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Security and Fire Safety report shows increase in RVSM crimes, outlines new safety interventions

October 2, 2023
Michigan State University Police Department on Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Michigan State University Police Department on Thursday, April 6, 2023. —
Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

The 2023 Michigan State University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report shows an increase in three categories of relationship violence and sexual misconduct crimes on MSU campus in 2022.

The report, which was released Friday and is required to be released annually by the federal Clery Act, compares the statistics of 14 crimes in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The data includes all reported crimes, including those that have been determined to be “unfounded,” or false.

Of the 14 tracked crimes, eight had more reports in 2022 than in 2021. Three of the increasing crimes fall under the prohibited behaviors outlined in MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy.

Reported cases of fondling increased from four cases in 2021 to 26 cases in 2022, while reports of stalking went from 15 cases in 2021 to 54 cases in 2022.

Reports of dating violence consisted of 10 cases in 2021 and 14 cases in 2022.

Additionally, although reports of rape remained the same between 2021 and 2022 with 19 cases each year, both years saw an increase from 2020 which had 13 reported cases.

The report’s release came amid several current Title IX issues at the university: the firing of former football coach Mel Tucker following sexual harassment allegations, pushback from Larry Nassar survivors over a board decision to not reveal unreleased documents and a federal investigation into the mishandling of a 2022 sexual harassment report.

Another section of the report is dedicated to outlining campus safety and security procedures, departments and policies. This section has had several updates since the 2022 report.

The 2023 report includes a description of the Care and Intervention Team, which was established at MSU in August 2023 as part of the Office of Student Support and Accountability. According to the report, the team meets regularly to “assess the likelihood of risk and identify action that can be taken to potentially mitigate the risk.”

The Care and Intervention Team, or CAIT, was created by combining three former risk prevention departments: the Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams for both students and employees, as well as the Behavioral Intervention Team. According to the CAIT website, the new team will “assist in coordinating responses and, most importantly, intervention, to produce more efficient and direct ways to support the community.”

The campus safety and security section has also been updated to reflect the recently introduced policy regarding public access to campus buildings. All buildings now require an MSU ID to access them after 6 p.m.

The report also outlines the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety Community Engagement Unit, which was not included in the 2022 report. The unit is focused on outreach and crime reduction.

According to the report, the engagement unit is responsible for university programming related to “recognizing and preventing violence in the community and active violence incident response.”

Unit staff also speak at the New Student and Parent Orientation Program about personal and property safety and available resources.

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