The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Increased stalking crimes in district

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October 2, 2019 | Jill Bold | managing editor

Stalking is on the rise on all TCC campuses while dating violence is decreasing and rape remains very low, according to the school’s annual security report released Sept. 26.

“What can constitute stalking is broad,” said TCC Police Captain David Herndon, referring to the annual study of crime statistics collected from all campuses during the last three years.

He explained that the spike in stalking cases over the last three years is due in part to the definition of stalking.

Herndon said that any incident meeting two criteria can be defined as stalking.

According to the security report, stalking is defined as “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.”

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act requires that any incident meeting this definition can be reported as stalking.

Data from 2016, 2017, and 2018 show that domestic violence and dating violence are down, and only two incidences of rape on all campuses were reported.

Many of the crimes reported and published in this report number are in the single digits and incidents of crime in general are low on all campuses.

The security report is prepared by the TCC police department and offers detailed statistics on a variety of criminal offenses, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) offenses, and other arrests and referrals.

“Our officers canvass the district on foot, in patrol cars or on bicycles talking to community members and solving problems along the way. Safety and security are shared responsibilities,” said Tarrant County Chief of Police Shaun P. Williams in the security report.

Vigilant patrolling and risk prevention are key to maintaining these low crime statistics, according to Williams.

Students on different campuses have observed their patrolling and it has impacted them positively.

SE student Kylie Hodges said she notices the police presence every day she is on campus when she attends classes during the day and evenings.

“I feel really safe anywhere on campus, even at night,” Hodges said.

“I see them patrolling around the parking lot, every time I’m coming out of class,” NE student Zach Conrad said. Conrad added that the ability to carry a concealed weapon on campus makes him feel safer about being able to defend himself.

“I like the option of being able to personally guarantee your safety,” Conrad said.

TR student Jessica Taylor said she feels particularly safe on TR campus because the majority of campus is enclosed indoors and she doesn’t have to walk around outside as much.

She says she feels much safer by not being vulnerable outdoors walking to or from class and the parking lots.

She also relies on her own instincts and precautions, as recommended by the security report.

“I feel safe on campus because I trust myself with my forms of safety,” Taylor said.

All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to view the report to help them make smart decisions about their safety and experience on campuses district-wide.

The entire report is available through the TCC website.

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