Public Safety

Summary of presentation to the Community Advisory Council (CAC) by Dr. Robin Engel 12/8/15

  • This document should be used in conjunction with the PowerPoint presentation posted from the December 2015 CAC meeting. Slide numbers referenced below can be found on the lower right corner of each slide in the PowerPoint presentation. 
  • Slide 2: As a correction to the last CAC presentation in November, there are currently 69 UCPD officers rather than 72—there are a few open slots to hire in the spring. 
  • Slide 2: Similar to the change for UCPD officer counts, there are only 23 security officers currently employed by Public Safety, instead of the full 26 positions discussed during the last meeting. 
  • Slides 3-4: Based on questions from the last meeting, included in this presentation are the current gender and racial breakdown of all Department of Public Safety employees. 
  • Slide 3: Of the 12 dispatchers, 83% are female. Of the 69 sworn officers, 13% are female. Of the 37 non-sworn personnel (fire inspectors, administrators, business office and others) 38% are female. Of the 23 security officers, 22% are female. 
  • Slide 4: Of the 12 dispatchers, 22% are Black. Of the 69 sworn officers, 7% are minority (3 Black, 1 Asian & 1 Hispanic). Of the 37 non-sworn 22% are minority (6 Black, 1 Asian & 1 Hispanic). Of the 23 security officers, 44% are Black. 
  • UC Public Safety has developed both short-term and long-term plans to increase the diversity of the sworn officers. 
  • Slides 6-7: Additional information requested from CAC Members following the previous meeting included an examination of crime trends in and around campus prior to 2008. Part I Violent Crime (homicide/murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery) incidents from the past 10 years (2004 to 2014) reported to the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) in the areas around UC (UCPD Patrol Area) show large numbers of crime incidents and victims between 2004 and 2008. However, crime began to decline in 2009 (coinciding with the MOU between UCPD and CPD) and has continued to steadily decline each year since. There was a 55.0% reduction in violent crimes in 2014 compared to 2004. A similar, though less drastic decline was shown for Part I Property Crimes (burglary, auto theft, theft from auto and all other theft) reported to the CPD. Specifically, there was a 27.6% reduction in the number of property crimes reported in 2014 compared to 2004. 
  • Slides 9-10: Part I and Part II offenses reported to the UCPD which occurred on UC owned and operated property between 2007 and 2015 demonstrate that Part I offenses have declined over time, while Part II offenses have slightly increased. UCPD Part I incidents include homicide/murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery and arson. UCPD Part II incidents include crimes such as vandalism, trespassing, underage drinking, drug crimes, simple assaults, fondling, stalking, domestic violence, drunk driving, fraud, weapon arrests and hate crimes. Even with the slight increase in Part II crimes, the sum of Part I and Part II offenses in 2015 remains lower than totals reported annually between 2007 and 2012. 
  • Slide 9: Analysis of Part I incidents reported to the UCPD between 2007 and 2015 demonstrate that these numbers are primarily driven by incidents of theft. The second most frequent crime is burglary. 
  • Slide 10: Analysis of Part II incidents reported to UCPD between 2007 and 2015 indicate these numbers are primarily driven by vandalism, trespassing, drug crimes and underage drinking. Increases in Part II crimes may be due to the increased number of UCPD Officers engaging in police-initiated encounters, including underage drinking and drug crimes. 
  • Slide 11: Crimes year-to-date (Jan 1- Dec 7) in 2015 compared to the previous 3-year average demonstrate reductions. Off-campus Part I Violent Crimes have decreased 27.7% in 2015. Off-campus Part I Property Crimes have decreased 16.9% in 2015. On-campus Part I Crimes have decreased 20.6% in 2015 compared to the previous three-year average. 
  • Slides 12-13: Reported violent and property crimes from July 19- December 7 of this year are down compared to the same time periods in previous years. Restricting the use of off-campus traffic stops by the UCPD does not appear to have reduced public safety in the UC Patrol Area. Reported violent crimes are down 29.1% and reported property crimes are down 21.8% compared to their respective three-year averages. 
  • Slide 15: One method for gathering input across all UC students, faculty and staff is through the use of campus-wide surveys. 
  • Slides 15 & 27: The Enhancing Campus Public Safety Survey, which has been administered three-times, is given to all UC students, faculty and staff. The web-based survey was sent to the UC email accounts of all registered undergraduate and graduate students, full and part-time faculty and staff. Surveys are anonymous, but have an identification number to ensure that the survey is only taken once per respondent. 
  • Slide 15: The Perceptions of Police Survey will be forthcoming in February 2016, and will be administered to all UC students, faculty and staff. 
  • Slide 15: The UCPD Perceptions Survey will be administered to all sworn UCPD Officers in February of 2016. 
  • Slide 16: The purpose of the Enhancing Campus Public Safety Survey is to provide measures of experiences, attitudes and behaviors related to crime and public safety. It provides the ability to assess progress across multiple years, and use findings to inform the public safety strategic plan. 
