URI releases 2010 crime statistics, fire safety report

New sections address hate crimes, fire safety, missing persons

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 3, 2010 – The University of Rhode Island Police Department has issued the 26-page, 2010 edition of its campus crime and public safety report.

Titled “Working in Partnership for a Safer Community,” the report includes three new sections this year on hate crimes, fire safety and missing persons. The federal Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funding to publish annually its crime statistics and public safety information. The entire report can be viewed here. In addition, printed copies have been distributed to Student Affairs, Student Life, the Women’s Center, Housing and Residential Life, Health Services, Parking Services and Enrollment Services. The report provides statistics for 2009, 2008 and 2007.

The first 12 pages contain written summaries on how to report incidents and crimes, campus communications, prevention, campus sexual assault policies and several others.

“I want to commend URI Police Lt. Kenneth Olsen, who gathers and compiles all the data for this easy to read report,” said Police Maj. Stephen Baker. “Also, Kathie McInstry of Printing Services was a great deal of help putting the final printed product together.”

Baker said Olsen’s role in the report is made more challenging by the requirement that college campuses include information from surrounding communities. Because URI has campuses in Kingston, Narragansett, Providence and West Greenwich and a rowing facility in North Kingstown, URI gathers information from municipal police departments in South Kingstown, Narragansett, Providence, West Greenwich, and North Kingstown, as well as the Rhode Island State Police.

With the assistance of the Kingston Fire Department and Joe Mulcahey, URI fire safety inspector, the University for the first time compiled fire statistics for all of its residence halls, fraternities and sororities and specialty student housing. There were no injuries resulting from fires in 2009. That information is found on pages 25 and 26 of the report.

Pages 22 through 24 contain statistics on hate crimes. None were reported to police in 2007 or 2008. Seven were reported in 2009. Beginning in 2009, hate crimes involving simple assault, malicious damage/vandalism, larceny, intimidation and other crimes involving injury were added to list of reportable hate crimes. The seven hate crimes reported last year involved malicious damage/vandalism.

The other new section is “The Missing Student Policy,” which was written by Baker and found on pages 4 and 5.

“We encourage students and other campus community members to report a student as missing when their absence is unexplained or is of a suspicious nature,” Baker said. “Time is critical in these cases.”

“It is the policy of the University of Rhode Island Police Department to investigate all reports of missing students/persons/ as a high priority,” the report says.