Walter Mencken 9:27 a.m., Feb. 27
State audit cites San Diego Community College District for faulty crime reports
According to a report released October 16 by the California State Auditor, the San Diego Community College district, along with five other California schools, failed to adequately comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal law requiring schools that receive U.S. funds to maintain public records on crime at their campuses.
"All six institutions reported inaccurate crime statistics to varying degrees for 2010, the latest year covered by their most recent annual security reports," the report says.
The audit's criticisms - which prompted Scott Hasson, a candidate for San Diego Community College District board, to say, "these violations of the Clery Act and the hiring of an outside consultant gravely concerns me that the SDCCD is reacting instead of being proactive" - could emerge as a late issue in college board races here and elsewhere.
In addition to San Diego, campuses sampled included those of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco; California State University, Northridge; Laney College in Oakland; San Bernardino Valley College; and the University of the Pacific in Stockton.
According to the report, "four of the institutions we visited did not keep complete daily crime logs as required...San Diego’s log did not include four of the 16 crimes we tested."
To make matters worse, "None of the six institutions that we visited fully disclosed all of the information that the Clery Act requires in their 2011 annual security reports."
"Pacific had the fewest missing or incomplete disclosures, while San Diego had the most."
In a September 25 letter to the state, Charles F. Hogquist, chief of the college police department for the San Diego Community College District, wrote that "In response to the finding that the SDCCD is missing four crimes in the daily crime log, a review of the police department’s records information system was completed.
“The system has gone through nine upgrades since 2010 and the district is confident that the issue has been resolved and all crimes are included in the daily crime log.”
Hogquist added that the San Diego district began paying a security consultant earlier this year to help it comply with the federal law.
"In April 2012, SDCCD hired an outside consultant to train employees in Clery Act compliance.
"From that training the SDCCD Clery Act Compliance Committee has been formed and will be assessing compliance concerns, including District and police policies and procedures.
“All policies and procedures determined to be out of compliance with the Clery Act will be revised and/or included in future Annual Security Reports."
The auditors noted that district officials might claim mitigating circumstances regarding some of the absent information: "In part, this may be because regulations first required institutions to disclose emergency response and evacuation procedures in their 2010 annual security reports. We brought these missing disclosures to the attention of Laney and San Diego."
"San Diego explained that it ... has written emergency response and evacuation procedures, which are currently undergoing administrative approval. When these procedures have been formally approved, San Diego will update its annual security report to include them."
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