Campus crime dips slightly from ’20-’21


Jennifer Pumphrey

Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer says crime was nearly “zero” on AACC’s three campuses in 2021.

Jordan Crymes, Reporter

Even with more students coming back to campus for in-person classes in 2021, crime dropped slightly from the year before, according to an annual report police released in September. 

Between 2019 and 2021, crime on AACC’s three campuses dropped by more than two-thirds.

Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer attributed the decrease in crime to the switch to off-campus learning during the pandemic.

“So of course, we had a lot fewer people on campus,” Kapfhammer said. “So [the] less people on campus, the less crimes … are going to happen. So this year, the numbers were all really … all zeros.”

On the Arnold, Arundel Mills and Glen Burnie Town Center campuses in 2021, police took a combined 16 reports of crimes ranging from larceny to vandalism to disorderly conduct, down from 19 in 2020.

Police investigated four cases of larceny and one case of disorderly conduct on the Arnold campus in 2021 and one case of disorderly conduct at Glen Burnie Town Center. The Arundel Mills campus was crime-free in 2021, according to the report.

On the Arnold campus, police also looked into six cases of forgery or counterfeiting.

First-year business administration student Joshua Meesala said the low crime rate might be because students are grateful to be attending in person again.

“I think people kind of … develop new appreciation for school, just being back … finding new things to do and [not] getting in trouble,” Meesala said.

Kapfhammer said the most popular crimes on campus are smaller “crimes of opportunity.”

“Larcenies [because] you leave something out … it might not even be stolen, someone might have actually lost it. And we have no way of proving either way,” Kapfhammer said. “But those are the kinds of crimes that are hard to determine, no matter how many people [or] how many cops you have on campus.

Kapfhammer said his advice for students is to “look out” for one another and be mindful of their possessions.

“Be cognizant of your surroundings [and] your valuables,” Kapfhammer said. “Don’t leave them out … or you can be a victim of opportunity. Lock your car, hide your valuables. … No matter where you’re at at any of our campuses … just … use a little common sense.”

Kapfhammer added that students who don’t feel safe walking in a parking lot can call 410-777-2440 and an officer will take them to their cars.

“If you ever need somebody, if you don’t feel safe at night, walking to your car, give us a call,” Kapfhammer said. “We’ll be glad to escort you to your vehicle.”

Audrey Wais, a fourth-year art major, said this option makes her feel safer. 

“I do have a class that ends at 9:45 and I take the bus too … for this class,” Wais said. “I don’t want to be outside waiting for the bus at night [alone] … so if you can have someone … [escort you] … if you have a late class … that’s good to know about.”

Scattered around campus are blue poles that call Public Safety if students press the red button.