Concern for public safety at college rises


 By George Verity

SELDEN- According to the Campus and Security Data Analysis Tool maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, 27 criminal offenses have been reported on the Ammerman campus at Suffolk County Community College from 2007 to 2009.

Of those 27 criminal offenses reported, 20 were burglary offenses, one was a motor-vehicle theft, three were aggravated assault offenses, one was a robbery offense, and two were sex offenses. In addition to the criminal conduct reported on campus, 24 arrests and three disciplinary actions occurred. Twenty-three of the arrests were in regards towards a drug abuse violation and the other arrest was made due to a liquor law violation.

With exception of aggravated assault offenses, all criminal statistics on the Ammerman campus have progressively decreased. Consequently, indicating that SCCC’s student body can rest assured that the Public and Fire Safety is effectively doing their job, but that may be not the case.

Director of Public and Fire Safety Baycan Fideli, in a recent college brief, noted that “Suffolk County Community College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for the entire college community. Our ability to respond efficiently and effectively to emergency situations is paramount to us all.”

However on Feb. 9, 2011, a safety notice was sent out to all campus students via e-mail that three separate vehicle larcenies occurred across all three Suffolk Campuses; all reported between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Feb. 7. Indicative to the aforementioned claim, the notice of these incidents was sent out by the Office of Public and Fire Safety two days later. This delay in response towards the recent criminal conduct on campus and the lack of information available regarding 2010 crime statistics have students concerned.

“The incident kind of makes sense,” said 19-year-old Anthony Eilers. “The only time I see public safety is when they’re writing parking tickets on campus. I rarely see them outside of that, and I never see public safety walking around campus grounds outside their cars.”

Thus, debating the real question of whether or not all criminal behavior is being properly reported in a timely fashion at SCCC.

To put pressure on this concerning issue, enrollment at SCCC has exponentially increased in recent years as a direct result of the dwindling economy. Particularly, the Ammerman Campus has surpassed an enrollment number of well over 13,000 students. Increase in student enrollment and a decrease in reported crimes, raises the question whether or not the Office of Public Safety is accurately reporting offenses on campus.

With more students situated on campus seven days a week, 15 hours a day, there is more opportunity for criminal activity to take place than ever but fewer statistics are being reported and relayed to its student body and faculty.

The failure to give accurate and up-to-date information regarding criminal statistics on the Ammerman campus at SCCC by the Office of Public and Fire Safety has put a great deal of stress on enrolled students. In the near future only time will tell what will happen next on campus, as public safety covers its own tracks through its reported statistics.

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