The Federal Clery Act and Title IX regulations have helped re-emphasize the importance of student safety across the nation’s colleges and universities in recent years, and part of that emphasis has been increasing the availability of criminal incident information at and near those institutions.
UVA-Wise Campus Police is always busy in and around the campus community. At the forefront of this is UVA-Wise Campus Police Chief Ronnie Shortt. Ronnie Shortt has been a member of the UVA-Wise Campus Police force for the past 24 years. The UVA-Wise Campus Police force handles everything on campus and around campus that deal with safety measures that help protect the campus community. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask him several questions that deal with Campus Housing and Safety measures being done on the UVA-Wise campus.
The UVa-Wise Campus Police, in accordance with federal law and regulations, maintains an incident log available for public inspection. While not directly subject to those regulations as private businesses, any officer-responded incidents at Walk2Campus and Cavalier Housing are included under state and federal crime-reporting requirements by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office and Wise Police department respectively.
The Highland Cavalier asked all three agencies for information on the following types of incidents: domestic violence, drug/narcotics, alcohol, and theft. Campus housing falls under the Campus Police’s reporting jurisdiction. Walk2Campus falls under the Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction, and Cavalier Housing is in Wise town jurisdiction.
UVa-Wise Campus Police Chief Ronnie Shortt provided the following information for calendar year 2015 at the college:
Campus Police responded to McCraray Hall the most, for all on-campus residence halls, with 17 incidents. Commonwealth Hall came in second with 6 responded incidents, followed by Culbertson Hall with 5 incidents reported.
For various categories of reported crimes, thefts led with 19 reported incidents in 2015.
Alcohol-related incidents came in second, with 10 reported incidents where alcohol was the main factor. Five drug/narcotics violations were reported to Campus Police in 2015.
Domestic violence resulted in two reported on-campus incidents.
According to county Sheriff R.D. Oakes and Wise County Attorney Karen T. Mullins, deputies between August 2015 and March responded to the following type and numbers of incidents:
- Fighting – 5
- Alcohol-related – 3
- Drug-related – 1
- Sexual Assault – 1 (currently under investigation)
According to the Wise Police Department, only one incident – domestic violence – was reported at Cavalier Housing between August 2015 and March.