by Crystal Olmedo
Law changes required categories for crime reporting
The 2016 Clery Report shows an increase in stalking offenses, with seven incidents at Riverside City College in 2015, due to the implementation of new classifications of crimes regulated by the amendments made to the Violence Against Women Act.
Every year Riverside Community College District’s Police Department files a report called the Clery Report which shows the yearly crime statistics on campuses, district-owned buildings and surrounding areas.
There were previously only two categories for sexually related crimes but according to former RCCD Interim Police Chief Colleen Walker the VAWA amendments call for more detailed categories.
“I love that about Clery, that the requirements are different,” Walker said. “They’re broader, some people might say looser, but that’s the whole point. That’s why you have this type of reporting because you may establish a pattern down the road.”
The prefixes “forcible” and “non forcible” have been removed from such crimes. Dating violence, domestic violence and stalking have been added to the category of reportable offenses. Even “cyberstalking” which can include unsolicited texts, emails or messages and posts on social media websites can be reported.
Walker said she sent police records clerk Valeree Metroka to Clery training to be updated on changes to reporting requirements and classifications she also trained newly appointed RCCD Police Chief Peter Gunzel on how to compile statistics and submit the report.
“It’s important to know what the crime is like on the various campuses of the district … because it’s important to know that you’re coming to a safe community or safe campus to learn,” Gunzel said.
Gunzel said that he plans to make sure officers are maintaining preventative patrol to be able to catch more crimes in the act or before they happen in an effort to keep district crime rates low.
In 2014 RCCD missed the deadline to report Clery crime statistics. Walker said she made sure to stick to a timeline for collecting relevant information and statistics. She and Michael Simmons, Director of Risk Management, Safety and Police, presented the Clery Report at the Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 6 full three weeks before the Oct. 1 deadline.
The link to full report can be found at the bottom RCC’s homepage.
Misty Severi contributed to this article.