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Vasile's View

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Apr 10th 2018 11:00 am

As the semester begins to wind down, University Police’s schedule picks up. With the Lil Yachty concert, Eagle Day and commencement essentially right around the corner, the department is occupied with scheduling to ensure there are enough officers and staff for the events.

“April is a very busy month,” Vasile said on Monday, April 9. “It seems like there’s a lot going on daily. Scholar’s Day is coming up, there’s a lot of speakers that are coming to campus, there’s nice weather. I think a lot of things tend to get squeezed in before graduation.”

They’re also already preparing for summer activities and freshman orientation, as well as making necessary arrangements for the incoming freshmen in the upcoming fall semester.

Sitting at his desk covered with papers, Vasile said he was working on police reports, getting ready to send them to other departments like Hazen Health Center or Residential Life when necessary. He also commented on the lack of information that has been given for each report The Stylus includes in the campus blotter each week.

If you noticed a significant decrease in the amount of information reported in the blotter lately, it is because the department is changing how it goes about releasing information that is reported to it. For as long as some of The Stylus’ most seasoned editors have worked at the paper, the campus blotter has always included a brief yet descriptive summary of each report that went through University Police, which was provided to The Stylus for its weekly publication. Up through the February 28 issue of this year, the department continued to provide the same amount of information as usual. But as of March 7, the department decided to include only the minimum amount of information required by the Clery Act.

In the past, University Police would refuse to give someone access to the police blotter unless their name was on a list that proved they worked for The Stylus, but after it was brought to the department’s attention in October that the Clery Act, a law that aims to provide transparency surrounding campus crime policy and statistics, requires the department make the information public, the department has complied.

In an email to The Stylus’ editor-in-chief on March 7, Vasile wrote, “We have been modifying the daily crime log to meet compliance.” He also included a copy of chapter five of the Clery Act, which shows an example of a crime log that UP has copied almost exactly. 

The “required crime log elements” of the Clery Act explains, “The sample log is meant to be illustrative, not prescriptive,” meaning the log can include as much or as little information as the department decides.

During an interview on April 9, Vasile then said the department has chosen to include the minimal amount of information because it makes his secretary’s job easier, as she will not have to spend time writing descriptions he thinks are unnecessary, and it could provide a little more confidentiality to the students on campus, although the log has never included names of students.

Vasile, who came into the position of police chief this year with the intent to be as transparent as possible, does not see the lack of information in the blotter as a lack of transparency, but more so as a time-saver for the department and embarrassment-saver for students.

“A lot of those narratives are not that important,” he said.

Unlike the physical copy of the blotter, where crimes must be entered into the log (police blotter) within two business days, the online copy is only updated once a week. It can be found by clicking on “weekly incident reports” on UP’s website at brockport.edu/university_police. It can still be accessed in The Stylus each week, as well as within the University Police Department itself.

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