Exclusive: Riverside City College misses crime report deadline

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Crystal Olmedo | Assistant News Editor

Nov. 4, 2014

CORRECTION: Miyashiro presented the 2014 Clery Report to the RCCD Board of Trustees on Nov. 3. Viewpoints published that the presentation would take place on Nov. 4 in both online and print.

Oct. 29, 2014

An investigation into the Campus Crime Statistics Act uncovers Riverside City College failed to fully comply with regulations for reporting required crime statistics.

Statistics for RCC’s compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy for the year of 2013 must be submitted in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act and the Campus SaVE Act of 2013 by Oct. 1.

RCC Chief of Police Jim Miyashiro stated the final deadline for the Annual Clery report was “Oct. 31” in an interview with Viewpoints, which is incorrect. Legally, the deadline to distribute the Clery report is Oct. 1 of every year.

The 2014 Clery Report posted on RCC’s Campus Police webpage did not contain the required crime statistics for the 2011 and 2012 calendar years prior to Oct. 28. Nor did it outline policies, procedures and referrals concerning campus safety and security.

A copy of the amended 2014 Clery report is available as of Oct. 28, but it did not meet the Oct. 1 deadline outlined in the Clery Act crime reporting requirements.

According to the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting published by the U.S. Department of Education, the annual Clery reports must contain the three most recent years of crime statistics, policies, procedures and referrals for programs concerning campus safety and security specified for each post-secondary institution that receives Title IV funding. Although the previous two years were posted on RCC’s website, the 2014 Annual Clery Report did not meet the requirement to contain three years worth of crime statistics by Oct. 1.

“We will possibly have to make amendments to our report,” Miyashiro stated.

“The district website had the 2014 single-year report, posted (in September), per Denise Hernandez, web applications technician, well within the Oct. 1 deadline,” said Robert Schmidt, senior public affairs officer of strategic communications and relations for RCCD, in a statement issued to Viewpoints on Oct. 29. “Viewpoints is right that it included only one year’s information, however by accessing the prior year’s report the reader would have had access to actually four years worth of crime statistics… A letter was distributed to faculty and staff, and the same letter will be hitting student emails this week, possibly even today.”

“Each year’s report should contain three years of statistics so that people can make a comparison (with the previous two years of crime statistics),” said Frank Lomonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, in response to the version of the report that contained only single year statistics. “(RCC’s 2014 Annual Clery Report) is definitely missing a lot of legally required information. The law is very detailed as to the disclosure that students are entitled to receive, and it’s not enough to give just one year’s worth of statistics.”

The Department of Education’s Handbook for Campus Safety and Security also states that institutions must distribute the annual Clery Report to each student and faculty member. RCC’s 2014 Clery Report is available for viewing on RCC’s website under the Campus Police webpage.

Institutions are allowed to distribute the report online if there is a notice issued to students and faculty informing them that the Clery Report is available for viewing, and it must include how to access it and the location where it may be accessed.

No such notice was sent by RCC to students or faculty until Oct. 29, after the discrepancy was brought to the attention of Miyashiro.

The notice was sent to RCC students detailing what is to be included in the report and listed the RCCD link to access it.

Clery Crime Statistics available to students must contain crime incidences, as well as disciplinary actions and arrests for crimes including drug law violations, liquor law violations and illegal weapons possessions.

RCC’s Clery Reports differ from the statistics shown in the U.S. Department of Education’s Institution Data for RCC.

The home page of The Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool states that information available for institutions is submitted annually by all postsecondary institutions that receive Title IV funding.

RCC’s report contains data for on campus, non-campus and public properties defined in the Clery Reporting guidelines, however failed to include 10 drug law violation arrests on public property that are reported on the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Security and Safety Analysis Cutting Tool for the year of 2011. The statistic was not included in the numbers for the 2011, 2012 or 2013 Clery Reports.

Penalties for noncompliance range from $27,500-$35,000 per violation.

In extraordinary cases the US Department of Education can withhold all federal funds for noncompliant institutions.

Miyashiro will present the 2014 Clery Report to the RCCD Board of Trustees on Nov. 3.