Crime on and around campus has increased according to the latest numbers produced by the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Released Sep. 25 by Campus Safety and Security, the 2018 report for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 details different criminal offenses — such as stalking and aggravated assault — and their location relative to the campus with how many times each crime occurred in a particular year.
A majority of the criminal offenses are motor-vehicle theft and drug and liquor law violations. In 2016, there was only one case of motor-vehicle theft which happened on or near campus, as opposed to the nine reported cases which occurred in public areas around campus in 2017.
All cases of drug and liquor law violations that occurred in 2017 happened in student housing, with the drug violations stemming from students smoking marijuana. No arrests were made, but disciplinary action and judicial referrals were administered to students who were involved with the violations. Director of Campus Safety and Security Susan Wagshul-Golden said that despite the increase, reported crime is still rare on and around campus.
“I would look at the numbers overall,” Wagshul-Golden said. “Going to our numbers compared to our population, the number is very small.”
Campus Safety and Security employs 11 campus security officers and two security sergeants. Their jobs are to patrol the areas in and around campus, and keep campus safe and secured. Security officers also work in conjunction with local Tacoma Police Department officers to ensure the safety of the campus and university area. Security officer Robert Coleman offered his thoughts on the overall safety of the campus.
“This is a pretty good campus,” Coleman said. “I’ve never had a concern about the safety of the campus, especially when it comes to physical problems.”
Currently, Campus Safety and Security offers safety and awareness programs to all students, staff and faculty on campus. Workshops on Rape Aggression Defense Systems for Women and Rape Aggression with Defense for Men are offered throughout the year. They will also be participating in The Great Shakeout Oct. 18 to raise awareness and preparedness for what to do in case of an earthquake. There are also plans to hold CPR and first-aid programs during spring quarter.
This month also marked the continuation of Coffee With the Cops, a monthly series of open meetings hosted by Tacoma Police Department and Campus Security. These meetings take place at Metro Coffee from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every second Tuesday of the month. It aims to ensure that students, staff and faculty are communicating with security, understand how to make reports and have access to the proper resources to ensure their safety, such as requesting an escort to their vehicle.
“If students are here late at night and they want someone to walk with them to their car, or they are parked up the hill and it is dark out, then they can call our Campus Security offices to request a security officer to escort them,” Wagshul-Golden said. “That is always available, and it’s free. Not many students know that.”
Resources to promote student, staff and faculty safety and well-being:
In urgent situations, always call:
Security escort to walk you to your vehicle on campus. Call:
SafeCampus: The central point of communication across different departments and programs to ensure student, staff and faculty safety. 24/7 Phone:
Student Success and UW Tacoma Counseling Center: For students in need of consultation, assessment, counseling and intervention services.
UW CareLink: For faculty and staff members and their family for short-term, confidential counseling services. 24/7 Phone:
(866)-598-3978 TTY/TDD (877)-334-0489