The recently released “Annual Security & Fire Safety Report” revealed very low crime rates for the college overall.
The report includes statistics of crimes that occurred within the patrol jurisdiction of campus police which may extend to any areas off-campus.
ANGEL ARELLANO/ TEJANO TRIBUNE
To sign up for the Tejano Emergency Alert system, visit www.epcc.edu/Alert/Pages/default.aspx and sign into MyEPCC.com or download the app.
The report showed that Valle Verde and Rio Grande have the most reported criminal offenses.
Chief of Police Jose L. Ramirez, believes that the reason is because these are also the two most populated campuses, “The Valle Verde Campus had approximately 19,000 students, therefore, it is likely that more offenses will be reported on these campuses.”
The report also showed that Mission Del Paso, Transmountain and Northwest are the safest campuses with barely any offenses reported since 2014.
Again, Ramirez said the crime rate was due to the population, “Mission Del Paso, Transmountain, and the Northwest campus are our least populated campuses with the least amount of students, staff, and faculty.
This may be one reason for the low crime rate. Other reasons may be that crime is simply not reported.”
Some students notice that EPCC is generally safe but because of chance. “I feel safe, especially in the mornings,” Brenda Gaytan said.
“The campus police do basic things like check if students are parking wrong, but as far as safety, I don’t think they are doing much.
They are always in their car, it’s not like they’re walking around and checking.
I think they should walk around during the evening classes so the students can feel safe.”Michelle Maldonado would say otherwise, “I feel pretty safe. I see them walking around mostly outside in the parking lot.”
Miranda Lugo also believes the EPCC Police Department has been doing an effective job at keeping her safe, “I think they’re doing their job because I never really see anything happening, so I think they’re doing their job right.”
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Code of Federal Regulations require every institution of higher education that receives federal funds to produce an annual report of their crime statistics and policies relating to safety and security.
Crimes that occur adjacent or directly across any campus are included in the report.
The report must include figures for the past three years. Any institution that does not adhere to these statutes can face $35,000 fines.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) mandates every institution of higher education to report crimes that fall under the categories of stalking, dating violence, sexual assault and domestic violence.
The law was reauthorized in 2013 and so far EPCC has seen offenses in the single digits.
The figures for 2016 compared to the figures in 2014 showed a very noticeable increase in criminal offenses reported.
“The increase in offenses may be attributable to changes in the Clery Act that requires the disclosure of statistics not only on campus but off campus and because the Violence Against Women Act expanded reportable offenses based on their definitions,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez emphasizes that there are several resources available for the community to stay safe and aware, “The EPCC Police Department’s primary mission is to provide a safe learning environment for students, staff and faculty as our priority.
We would like to remind our community to register for the Tejano Emergency Alert Notification System, attend a CRASE Training and for students to be empowered by completing Tejano training addressing sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, stalking and domestic violence.
”To view the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report visit www.epcc.edu/Police/Pages/default.aspx on the bottom of the left-hand sidebar.