Chicago police report more crime near Loyola than Campus Safety responds to

Christopher Hacker | The PHOENIX CPD responded to more than three times the number of crimes near campus than Campus Safety since the start of the semester.

Loyola Campus Safety reported 16 violent crimes, as defined by the FBI, on or near Loyola’s Lake Shore campus between Aug. 20 and Oct. 16, according to publicly accessible online crime logs. The Chicago Police Department (CPD), however, reported over three dozen more violent crimes in the same geographic area over the same time frame.

The violent crimes reported to Campus Safety include aggravated assault and battery, robbery, criminal sexual assault and homicide within the university’s police agency’s jurisdiction. Crime data from Oct. 16-24 available in the Campus Safety crime log wasn’t included in this analysis because CPD data was only available through Oct. 16.

CPD reported 51 violent crimes in the same area over the same time, although they didn’t necessarily involve Loyola students, according to publicly available CPD records.

Loyola Campus Safety employs private security officers and armed campus police officers who patrol the main Rogers Park campus and roughly half a mile east of North Glenwood Avenue, with West Pratt Boulevard on its northern edge and West Glenlake Avenue on its southern edge.

Of the 51 violent crimes reported by CPD, at least four were also reported by Campus Safety in its police log, which includes all incidents inside Campus Safety’s jurisdiction reported by students or staff, or reported to Campus Safety by CPD.

In an email to The PHOENIX, Campus Safety Sgt. Tim Cunningham said only crimes reported to Campus Safety appear in the log; crimes reported only to CPD aren’t automatically logged unless CPD shares them with Campus Safety.

“We are grateful to have a strong relationship with the Chicago Police Department — a relationship that benefits all of our students, faculty, staff and guests,” Cunningham said. “Specifically related to crime reporting, the CPD does provide Campus Safety with crime statistics each year … [and] throughout the year, they also inform us of incidents and investigations that they believe the University should be aware of.”

Among the list of violent crimes in the CPD reports, eight robberies were reported Aug. 31-Oct. 11 across Campus Safety’s jurisdiction — three of these robberies included the use of a gun. One sexual assault and seven aggravated assaults or batteries — instances of either threatened or actual bodily harm — including five that involved weapons, were also reported by CPD.

Under a federal law, the Clery Act, Campus Safety is required to do three key things regarding crime on or near campus: maintain a publicly available log of the crimes that occurred in its jurisdiction in the last 60 days, make timely warnings to students and staff if an incident could threaten other members of the university community and publish an annual report of all crimes committed on or adjacent to its property, according to Department of Education guidelines.

The first requirement, maintaining a publicly available crime log, means Loyola has to display all crimes reported to its department in the last 60 days, and update its online log within two business days of a crime being reported.

The second requirement directs Campus Safety to send timely email notifications about crimes that could impact other members of the university community. Campus Safety determines whether a crime represents a serious and ongoing threat, and there has been only one notification so far this year — fewer than from the same time last year.

The final requirement states that Campus Safety must publish an annual bulletin of crimes on its property. The act prohibits Loyola from including incidents near campus but not directly on university property — the robberies reported by CPD, for example — in the annual bulletin, but does require the department to include such incidents in its daily log.

This means Loyola’s Clery reports leave out most of the violent crime in the neighborhood because they only contain crimes that occurred directly on or adjacent to campus. The Phoenix has previously reported that this Clery requirement can lead to a disparity between the crimes within the annual bulletin and crimes that occur in the area surrounding Loyola’s campus.

The U.S. Department of Education recently increased fines for violating the Clery Act to $54,789 from the original amount of $25,000, established when the law was enacted in 1990. However, simply not entering crimes in the police log isn’t automatically a Clery Act violation, according to a spokesperson from the Clery Center, which offers information and training on the Clery Act.

There have been several violent crimes near Loyola since the start of the semester, The Phoenix reported. Sept. 4, shots were fired just feet from one Loyola student, but the incident wasn’t logged by Campus Safety until a month later. Sept. 3-24, a string of sexual abuse and battery incidents were reported, one of which was in Rogers Park, but not in Campus Safety’s jurisdiction. A man was shot Sept. 24 on North Sheridan Road outside of Campus Safety’s jurisdiction; a local teacher was killed Oct. 13 just outside Campus Safety’s jurisdiction on North Glenwood Avenue; and a 15-year-old boy was injured in a shooting north of campus Oct. 13.

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