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SMC crime rates fall in past 3 years

ASHLEY CHARNLEY | Monday, September 8, 2008

Saint Mary’s crime rates have fallen over the past three years according to the annual report released by the College. Saint Mary’s Director of Security David Gariepy said the campaign to educate the student body about how to avoid being a victim was one of the key factors in lowering crime rates.

“We provide information through programming, during orientation and throughout the year, which creates a better informed and more aware community,” Gariepy said.

Security used campus-wide e-mails to alert students of any security threats. They also gave out a yearly safety brochure to campus.

“The brochure provides students, faculty, staff and others with an overview of the College’s safety and security policies and crime statistics for the previous three years, 2005-2007,” Gariepy said in an e-mail.

According to the e-mail Gariepy sent to the student body, Saint Mary’s had four burglaries, one car theft, and several alcohol referrals were given during the 2007-08 school year. No other major offenses were reported.

Security is most effective when students know what services are available to them, Gariepy said,

“Members must be aware of dangers, willing to report suspicious activity and willing to also provide information to authorities when criminal or suspicious activity is viewed,” Gariepy said.

Saint Mary’s security has focused on measures to prevent crime, such as providing transportation for students who are at Notre Dame late at night. The van “Blinkie” runs for two hours after the trolley stops running, which is 11 p.m. during the week and 2:20 a.m. on the weekend.

Security has also been requested to update their camera systems.

“Technology upgrades are always being reviewed and addressed as needed,” Gariepy said.