Photo by Eric Turner

According to the annual campus safety report, crime around Tech, both inside and within a specific boundary outside of campus, decreased in 2012 as compared to prior years.

“I think a lot of it has to do with visibility and enforcement,” said Deputy Chief Robert Connolly. “We keep track of trends of those that frequent the Georgia Tech campus. We’ve sent out…other teams to actually keep those folks off campus and put them right back into jail.”

In 2012, the Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) reported 48 criminal offenses, ranging from forcible sex offenses to burglary and motor vehicle thefts. That number was 75 for the year 2010, and rose to 78 in 2011. These numbers include both the crimes investigated by GTPD, as well as those anonymously reported by organizations on campus, such as the Women’s Resource Center.

Connolly also cited two potential reasons for the decreased crime.

“We have 5 additional positions—we increased the department to 82 sworn officers,” Connolly said. “A little over a year ago, we also increased by hiring our first crime analyst to track trends. We’ve been pretty active in tracking trends and enforcing them.”

Active police officers are also monitored for their performance.

“Our complaints and all of our disciplines get evaluated once every six months,” Connolly said. “When you have an officer that can’t talk to the public, that can’t talk to the students, and we keep getting these complaints that show up on our early warning system, we look and see if he needs some training.”

In addition, GTPD has maintained activity on social media to communicate with the student body on safety issues.

“Social media was something we knew we had to get more on the forefront of, and what happened was, we had a couple of student workers,” Connolly said. “Our crime prevention unit officers decided they would actually stay on Reddit and answer some questions. It seems to be a great forum for officers to speak to students, and ever since, we’ve been on it.”

Tech’s campus also falls within Zone 5 of the Atlanta Police Department. This zone overall has also seen fewer crime in 2012 compared to the crime in 2011, with decreased crime in all but one category, robbery which had actually gone up from 290 reported in 2011 to 299 reported in 2012.

According to a number of statistics provided by atlantapd.org, the total number of crimes reported in 2011 was 5512 and the number of crimes reported in 2012 was 5,037.