Central Michigan University was ranked the fifth safest campus in Michigan by StateUniversity.com, thanks to improved case closure and fewer reported crimes last year.
The schools are ranked by the amount of reported campus crimes per 1,000 students. The scale factors in the severity of a crime as well as the frequency of a crime.
CMU received a safety rating of 95.03. The rate for aggravated assault at CMU was 0.04, arson was 0.04, burglary was 0.42, forcible rape was 0.07, larceny-theft was 5.02, murder was zero, robbery was 0.04 and vehicle theft was 0.04.
The ratings are designed to show the odds of someone becoming a victim of a crime on CMU’s campus.
CMU Police Department Lt. Larry Klaus said the department saw a decrease in violent crimes and was able to close many cases over the past year.
“We’ve had, basically, less violent-type crime and crimes that are reported to the state and federal government,” he said.
CMU’s top-five ranking is improved from 2011′s seventh place rank.
Eighteen universities in Michigan were ranked for safety. Oakland Community College was ranked first, Delta College second, University of Michigan-Dearborn third and Lansing Community College fourth.
Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, Ferris State University, Eastern Michigan University and Western Michigan University rounded out the top 10.
StateUniversity.com ranked CMU the 122nd safest out of 450 schools the nation in 2012, up from 183rd in 2011.
“We, as a department, train regularly for shooter types of situations,” CMUPD Lt. Cameron Wassman said. “We have different live shooting throughout the year and a university crisis response team.”
In the event of a natural disaster, a violent crime, health threat, civil disturbance or sudden or unexplained death, the crisis response team alerts students, faculty, staff and visitors of the issue at hand and how to respond.
“In preparation for a large-scale event, one of the big things we do is reach out to as many people as we can for safety tips that the community can do during a situation before the police can get there,” he said.
“We’ve very happy with the standings in that,” Wassman said. “There’s always room for improvement on our part and we’ll strive to do the best that we can do.”
Klaus said CMU’s safety is doing well in comparison to schools like GVSU and MSU when considering factors like enrollment.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” he said.
Klaus said StateUniversity.com used data pulled from Michigan Incident Crime Reporting, which collects information from participating law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
“All those crimes are reported to the state, then to the federal government,” he said. “From that, they draw a rate of frequency per 1,000 students at all the universities.”