As the West Virginia University Police Department continues to focus on community policing, the latest Clery Act report shows declines in campus drug and alcohol arrests and citations, but increases in reports of some other crimes.
“Part of the reason we have more referrals than arrests or citations is because we want to educate our students,” University Police Chief Sherry St. Clair said. “Rather than immediately citing or arresting students, when possible, we want to provide assistance.”
UPD currently employs eight Campus Safety Officers, non-sworn civilian officers who complement the work of the University’s existing police officers which allows those officers to focus on responding to emergency calls.
“That is just one of the proactive steps we have taken to enhance security protocols and collaboration between our partners and the public in response to concerns about campus safety nationwide,” St. Clair said. “We recognize the importance of fostering a sense of safety, trust and well-being among the members of the University community.”
A summary of crime and fire safety for the Morgantown Campus, Health Sciences — Eastern Division and Health Sciences — Charleston Division, the annual Clery Act report covers the number of reported crimes, as defined in the Clery Act, but not investigation outcomes.
“While the report shows an increase in a number of other crimes, such as stalking and rape, we noted that some reports came in through non-police reporting areas and want to continue to encourage those reports so victims can get the resources they need. Not everyone wants to file or pursue a police report but, even in those circumstances, the University can give victims resources and those statistics are included in the Clery Act report,” added St. Clair.
For information about resources for victims, visit the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Resources and Reporting Options page.
The University publishes the Clery Act report each year in accordance with the federal Clery Act. Requests for paper copies can be submitted by phone at 304-293-3132
Although not noted in the report because they are not considered Clery reportable crimes, the University has seen an increase in thefts, including those involving bicycles placed outside buildings overnight along with thefts from vehicles.
“We urge everyone to lock their vehicle doors, a simple step that can help reduce crimes of opportunity,” St. Clair said. “All bicycle owners should register their bikes with the department and keep bicycles secured while on campus to combat theft. Installing a tracking device, like an AirTag, can help with recovery.”
UPD also advises members of the University community to be aware of rising cases of fraud, including extortion attempts online.
Emergencies or suspicious activities should be reported by calling 911 or through the LiveSafe app. All students are automatically signed up for WVU Alert to receive urgent messages from the University. Additional safety information is available through the WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page and @WVUsafety on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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