By Dorany Pineda
East Los Angeles College has seen a slight increase in crime on and off campus according to the 2017 Annual Security Report published by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The report shows crime statistics from 2014 to 2016 and is divided into three categories: on campus, non-campus and off campus.
The report found that there was a slight growth in sexual assault cases on campus in 2016.
In 2016, hree cases of fondling were reported, whereas in 2015 there were two. The year before, only one.
Campus crimes reported last year were four instances of domestic violence, three arrests for carrying or possession of a weapon, one case of robbery, four burglaries, eight motor vehicle thefts, and two drug abuse violations that lead to arrests.
Motor vehicle thefts accounted for the majority of crimes on campus and in public property.
Deputy Morales said the best thing students and staff can do to prevent vehicle thefts is to park in well-lit areas with high traffic and always lock their cars.
“Don’t leave any valuables visible like purses, cell phones, wallets,” Morales said.
There were no reported offenses in the non-campus category for 2016, but three were reported the year prior and one in 2014.
In 2015, one automobile theft and two burglaries were reported, and one vehicle theft was reported at a non-campus location in 2014.
A non-campus location is defined as “any building or property owned or controlled by the institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.”
There was one reported hate crime of vandalism on campus in 2015, but none in 2014 or 2016.
According to Morales, ELAC’s Sheriff’s Department is working with the Monterey Park police in response to the slight increase in crimes reported.
“They have a special team that deals with all the homelessness,” Morales said.
“We’re in conjunction with them to try and minimize the homeless in the area and try to identify who is who and where they are in case some crimes happen. At least we can identify who did it.”
Morales said that although not all crimes are committed by homeless people, some are.
“A lot of the crimes (committed) are just criminal opportunity. People walking by and see an open purse or cell phone on the table and they just grab it… but some of (the crimes) are due to the increase in homeless, we think.”
Though the number of deputies and cadets has remained the same, Morales said they are increasing patrols.
“We try to drive around the areas that we believe there are entrances and where the most crimes are.”
The information compiled in the report complies with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and the Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act.
Colleges and universities that receive federal funding are obligated to be transparent with its crime statistics by publishing an annual security report every October.
Anyone who wants to report a crime can contact the ELAC Sheriff’s Station at (323) 265-8800. Blue light emergency telephones located throughout campus can also be used to get in contact with the station.
Individuals are encouraged to report crimes promptly and accurately, and to register their cell phones and email addresses to the Emergency Text Notification System to be alerted of warnings and other important notices. To enroll, visit http://www.elac.edu/currentstudents/studentresources/emergencyalert/index.htm.
The 2017 Annual Security Report can be found at: https://www.elac.edu/adminservices/sheriff/doc/AnnualSecurityReport-2017.pdf.