Dylan Grabkowski, Staff Writer
Bergen Community College (BCC) has come out with its annual safety report. Every year Public Safety is required by federal law to release a statistical report on crimes committed at the college, in compliance in the Jeanne Clery Act.
BCC teamed up with the Paramus Police Department to provide security tips, how to report a crime, crime prevention, their definitions of different violations, statistics, intervention, policy and procedures in this year’s report. Not only does it include crimes that could be committed on campus but also crimes that could occur around the campus, or at any of the other BCC campus locations, including Lyndhurst and Hackensack.
Each year the report comes out, statistics get lower and lower. These statistics are compiled every year by Public Safety reaching out to many people, including the police, for crimes reported around or on campus, student contacts and to the Department of Education. Some crimes that have statistically gone down this year in Paramus include stalking, hate crimes and dating violence.
Stalking has gone down dramatically. This year there were seven accounts on campus, zero non-campus and zero on public property, compared to 14 and 10 accounts the two years prior.
“With efforts between the police, safety conduct and teachers, people are becoming more educated about this,” explained the Assistant Director of Public Safety at Bergen, Marie Jardine.
Jardine, who has worked at BCC for 26 years, was available to comment on the report, including her view on what is considered a threatening or dangerous act, besides physical violence. “Even though we haven’t had one at this campus, an active shooter would be considered a threat,” says Jardine. “A threat we do get a lot are suicidal threats, which happens more and more every year.”
Public Safety strives to handle all crime on campus in a professional and serious manner.
When asked how she would handle a situation of threatening language on the wall, Jardine said, “We have had many situations like that. Depending on whatever was written on the wall, [public safety] would notify the police, close the bathroom and file an incident report.”
Public Safety is doing more each year to spread safety throughout the campus. They have started developing more information workshops and will be hosting a Public Safety Day in November. This will act as a forum where students can get tips and ask questions regarding safety. This event will help students who are interested in the crime statistics on campus and reassure those concerned with safety at BCC.
Jardine described students ask for the report “very rarely,” adding, “it’s important to be informed. More students should know about this.”
Public Safety has an idea of how to get students informed in the works. The department has reached out to the vice president of BCC about establishing a newsletter, which will possibly come out next semester. This newsletter will be released annually and provide all kinds of safety tips and tricks in it.
To view the safety report, stop by the Public Safety Department in the Pitkin building right across from the information desk.