March 16, 2009

Police launch ‘Campus Crime Watch’ Web page

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Public Safety has a new method for people to provide anonymous information and help report and hopefully prevent crime on campus.

SIUC police last week launched “Campus Crime Watch,” a Web page that allows people to provide police with information about a crime or non-emergency suspicious activity. In addition to providing anonymous information by calling 618/453-3771 (453-DPSI), people can go to to send an anonymous e-mail to police.

SIUC Public Safety Director Todd D. Sigler said ideally the hope is that people will call 911 to report a crime or suspicious activity. All of the information is strictly confidential. The e-mail system is not continuously monitored.

“We realize some people don’t feel comfortable” talking with police, Sigler said. “Rather than forgo the information that could be helpful, we want to provide them an opportunity to give it to us.”

The site provides the ability to report all suspicious activities, along with locations and times. The list includes bias/hate activity, graffiti, damage to property/residence hall damage, drug possession, sale or use of drugs, fire/pull stations, possession of alcohol or illegal consumption of alcohol, possession or use of firearms or dangerous weapons, theft, sexual assault, suspicious activity or behavior, or other.

“We don’t want people to feel like they didn’t see what they are calling about on the list so they can’t report it,” Sigler said. “Once we receive information, an officer will be assigned to follow-up on the information and corroborate the report and complete an investigation.”

Several other universities across the country offer similar methods for reporting crimes or suspicious activity, Sigler said.

Police officer Scott Miller said the Web page offers a neighborhood watch-style opportunity for people.

“We are trying to get more people actively involved in reporting criminal activity and suspicious activity on campus,” he said. “This gives them another way to provide us with information and remain anonymous.”