A lot of big colleges have their own police departments. They are staffed with sworn officers who have the ability to investigate everything from burglaries to murder, TIME reports. Depending on the type of transgression and how it gets reported, some alleged crimes are dealt with in on-campus proceedings and some are passed on to local prosecutors. One of the most troubling aspects of the Penn State scandal is that school officials who were notified that a young boy was allegedly raped in a campus shower in 2002 did not report the incident to local authorities. Their inaction begs the question that even though there are laws in place that stipulate the proper protocol to follow upon hearing reports of sexual abuse, assault and harassment on campus, What’s to stop officials at large-scale institutions—many of which operate full-fledged police departments—from sweeping such unpleasantness under the rug?…Read More
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Ohio State to rethink its emergency-alert system
When violent crimes are reported on campus, police are required by federal law to notify the public. But officers from the Ohio State University Police are worried that few people are getting the message, reports the campus newspaper, The Lantern. For the last four years, the Department of Public Safety at OSU has used an “opt-in” system in which crime alerts are sent only to those who have subscribed to receive the alerts via eMail. But on a campus with more than 50,000 students, only 2,633 people receive these eMail messages. “I would expect more people to be registered users,” said OSU Police Chief Paul Denton. In the wake of three crime alerts reported in the last week, Denton has received numerous calls from people asking why the alerts aren’t sent to everyone at the university. The answer, Denton said, is that the opt-in system is simply what people wanted when the crime notification system was created. That preference might have changed, though, and the system may change as well. The university’s Emergency Notification Committee will meet with vendors of mass-communication systems later this week to look into new technology and reconsider whether the opt-in system is still appropriate. The committee will make a decision after further meetings with vendors next week……Read More