Crime rate low for 2016


Brad Dress, Co-Editor

AACC had its lowest crime rate in six years in 2016, according to a Campus Current tally of Public Safety Department records.

Campus police responded to 74 crimes last year. The majority of the crimes happened on the Arnold main campus, followed by the Glen Burnie Town Center campus. The Arundel Mills campus had only two crimes, both vandalisms. The AACC Cyber Center, located in Hanover, Maryland, had only one—a disorderly conduct.

In both 2010 and 2011, police responded to 153 crimes. The following year, crime decreased to 112 incidents, but in 2013, crime shot up to 149 reports. The crimes totaled 140 in 2014. However, in 2015, crimes were down to 81.

Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer said the low rates at the college could be because of high police visibility and the lack of dorms on campus. Last year’s lower number may be the result of the added Lot Patrol, which the chief brought back in 2016. Kapfhammer also said the addition of armed police officers and higher levels of training in 2014 could have brought crime down.

“We’re going to continue what we did last year,” Kapfhammer said about preventing crime in 2017. “We’re going to continue the [Community Emergency Response Team] program and we’re going to continue Lot Patrol.”

The program, Kapfhammer said, trains student and faculty volunteers to prepare them for an emergency.

Students at AACC said they feel safe on campus. “Campus [authorities are] very aware of safety,” Lisa Gardner, a first-year nursing major, said.

“For all the things that are going around, with people dying, it feels good to come to school and not worry about anything,” Birva Patel, a second-year engineering major, said.

The most frequent crimes in 2016 were thefts, with 23 throughout the year. Other crimes included nine vandalisms, nine disorderly conducts, four harassments and six assaults.

The least-common crimes included a drug offense, sexual harassment, trespassing, robbery and a weapons law violation, at one each.

In addition, a student attempted suicide on campus in September. The robbery, police said, happened on the Glen Burnie Town Center campus, where a student held a knife to a victim and robbed him.

According to police, the weapons violation, also at Glen Burnie, involved a student with pepper spray and a folding knife.

The attempted suicide happened on the Arnold main campus in September. when a student attempted to leap off the second floor of the library with a rope around his neck, police said.

Other crimes included animal abuse, fraud, bad checks and obscene material.