly achieved with participation from the entire community,” as stated in the ASR.
Vol State, “Encourage each of you to actively participate in your own safety by taking advantage of educational and outreach programs,” and, “One of the most important things we do to increase safety on campus is to encourage our community to stay informed,” as explained in the ASR.