DPS releases Security and Fire Safety Report

USC wrote in a Universitywide email that they hope to increase the student-body’s awareness of crime and fire reports from the last three years. (Daily Trojan file photo)

The Department of Public Safety found that aside from a few fluctuations, crime rates have generally remained at similar levels between 2019 and 2021, as written in its 2022 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report published Wednesday. The most common types of crime included were sexual assault crimes and motor vehicle theft, with most cases taking place on the University Park Campus.

The report, which aims to provide resources and reporting to enhance campus safety, is mandated by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires that colleges and universities disclose reports of crime on campus and the surrounding areas.

The report now includes incidents provided to DPS by the Los Angeles Police Department with the rest of the crime statistics, instead of displaying them as a separate category. 

The number of sexual assault cases in and around the University Park Campus — 78 in 2021, 45 in 2020 and 97 in 2019 — reported include instances related to the wrongdoings of George Tyndall, a former USC gynecologist who sexually abused thousands of patients at the Engemann Student Health Center.

Seven cases of rape and two of fondling related to Tyndall were reported in 2019. In 2020, 12 cases of rape and one of fondling were reported, and there was one report of fondling related to Tyndall in 2021. 

Though these cases occurred prior to Tyndall’s removal from practice in 2016, before the time frame of the report, they went unreported and were only uncovered with the 2018 investigation into Tyndall’s wrongdoings. The cases reported during the time frame of the 2022 report data were included to “represent the University’s good faith to classify and include all Clery-reportable incidents relating to Tyndall,” according to the report.

The report also noted that the decrease in liquor law violation instances from 2019 to 2020 does not reflect an actual decrease in underage alcohol consumption in University residence halls, which remains consistent with prior years. Rather, a clarification to the reporting guidelines means that the University no longer reports underage alcohol possession and consumption in private settings, such as residence halls, because it is not a violation of California state law. The University is working to correct previously misreported data.

In a University-wide email, the administration wrote that USC remains committed to the unifying values of integrity, excellence, well-being, open communication, accountability, diversity, equity and inclusion. The ASR, the administration wrote, aligns with USC’s commitment to provide “an environment where we each can thrive and explore all USC has to offer.”

The report opens with messages from President Carol Folt and DPS Interim Chief David Carlisle. It details safety resources on campus, procedures to raise awareness and addresses crime and fire reports from the last three years and University policies and educational programming on reports of prohibited conduct.

In her message, Folt praised the “resilience and nimbleness” of DPS, and highlighted how the department spearheaded a partnership with USC Street Medicine to provide first-responder care for people experiencing homelessness..

The report can be read online here. Paper copies of the report can be requested by contacting Associate Vice President for Clery Act Compliance and Youth Protection Gabe Gates.