Kent State Ranks First Among Ohio Public Universities With Highest Safety Rating
Kent State is ranked among the safest college campuses in Ohio.
“Kent State is a very safe campus,” says Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton. “We have an excellent police department that is accredited and keeps the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors as its top priority. Every day, nearly 30,000 students, faculty, staff and visitors go about their daily routine without safety issues. When unfortunate and isolated high-profile incidents happen, as was the case recently, it disrupts our sense of security. The result, especially with the heightened media attention, is that it creates the false view that Kent State and the city of Kent are unsafe. Nothing could be less true.”
Crime statistics for Kent State in 2009 indicate fewer crimes were committed than in the previous three years. A review of the university’s FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, a program that collects information for Part 1 offenses that are serious crimes by nature (including murder, negligent homicide, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, arson and motor vehicle theft), show a total of 24 Part 1 crimes were reported on campus last year. In 2006 and 2008, there were 26 Part 1 crimes reported each year, while in 2007, there were 34. Of the 24 reported Part 1 crimes in 2009, 15 were burglaries with nearly two-thirds of them occurring in residence halls.
By comparison, in 2008, Ohio State University reported 269 Part 1 crimes, and the University of Akron reported 40. (The 2009 crime statistics for these universities have not been released yet but will be available by Oct. 1, 2010, to meet requirements of universities nationwide to provide this data.)
The city of Kent’s crime statistics also show a downward trend. The number of reported assaults for the 10-year period of 1999 to 2008 for Kent has decreased. In addition, theft-related crimes in the city have declined in the last 15 years.
Following incidents that occurred both on and off campus last semester, members of the Kent State community asked for an increased police presence. The Kent State University Police Services is adding six more officers, bringing the department’s total to 32 police personnel, and have increased patrols especially during the early morning hours when the majority of crimes occurred.
“All of the reported crimes committed during the fall semester have been solved, some within 24 hours of the incident,” says Gregg Floyd, vice president for finance and administration who oversees the university’s Department of Public Safety. “The work that our officers and detectives do is often not recognized. Our police department doesn’t look for praise or attention, but they certainly deserve both for the wonderful job they’re doing. It can be a thankless job, but I’d like to commend them for their hard work.”
Tom Neumann, associate vice president for university communications and marketing, says Kent State complies with the Clery Act, a federal mandate that requires all institutions of higher education that participate in the federal student financial aid program to disclose information about crime on their campuses and in the surrounding communities. “We meet the Clery Act requirements by providing timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of our students and employees,” Neumann says. “We do this in multiple ways and channels, including the university’s Web site, Flash ALERTS text messages and FlashLine e-mails. We also make our security policies available to the public and post our crime statistics online .”
Kent State University Police Services is an accredited law enforcement agency. It was one of the first nationally accredited law enforcement agencies in Ohio and was the second university police department in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Kent State’s police department has been twice awarded as a Flagship Agency by CALEA, which recognizes law enforcement agencies that represent extraordinary examples of excellence in law enforcement accreditation. Kent State is the first university police agency in the country to be awarded Flagship status and is also designated as a Meritorious Agency for having the distinction of being accredited for more than 15 years.
For more information on campus safety and security for Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/publicsafety/upload/Safety-bulletin-2009-edition.pdf.
Kent State University On-Campus Crime Statistics