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University ranks low in Big 12 crime study

March 27, 1997

By Lisa Zapata

Lariat Staff Writer

According to a new study published by the U.S. Department of Education, the University is ranked second lowest among the Big 12 schools in number of crime per 10,000 people.

The University's crime rate, according to the study, was 1.64 violent crimes per 10,000 people. The crime rates are compared to the number of reported crime cases nationally in 1994, which was 212,873, according to the Uniform Crime Reports for 1994.

The study, in relation only to Big 12 schools, was published in the Feb. 28 edition of the Daily Nebraskan, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's daily newspaper.

The study was only reviewing crimes on-campus at schools with on-campus housing, according to the Daily Nebraskan.

Baylor Police Department Chief Jim Doak, said that when comparing crime, size of the University is very relevant.

'When you look at size, we are by far the smallest school [in the Big 12],' Doak said.

He said that it is obvious that the smaller a community is, then fewer crimes will occur.

He added that another factor contributing to the small amount of violent crimes on the University's campus is the fact that Baylor maintains a hard line of not allowing alcohol on campus.

'This is not to say that we don't have an alcohol problem,' Doak said. 'At least half of the criminal offenses we deal with are alcohol related.'

Another significant influence on crime is the amount of crime that happens on campus relative to that committed off campus. He said that much of the crime at the University happens off campus.

'Outside influences are our gravest concerns,' Doak said. 'People prey on those that are not paying attention.'

He sighted the bookstore as an example, where students often have their book bags stolen due to their own negligence. Students walk up, throw their bags on the ground and disregard the lockers, which are there for the sole purpose of avoiding theft of book bags and personal belongings. The bookstore even offers students quarters if they do not have one. Given the opportunity, theft will occur, Doak said.

Generally the theft occurs from people off campus, and Doak said that the Baylor Police is 'constantly vigilante with persons who come on campus for purposes other than educational.'

He cited several examples in which solicitors come on campus and the Baylor Police do not hesitate to cite and sometimes arrest solicitors for violations of trespassing and other solicitation transgressions.

'Yesterday [Tuesday] , we had solicitors in Penland, who were trying to strong arm students into buying stereos,' Doak said. 'The solicitors were finally found by Russell Residence Halls.'

He said that the network of people soliciting in Waco know that the Baylor Police are vigilante and tough.

'We are very aggressive in patrol, because we have had quite a few thefts and rip-offs,' Doak said.

He said that there was at least one officer in plain clothes targeting some areas of campus on Wednesday.

'We are always looking for ways to be creative,' Doak said. 'We want our officers in the middle of things.'

Although Doak had not yet seen the study, he agreed that the study was probably not comparing apples and apples, but overall the study should give a pretty good idea overall.

'We are pleased at the overall low level of offenses [at the University],' Doak said.

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