BY KEN LITTLE
Crime rates on Greene County's two college campuses remained relatively low last year, according to the Crime on Campus 2012 statistical summary released last week by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
Tusculum College reported 29 larceny/theft offenses. Within that category, nine were characterized as thefts from buildings, four as thefts from motor vehicles and 16 others as theft-all other larceny.
During 2012, the college reported 27 burglary offenses and 25 offenses in the destruction/damage/vandalism category.
A total of 14 drug/narcotic violations were reported, including eight drug/narcotic equipment violations and six drug/narcotic violations.
There were 13 offenses reported in the assault category, and three in the forcible sex offenses category. Three arson offenses were reported in 2012.
One weapons law violation was reported in 2012 by the college.
The summary said that in fall 2012, Tusculum College had an undergraduate enrollment of 1,980 and a graduate student enrollment of 219. There were 745 Tusculum College students living on campus as of fall 2012.
The summary includes crimes on the main campus in Tusculum and satellite locations in Knoxville, Gray and Morristown.
David McMahan, dean of students, said in an email response to questions by The Greeneville Sun that "Tusculum College is committed to thorough and exhaustive proactive and responsive efforts in addressing crime on campus."
"This includes the investigation and reporting of activities that occur at all instructional sites," McMahan said.
McMahan said crime figures at the college are down from 2011.
"The improvement seen in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation 2012 Crime on Campus report evidences this commitment," he said.
McMahan said partnerships with the Tusculum Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff's Department are key to the college's "preventative educational outreach efforts."
"One initiative which has been important to note for the 2012-2013 academic year is the partnership of the college and the City of Tusculum to provide the LeadsOnLine.com program to the City of Tusculum and college communities," McMahan said.
The LeadsOnLine.com program "allows students to register their property electronically and enhances recovery potentials immensely as pawn shops and other entities use the program," he said.
The four campuses of Walters State Community College (WSCC) include a campus in Greeneville. The main campus of the community college is in Morristown.
Figures submitted by WSCC to the TBI are for all four campuses of the community college, including Greeneville.
In 2012, WSCC reported nine larceny/theft offenses. Within that category, four were classified in the theft from motor vehicle category and three classified as theft of motor vehicle parts.
There were two offenses reported in the assault category, including one aggravated assault. One burglary offense was reported.
No drug/narcotic violations or sex offenses were reported by WSCC.
One driving while under the influence offense was reported at one of the WSCC campuses.
Three offenses were reported in the destruction/damage/vandalism category.
Walters State officials commented on the relative lack of crime on WSCC campuses, including the one in Greeneville.
"Walters State's safe campuses are really the result of years of due diligence by the entire campus community, including our students.
"Our campus police officers play a vital role in campus safety. Officers are very well-qualified, and the department is experienced and proactive," Dr. Wade McCamey, WSCC president, said in an email response to questions.
"The Walters State Campus Police Department works diligently with college administration and with local law enforcement officials and emergency responders in Greeneville and Greene County to provide a safe and secure educational and work environment.
"Because of these combined efforts, we are able to maintain a safe campus.
"I am also proud of our campus police officers. They are very visible on each campus, and that plays a big role in deterring crime."
McCamey said that WSCC campus police officers "receive the same training and meet the same standards required by police departments across the state."
"The college is also known for its widely respected Public Safety Division, and hundreds of police officers complete the East Tennessee Regional Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy each year," he said.
The police academy is located at the Greeneville campus.
Chief Sarah Rose of the WSCC Campus Police said in an email response that the WSCC Police Department "works diligently with college administration and with local law enforcement officials and emergency responders in Greeneville and Greene County to provide a safe and secure educational and work environment."
Walters State has an undergraduate enrollment of 6,565 students. Almost all are commuter students. There are 13 security personnel at the four campuses, the TBI summary said.
About 1,100 students are enrolled at the WSCC Greeneville campus.
The report also contains an overview of 2012 crime on college campuses across Tennessee. Key findings include:
* Crime reported by Tennessee colleges and universities decreased by 4.1 percent from 2011 to 2012, from 7,326 offenses last year compared with 7,639 offenses in 2011.
* Nearly 39 percent of all 2012 offenses were categorized as Larceny/Theft, with "theft from a building" being most often reported, with 1,539 offenses, a decrease from the 1,595 offenses reported in 2011.
The overall category of Larceny/Theft offenses showed a 6.5 percent decrease between 2012 and 2011.
* Theft from Motor Vehicle offenses have been on a steady decline since 2009. Between 2009 and 2012, theft from motor vehicle offenses decreased 33.5 percent.
* Overall Assault offenses increased by 13.7 percent from 2011 to 2012. "Aggravated assault increased drastically, from 46 in 2011 to 75 in 2012," the report said.
Simple Assault showed a slight increase of 1.8 percent, from 336 in 2011 to 342 in 2012.
* There was a 19.6 percent decrease in Forcible Sex Offenses, with Forcible Rape decreasing from 22 in 2011 to 17 in 2012.
* Prior to 2012, Drug/Narcotics and Drug Equipment Violations had increased yearly since 2008.
The trend ended in 2012, with the number of drug/narcotic offenses decreasing by 1.4 percent from 2011 to 2012. There were 793 offenses reported in 2012, compared with 804 offenses reported in 2011.
* Disorderly Conduct reports decreased 18.3 percent from 2011 to 2012.
* Driving Under the Influence offenses decreased by 10.7 percent from 2011 to 2012.