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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Annual Clery study reports crime, fire statistics

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A TUPD patrol car is pictured near the Medford/Somerville campus on Oct. 16, 2022.

The Tufts University Department of Public Safety published its Annual Fire Safety and Security Report for the 2021 calendar year, pursuant to the Clery Act of 1990. The report was distributed to the Tufts community via email on Sept. 30. Crimes included in the report cover everything from sex offenses and aggravated assault to liquor and drug arrests to hate crimes. 

The Medford/Somerville campus reported seven burglaries, five rape offenses, five stalking offenses, three motor vehicle thefts and two instances of dating violence. The SMFA campus reported one rape, the Grafton campus reported one hate crimes-intimidation offense and the Health Sciences campus had four burglaries.   

“The Clery Report … is a Federal mandate by the Department of Education that requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disclose certain crime statistics and fire statistics each year by October 1st,” Yolanda Smith, executive director of public safety, wrote in an email to the Daily.

The reported information is compiled from Tufts police reports and from other organizations on campus that keep track of crimes and fires, including the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Tufts Campus Security Authorities.

Tufts Emergency Medical Services does not report these crimes, according to Rebecca Moriarty. Moriarty, a TEMS EMT,stated that TEMS only works in treating patients.

“As far as TEMS involvement in the Clery Report, I don’t [believe] we have a specific or direct role in reporting as our training for TEMS is focused on providing patient care to patients in emergency situations - not reporting crime,” Moriarty, a sophomore, wrote in an email to the Daily.  

The report includes data on crimes reported on campus property and on public property that is adjacent to campus. As long as the crime is reportable under the Clery Act, it must be declared in the Tufts report.

“The crime statistics include any Clery reportable crime regardless of who the perpetrator is,” Smith wrote. “Tufts must report to a national database overseen by the U.S. Dept. of Education. The DOE’s Campus Safety and Security website allows users to get data for one school, compare data for multiple schools, and download custom data.” 

The Working Group on Campus Safety and Policing issued a report with recommendations to establish “a new vision for campus safety and policing at the university” in 2021, according to Smith. 

 “This vision called for a renewed and broader understanding of campus safety that encompassed the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of our entire community,” Smith wrote.

This working group came up with several recommendations, including increasing the visibility of the Department of Public Safety. They also recommended increasing training and orientations for new employees, including active shooter training, and increasing the use of digital technology to respond to and solve crime.

The pandemic influenced the numbers in the Fire Safety and Security Report too.

“Some factors that influenced a change in numbers were the COVID protocols placed within the communities,” Smith wrote. “As a result, people were more apt to call to report COVID violations such as large gatherings. These types of calls might have increased the statistics for alcohol referrals.”

Mike Howard, executive vice president of Tufts and chair of the Working Group on TUPD Arming, views the Fire Safety and Security Report as a useful resource for Tufts as it strives to keep the community safe.

“This annual report is a useful tool that provides our community with information about safety on and around our campuses as well as information about related university programs, policies and resources that are available to community members,” Howard wrote in an email to the Daily. “Public safety is a responsibility we all share, so the report helps to equip our community members with relevant information.”