  • Slide 17: The Enhancing Campus Public Safety Survey examines 5 core areas: 
    1. Perceptions of crime on and near campus 
    2. Victimization experiences on and near campus 
    3. Fear of victimization on and near campus 
    4. Familiarity with UC public safety initiatives 
    5. Engagement in behaviors that increase the risk of victimization 
  • Slide 18: Findings from the Spring 2014 Campus Public Safety Survey is provided in this presentation. Students were asked to agree, disagree or state no opinion as to whether they felt safe on campus or nearby, both during the day and during the night. An important finding of this research is that only 5% of surveyed students agreed they felt safe in the neighborhoods near campus at night—and only 53% agreed they felt safe nearby campus during the day. 
  • Slide 19: Students reported being most fearful of robbery—78% of surveyed students were moderately to very fearful of being a victim of robbery. Robbery is a crime where force or the threat of force is used to take property from another person. 
  • Clery Timely Warning Notice emails, as mandated by the Clery Act, are sent for crimes that occur on UC Clery Reporting Area that pose a serious ongoing threat to UC community members. Not all crimes are considered Clery Act crimes, only Part I offenses and those involving relationship violence or a hate aspect (for more detailed information about Clery crimes and Clery reporting area see: ( %20Fire%20Safety%20Report%20FINAL.pdf) 
  • Slide 20: Respondents reported that the UC Clery Timely Warning emails (also called Crime Alert) are the single factor that has the greatest impact on their levels of fear of crime both on campus and in the areas nearby. 
  • Slide 21: While UC crime alert emails encourage students to make changes to their behavior to reduce their chances for victimization, some changes made by respondents may actually inhibit a positive campus culture. For example, of the student respondents who indicated they changed their behaviors based on these email alerts, approximately 20% indicated they come to campus less because they are fearful. 
  • Slide 22: As demonstrated on this slide and other graphs in this presentation, crime has been in overall decline from 2007 to 2015. This includes CPD Part I offenses, UCPD Part I offenses and UCPD Part II offenses. 
  • Slide 23: Clery Timely Warning emails sent by Public Safety (also referred to as “Clery notices”) show a spike in 2012, followed by a higher number of notices related to crime sent in 2013 and 2014, compared to the years of 2007-2011. 
  • Slide 24: The trends over time for Clery Timely Warning emails, including the spike in 2012, do not match the general downward trends of reported crime. Note that this graph uses two scales for the vertical (y) axis—on the left is the count of incidents for UCPD Part I, UCPD Part II and CPD Part I (range of 0-2,500) and on the right is the count of Clery Timely Warning emails (range of 0-90). There was a change to the timely warning reporting method used by UC between 2007 and 2015. The use of timely warnings is only vaguely described in the Clery Act, and can be operationalized many different ways, while still being compliant with the law. 
  • Slide 25: Clery Timely Warning emails have a substantial influence on student perceptions and media coverage of crime. These emails appear to correspond with more media coverage and with students perceiving that crime has increased due to the increased emails and media stories. 
  • Slides 25-26: There has been serious concern by UC community members regarding their safety in the past few years. Business Insider Magazine ranked UC as the 13th most dangerous college in 2012, published on 11/20/12. 
  • The use of Clery notices by UC Public Safety has changed over time. Prior to 2015, Clery notices were sent for most crimes which occurred in the UCPD Patrol Area boundary, regardless of whether an ongoing threat was posed by these crimes. 
  • Protocol changed in 2015 mitigate the amount of notifications the UC community received, while still allowing for greater transparency through the UC Aware program. 
  • Currently, a Clery notice email (called a Safety Alert) is distributed to students, faculty and staff when a crime that occurs on UC owned-and-operated property poses an ongoing or serious threat to the UC community. It is important to note that these differ from public safety advisories, and that Clery notice emails are less frequent in nature. 
  • In contrast, Public Safety Advisories, called “UC Aware”, are sent for non-Clery applicable crimes (i.e. Bike Theft) occurring on UC Clery reporting area or for Clery crimes that occur off-of UC Clery property and within the UCPD Patrol Area boundary. 
  • Slide 27: The Campus Public Safety Survey was first administered in April 2014 and resulted in 3,047 students (10.8% response rate) and 1,994 faculty/staff (23.0% response rate) responses. 
  • Slide 27: The November 2014 wave of this survey resulted in 3,165 student respondents (10.3% response rate) and 1,995 faculty/staff (21.0% response rate) respondents. 
  • Slide 27: The most recent survey, administered in November 2015, resulted in 1,992 students (34.6% fewer responses compared to April 2014) and 1,836 faculty/staff responses (7.9% fewer responses compared to April 2014). There is some concern that survey fatigue may be playing a role in the lower number of responses. It is also possible that with lower levels of crime, the UC community is less concerned about public safety issues, and therefore less inclined to complete the survey.