In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, The University of Texas at Tyler released its 2012 Annual Security and Fire Report Monday.
The report includes campus crime statistics, security policies and other safety services provided by the campus police department and the university for 2009 - 2011.
“We are pleased to report that our crime statistics for last year are low, especially in light of the recent incidents that have occurred at facilities near the campus. We want students, parents and the community to know that UT Tyler is a safe campus, and we work diligently to maintain that safe environment,” UT Tyler Police Chief Mike Medders said.
Medders said Tyler police have investigated crimes at Cambridge Apartments, an independently owned and operated complex across the street from UT Tyler.
Those crimes include three shootings in which three people were shot, an armed robbery, large groups of people fighting and other instances of crime, including illegal dice games.
On Sunday, Blake Irving Thomas surrendered to authorities at the Smith County Jail about 1:40 p.m. on robbery charges stemming from an incident at the Cambridge Apartments last week. He remained jailed on bonds totaling $600,000.
Tyler police continue to work the shootings, but officials with that department said Monday no one was talking about the incidents.
“Due to the close proximity to our campus, we work with the management at Cambridge Apartments to provide a police presence. We recognize that the activities occurring within the complex can affect the safety of our students,” Medders added.
According to statistics provided by UT Tyler, crimes such as burglary, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, liquor law violations resulting in arrests and drug violations resulting in arrests have declined.
The statistics show there was one sexual assault, but it occurred in a public area and not on the campus and there was one robbery of a person on campus.
The UT Tyler report also lists statistics for satellite campuses in Longview and Palestine, but there were no crimes reported at those campuses.
Medders said UT Tyler police have gate access to Cambridge and Varsity Place Apartments and make routine patrols through the complexes.
Medders said the Patriot Alert System — a multi-layered emergency notification system, which includes text messages, emails, phone calls, website announcements, outdoor and indoor warning systems, as well as “blue light” phones in 20 locations around campus for immediate contact with campus police dispatch — is used to connect with students, faculty and staff.
He added his department provides year-round 24-hour police patrol by officers and security guards, and emergency flip charts are in every building and most classrooms to provide students and employees guidance on responding to specific emergency situations.
Medders said there are mandatory meetings with residents to address rules and emergency procedures, and how to deal with such emergencies such as an active shooter on campus.
Issuing the timely notification warnings are being used at this time to notify students when incidents happen near the university.
“We worry about the safety of all of students and our campus faculty and staff and we are working to notify everyone in a manner to ensure their safety,” Beverly Golden, university spokesperson, said.