Earlier this month, Tech released the 2008 Annual Security Report. Georgia State University also released a similar report, called the Safety Net. A quick comparison of the two shows that Tech has more reported crimes.
At both Tech and GSU, the majority of crimes committed in the past year have been burglary or larceny, as very few violent crimes are committed on either campus. Numbers indicate that GTPD has dealt with a much larger number of property crimes than GSU PD in the past few years. In 2007, GSU had 12 motor vehicle thefts, while Tech had 63, and GSU had 17 burglaries, while Tech reported 548.
“At Tech we take [calls] from 10th St. to North Ave. Is that the same for Georgia State? …. [State students] are so spread out that it is hard,” said Chief of GTPD Teresa Crocker, referring to the tendency for GSU calls to be taken by the Atlanta police.
Crocker also attributes Tech’s higher crime rates to the higher proportion of students living on campus and the greater number of cars kept on campus. “We’re an open campus. We don’t have attendants watching the parking decks to make sure the right people are in them … it makes a huge difference,” she said.
The crime numbers at Tech this quarter are even higher this year than they were in 2007. “Some people ask if the increased crime is due to the economic downturn, and the truth is I don’t know … but I do know we are taking every step to ensure that we improve safety on campus in these times,” Crocker said.
The tactics to deal with crime on each campus involve having a highly visible police force. Police also encourage students to be highly aware of their surroundings and make sure they take all possible precautions for their safety.
“Being located in an urban center and non-traditional setting as GSU is, faculty, staff and students are more acutely aware of their surroundings. GSU Police are well integrated into the downtown police and security communities,” said Carlton Mullis, deputy chief of GSU PD.
The biggest change in campus safety, Crocker believes, will come with better campus safety information. “If people continue to leave things unattended and people continue to put chain locks on bicycles, then we’re not getting the message through. I think that’s the area we need to improve on the most: educating the students,” Crocker said.