Matching the previous year, only two crimes were reported in 2018 at community colleges in Apache Junction, San Tan Valley and Queen Creek, according to federally mandated campus-security reports released Oct. 1.
There was one motor-vehicle theft in 2018 at the Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona Community College, 805 S. Idaho Road in Apache Junction. A college-owned golf cart was stolen and recovered, according to CAC’s report.
In the prior year, in 2017, the one crime reported at the Apache Junction campus was a weapons violation with an arrest by law enforcement.
There was one burglary in 2018 at CAC’s San Tan Campus, 3736 E. Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. There were no crimes in 2017, the report states.
There were no crimes in 2018 at Communiversity at Queen Creek, 21740 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. An unfounded — false or baseless — arson report was filed in 2017 at Communiversity at Queen Creek, according to Rio Salado College’s campus-security report.
The Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990, renamed “The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Crime Statistics Act,” was enacted by Congress and signed into law in November of 1990. In 1992, 2000, 2008 and 2013, Congress amended the law via the Higher Education Opportunity and Violence Against Women Acts. These acts expanded the reporting criteria, according to CAC’s Clery report for 2018.
Jeanne Clery was 19 when she was raped and murdered in her college dormitory. Her parents, Connie and Howard Clery, could not have known the danger she was in; standards for campus crime reporting did not exist in 1986, according to clerycenter.org, the website for the nonprofit Clery Center.
“The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that receive federal funding to disseminate a public annual security report to employees and students every Oct. 1. This ASR must include statistics of campus crime for the preceding three calendar years, plus details about efforts taken to improve campus safety,” according to the website.
Crimes that are required to be listed by the colleges are, according to the reports: Murder/non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, rape, fondling, incest, statutory rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. They also included crimes handled by local police, such as liquor, drug and weapon violations; and hate crimes.
The reports also have statistics on unfounded crimes.
“Unfounded: Sworn or commissioned law-enforcement personnel have fully investigated the reported crime and based on the results of this investigation have made a formal determination that the crime report is false or baseless,” according to CAC’s Clery report.
Central Arizona College
Central Arizona College has been in operation for more than 49 years. It has five campuses and three centers in Pinal County, and offers associate degrees that transfer to all three Arizona public universities, according to centralaz.edu.
In 2018-19 there were 8,902 students taking classes at CAC. Of those, 920 were at the Superstition Mountain Campus and 1,158 at the San Tan Campus, Angela Askey, CAC’s executive director for public relations and marketing, said.
Students and parents can obtain a copy of the annual Security and Fire Safety Report report by contacting the Police Department; by going to centralaz.edu/ASFR; or to the campus police website at centralaz.edu/police and clicking on the link “Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.” The report provides crime statistical information for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
CAC’s Maricopa, San Tan and Superstition Mountain campuses have sworn law-enforcement officers working along with contract security officers.
“The Central Arizona College Police Department assigns certified police officers at the Maricopa, San Tan, and Superstition Mountain campuses 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. These are the days and hours when the majority of the students are at these campuses,” Greg Roberts, CAC’s chief of police, said.
“During all other hours, contract security officers are on the campuses. Providing 24/7 security coverage on the campuses serves as a crime deterrent and lessens the opportunity for criminal activity. Furthermore, contracted security guards are on property and able to call area law enforcement for assistance after hours,” he said.
CAC’s police department will not hire officers with ethical issues, he said.
“CACPD has also changed how it recruits and hires police officers. CACPD is very critical of officer applicants and will not hire officers who have had ethical issues with other departments,” he said.
“CACPD actively recruits officers who have retired from other law-enforcement departments in good standing for part-time positions. This has allowed the department to hire officers with broader experience who can mentor our less-tenured officers,” Chief Roberts said.
A customer-service approach is instilled in officers during their training.
“CACPD also has taken a fundamental approach by providing training to all of its officers to amplify the importance of a customer-service approach at all Central Arizona College locations. Creating greater officer visibility at most CAC campuses; enhancing partnerships with our students, guests, faculty and college employees has been a must,” he said. “CACPD officers have embraced the importance of providing customer service, crime prevention and being a part of the CAC team. The No. 1 goal for CACPD is to provide a safe learning environment for our students.”
He credits increased patrols among other factors to keeping the Apache Junction and San Tan campuses largely crime-free over the last three years.
“The Central Arizona College Police Department has taken a proactive approach at all of our campuses. The plan has consisted of increased patrol, technology enhancements, a community policing strategy designed to partner and educate students and college staff, and enhancing our partnerships in the law enforcement community,” Chief Roberts said.
Partnerships with other law enforcement agencies have also helped, he said.
“CACPD has an excellent working relationship with the Apache Junction Police Department (Superstition Mountain Campus), the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (Aravaipa, Signal Peak, and San Tan Campuses), the Maricopa Police Department (Maricopa Campus) and the Casa Grande Police Department (Casa Grande Center and Corporate Center),” Chief Roberts said.
The 61-page report provided by Central Arizona College also includes sections on crime and emergency reporting procedures; security awareness and crime prevention; sexual-harrassment policies; active consent; sexual-assault reporting procedures; off-campus counseling, mental health or other services for victims of sex offenses; obtaining an order of protection or injunction against harassment; alcohol and drug policies and prevention; weapon policies; and fire reporting and evacuation procedures.
Communiversity at Queen Creek
The Communiversity at Queen Creek is a higher-education center organized by Rio Salado College, in partnership with several other colleges and universities, according to queencreek.azcommuniversity.com.
Students can complete certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees through partner institutions, which are Maricopa County Community College District, Rio Salado College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Ottawa University and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, according to the website.
The academic partners offer certificate-to-degree pathways in business administration/management, communication and liberal arts, early childhood, healthcare and human services, justice studies, and teacher education, the website states.
Communiversity at Queen Creek had students in 2018 from:
Rio Salado College, which shows no crimes for the location in 2018. Go to riosalado.edu/about/news-resources/Documents/2019-RSC-Annual-Security-Report.pdf.
Ottawa University, which states there were no crimes at the Queen Creek location in 2018. Go to myottawa.ottawa.edu/ICSfileserver/archive/consumer_info/crime_report/Crime_Report_Phoenix.pdf.
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, which lists the previous year’s report at scnm.edu/student-life/resources/student-consumer-information and didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking a copy of the 2018 report.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College, which doesn’t break out Communversity in its 2018 report. Go to cgc.edu/services/safety/Documents/2019_CGCC_Annual_Safety_Report.pdf.
Benedictine University in Mesa, which added a campus at Communiversity at Queen Creek in summer 2018, and didn’t break out those statistics in its 2018 report. Go to ben.edu/mesa/campus-community/public-safety.cfm.
“The men and women of the Maricopa Community College Police Department are dedicated individuals who are committed to making a difference and supporting the educational mission of Rio Salado College,” John Porvaznik, commander of the Mricopa County Community College Police Department, said in the Rio Salado College Clery report.
“If you are the victim of a crime, I encourage you to report it, in addition to any suspicious activity you observe on campus to the MCCCD Police. I am confident that you will find members of MCCCD Police approachable, knowledgeable and highly professional,” he said.
Paul Oakes, lead campus safety officer for Benedictine University Mesa, also said behavior out of line with the institution’s code of conduct should be reported.
“In the spirit of the common good and community safety, please be sure to report any behavior or actions that seem out of line with the university code of conduct policy to the campus safety officer on duty for follow up. While we are glad to provide leadership, it takes all of us to ensure we maintain a safe and productive learning environment,” Mr. Oakes said in Benedictine University Mesa’s Clery report.