All crime down according to 2021 annual safety report

CMUPD cars sit in the parking lot outside the police station Jan. 8.

Crime across all categories on Central Michigan University's campus is down between the years of 2020 and 2019, according to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. 

CMU's Security and Fire Safety Report, also known as the Clery Report, documents all crimes that took place on and immediately near campus for the past three years. Crime, in all categories, was down for the year 2020. In many categories, the number of crimes for 2020 was zero. 

Lt. Cameron Wassman, of the Central Michigan University Police Department,said the overall decrease was most likely caused by students being off-campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"For most of (2020) everyone was remote, and certainly with a smaller population we're gonna get less reported crimes," Wassman said.

Drug violations and liquor violations have been steadily going down for the past three years. Drug law violations dropped from 73 in 2019 to 28 in 2020. As for liquor law violations, those dropped from 354 in 2019 to 322 in 2020. 

This year, more students are back on campus and in in-person classes. With the on campus population this year higher than 2020's, the number of crimes are expected to go back up slightly. 

"With near normal population, I think we're gonna see numbers more in line with what we saw in 2019 and farther back," Wassman said.

The Security and Fire Safety Report is a very specified list of crimes that gets reported. Additionally, for the crimes to be reported, they must occur in a specified area. For CMU, these areas are on campus, in residence halls, a non-campus building owned by the university or streets immediately nearby campus. In other words, the report is not as broad as it can be assumed.

"I think a lot of people assume that this report is all encompassing of the crime stats from not only campus but the city of Mount Pleasant Union Township, but it's not," Wassman said. "It's capturing  the more major things that happen, so it doesn't address the minor things, such as larcenies."

Wassman said he believes CMU is a safe campus. On the other hand, he said he doesn't want students to become complacent. To keep safe, students should be aware of their surroundings and report anything suspicious they see to police. As the saying goes, if you see something, say something.

"We would much rather respond to something, investigate it and have it turn out to be nothing, so to speak, than to not be notified of something and it have the potential to turn into something worse," Wassman said.