The latest Clery Act report from West Virginia University for the pandemic year of 2020 showed decreases in reported sexual assaults, domestic violence cases and alcohol-related crimes during a time when the campus population in Morgantown was limited because of COVID-19.
However, some crimes of opportunity increased. Specifically, the number of reported burglaries on campus was 23 in 2020 compared with 14 in 2019.
“This reporting cycle brought with it some anomalies largely due to the number of students who were not attending in-person classes. As we all know, it was a different kind of year and some of the areas with increases may reflect that,” Phil Scott, interim chief for University Police, said.
“To be proactive both on campus and off campus, we’ve taken measures recently to increase camera surveillance capabilities in certain areas, such as the College Park parking lot. We urge people to continue to lock their doors — both home and vehicle — check their vehicles regularly and report any suspicious behavior.”
A summary of crime and fire safety on the Morgantown campus, the annual report covers the numbers of reported crimes, as defined in the Clery Act, but not investigation outcomes.
For example, since the shooting death of Eric Smith, 21, at College Park Apartments in February 2020, part of the latest report, two men have been convicted of murder.
The University publishes the report each year in accordance with the federal Clery Act. Requests for paper copies can be made by calling 304-293-3136, or by mail to 992 Elmer Prince Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506-6563.
University Police takes reports of suspicious behavior or activity by phone at 304-293-COPS (2677). Issues can also be reported online at safety.wvu.edu, a website that offers safety information and resources.
During the pandemic, in spring 2021, the University launched the WVU Public Safety Advisory Committee to serve as a liaison between UPD and the broader community to further its ongoing efforts to enhance safety and security.
Current students are automatically subscribed to receive WVU Alert messages but are asked to keep their contact information updated. Parents have the option of being added to accounts for their students. Faculty and staff can subscribe at WVU Alert as well. Information about the University’s emergency notification system is available at safety.wvu.edu.
Additionally, all members of the WVU community are encouraged to download the LiveSafe app for access to other safety tools.