Clery Act

Cody Bahn/Managing Editor


Del Mar College Security reported zero burglaries and robberies for the year 2009 to the U.S. Department of Education (DoE), but Security Office Incident Reports documented over 60 thefts. The reason for the discrepancy is that the thefts did not meet the criteria necessary to be reported to the DoE as required by the Jeanne Clery Act.

Randy Walker, coordinator of DMC Security, said that the numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Education were pulled in accordance to the Jeanne Clery Act.

“The Clery Act states what offenses are required to be reported,” Walker said, “A burglary is breaking into habitation, building or a vehicle. Burglary of a Habitation or Burglary of a Building are Clery offenses but Burglary of a Vehicle is not a Clery offense.”

Walker said, “To obtain the number of Clery offenses, we refer to the Del Mar College Incident Report Log and I get records from the Corpus Christi Police Department of their Reporting Districts where Del Mar has property. Using these records, I compile the numbers I submit to Clery,” said Walker.

In the Jeanne Clery Act, in order for an incident of theft to be reportable as a burglary, these incidents must meet three conditions: evidence of unlawful entry, which may be either forcible or not involve force; unlawful entry must be of a structure having four walls, a roof, and a door; and the incident must show evidence that the entry was made in order to commit a felony or theft.

Jeanne Clery was a 19-year-old girl who was raped and murdered while she slept in her residential quarters at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 1986. After this tragedy, Jeanne’s parents, Howard and Connie Clery, started looking into the crime statistics on the Lehigh campus.

Through their investigations they discovered 38 violent crimes that Lehigh University had not reported in the three years before Jeanne began going there. “Our daughter died because of what she didn’t know,” said the Clerys.

Connie, co-founder and chairwoman emeritus of Security on Campus (SOC) Inc., said that she and her husband learned the “startling, and even horrifying,” statistics of campus crime in the nation.

Prior to the Jeanne Clery Act requirements, reporting was not accurate. “In 1987, there were at least 31 murders, 1,500 armed robberies, and 13,000 physical assaults on college campuses,” said Connie.

SOC is a non-profit organization founded in 1989. SOC was the first organization to develop a database of case law in civil actions by victims of campus crimes and victims of administrative cover-ups of such crimes.

In 1987, the Clerys began their attempts to enact laws making colleges and universities report information about violent crimes and drug and alcohol violations on campuses. In 1990, former President George H. W. Bush signed the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990. This act, later to be named the Jeanne Clery Act, requires all colleges and universities receiving federal funds to accurately report their crime statistics.



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