COCC changes the way crimes will be counted

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Tobey Veenstra
The Broadside

Central Oregon Community College may see a dramatic change in its crime reports, come next school year.

The college will be federally required to expand its categories of crimes in its annual crime statistics report, according to Robert McDilda, COCC’s Safety and Security Supervisor.
Changes to the report include an expansion of the hate crimes category and the additions of simple assault, intimidation, vandalism, and larceny-theft categories.

The current statistics don’t accurately reflect levels of theft at the college, said McDilda, explaining that incidents of theft would only show up if they involved someone entering or remaining somewhere unlawfully.

“Currently there’s burglary … which is defined as entering unlawfully,” said McDilda. “We aren’t required to show the theft, just burglary … The new requirement will have us break that up.”
Last school year there were 12 reported incidents of burglary at COCC, twice as many incidents as the year before, according to the 2007 and 2008 campus crime reports.
McDilda sees the new requirement improving transparency and helping to communicate risks and hazards at the college.

“I see it painting a better picture as far as ‘doorway crimes’ are concerned,” said McDilda.
Doorway crimes are defined by McDilda as small crimes that may not have many consequences on their own, but lead to bigger crimes.

“Right now you get the gist of it (crime on campus),” said McDilda, “but you don’t really get a good picture of what’s going on.”
Previous changes to COCC’s crime reports include the addition of a new Maxient Software, a leading student conduct software for colleges.

“We purchased it last summer,” said Gordon Price, COCC’s director of student life. “It’s been a great tracking tool in helping us keep [the crime reports] organized.”
Price manages the hearings for all of COCC’s misconduct cases.

The crime reports are published in a pamphlet on behalf of COCC in support of the Federal Campus Crime Reporting Act of 1999, according to the COCC website.

Next school year, however, the reported information about safety and security issues will be “too big just to have a pamphlet on,” says McDilda. “It will probably be more like a booklet.”
As for the level of reported crimes, “the numbers may look a little different,” said Price. “But that could be because of the increase in enrollment.”

You may contact Tobey Veenstra at tveenstra@cocc.edu

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