Crime is a City-Wide Issue for Campuses


Crime in D.C. skyrocketed up 45 percent from last year. Although the city claims violence has not reached the same level has it has been in 20 years, keeping crime on college campuses low remains a priority on every campus.

“Every year we have the same increases and decreases, however we are receiving a lot more reports of crimes happening during our low periods and during the daytime.” Chief Investigator at Howard Robert Johnson said.

 “Of course we’re doing everything we can to prevent and we want more students to take advantages of the programs we have.”

For Howard, the last crime happened September 3, 2015 according the HUPD’s website under the daily crime log.  Of course one would have to know the website it outdated by now being that it is October 19. Also, according to the HUPD quarterly police report released in August, from January to July of this year crime is up 40 percent from last year during the same time period.

Sending out crime alerts to students when a crime is committed is a method Howard, along with nearby American University, Catholic University, Georgetown University, and George Washington University uses.

 “I honestly don’t pay attention to the crime alerts, but I’m always alert whenever I’m on campus.” Howard university senior Elexus Johnson who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland said. “It’s like whenever they send out a description of the suspect it says 5’7 black male dark skin, like that’s everybody.”

The Howard University community received a similar crime alert on Sept. 24 describing the victim. The crime alert read that the alleged suspect in the robbery was 5’7 125-135 lbs. The status of the crime has been yet to be updated on HUPD’s official site, but west campus, where the crime occurred,  is technically in the jurisdiction of Ward 2 which is where American University stands.

“Usually our homecoming is not too frightful, it’s our Welcome Week for freshman,” American University junior Shannon Shovels said.  “I had my bike stolen off the lock one year. It was really inconvenient.”

According to American University’s Captain Will Sowers theft in general specifically bicycles and iPhones is an annual problem with American University.  Of the 87 crimes reported at American University during the month of September this year, 42 percent of those reported crimes where alcohol violations reported by campus police.

George Washington has recently made headlines this year not because of their increased crime, but because of the way they are handling crime.  The city has taken to giving campus police off campus “powers” in order to keep not only the campus but the area near campus safe. Georgetown created a Student Guards program to train about 150 students annually on how to handle crime.

“I find it more annoying than anything. It’s a pretty safe area unless you’re talking about ‘property crimes’ but I mean, keep up with you stuff and it won’t get stolen.” Junior at George Washington University Alyson Kruse said.

For Catholic University, hate crimes related in race has increased from 2013 to 2014 as well as robbery and vandalism. However, according to Cheryl Pendergast, associate director at Catholic University, nothing unusual has happened this year.

While crime certainly has risen in Washington, keeping the crime rate the same or decreasing crime is a goal for every police chief in charge of a campus in Washington.  

If the crime reports and system gets better that only depends on each campus’ daily crime log and what they’re doing to prevent those crimes. While Washington’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, is aware of the crimes and has created a platform in order to decrease crime in D.C., she still says this is not the D.C. of the 90s and pledge that it will never be.  One can only hope that Bower’s pledge will be the case for Washington’s college campuses.