Western released the annual Clery report, a government mandated document, depicting the crimes on Missouri Western’s campus over the past three years on Monday, Sept. 28.
Institutions of higher education that receive any federal funding are required by law to submit crime statistics and basic security policies; without compliance, said institutions could face hefty penalties and potential funding withdrawn.
The report details all arrests and referrals from Western’s main campus as well as the Northland location in Kansas City, Missouri. Missouri Western Chief of Police Yvonne Meyer, like all campus officers, has worked to compile information for the safety of students, staff and faculty.
“Every police agency has to report crime statistics to the federal government, and a lot of campuses don’t have police departments, so 15-20 years ago, they started doing different kinds of crime reporting. When the Clery Act went into effect, it stated that every campus had to, in effect, do certain crime statistics for everyone to see,” Meyer said.
While Western has no record of aggressive assault, campus saw a significant increase in dating violence from 2013 to 2014. Despite efforts to make campus safer by mandating Title IX training and abuse awareness, campus police recently relinquished a case to the St. Joseph police department over an alleged rape that occurred on campus in late September.
Although Western has seen a steady decline in drug and alcohol related crimes, Meyer believes it is not completely due to any new policies, but instead through lack of law enforcement.
“It is my understanding that several years ago, they took extra enforcement measures and were in coalition with the local law enforcement to seek out underage drinking and that funding was cut. So in essence, that is probably why there is a decline in numbers. It’s not that there is less drinking on campus, it’s just that we have been unable to enforce the rules. I don’t think it’s because of a change in the rules here, we just haven’t been able to enforce it as heavily handed as in previous years,” Meyer said.