By: Olivia McKelvey, Emily Walker and Kevin Boodoosingh
Florida Tech has changed their policy regarding the availability of daily crime logs held in the security office. In the past, crime logs were available via email upon request. According to the updated policy, the crime log is available to anyone upon request during the department of security’s business hours. This change now requires individuals to request and to view the crime logs in person at the security office. According to Florida Tech’s security website, hours of operation are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The crime log contains details such as what type of crime occurred, when and where it happened, the time and date the report was made and the disposition of the report.
As stated on Florida Tech’s website, “Any person may have supervised access to the crime log, whether or not they are associated with Florida Tech.”
This policy change comes in the wake of the recent Clery reporting, in which the crime logs were essential to discovering under-reported crimes between 2016 through 2018 that were cited incorrectly in the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports.
Crimson reporters went into the security office to request to see the crime logs on Friday, Jan. 17 and Tuesday, Jan 21. A security administrative assistant informed both reporters that all supervisors of the crime log were not available due to the fact that they were either at lunch or in meetings.
At this time, it is unclear who all the supervisors of the daily crime log are. Frank Iannone, director of security and Amy Meyer, the business manager for Florida Tech’s department of security, have been confirmed as two supervisors that have the authority to supervise a viewing of the crime log.
In an email sent to The Crimson, Iannone stated, “With the new records management process in place we no longer send crime logs.”
The new policy states that Florida Tech may temporarily withhold inspection or copying of any crime log containing confidential information, or in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence that the release of the information would jeopardize an ongoing investigation, jeopardize the safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or evade detection, or result in the destruction of evidence.
The daily crime log can now be viewed at the department of security’s office during normal business hours with supervision; handwritten notes are allowed, photographs of the log are not permitted.
“We are following the policy that was enacted by Florida Tech in January 2017,” Iannone said.
Clery Act Rules for institutions
The crime log for the most recent 60 day period must be open for public inspection, free of charge, upon request and during normal business hours.
Security cannot require a written request.
The daily crime log must be accessible on-site.
Compared with other universities who must also provide a daily crime log under the Clery Act, such as University of Central Florida and Rollins College, they continue to make their Daily Crime Logs available online.
Currently, Florida Tech’s daily crime logs are not available online. It is not federally required for the logs to be posted online.
While Florida Tech is abiding by Clery Act regulations, not being able to photograph the crime log is concerning to S. Daniel Carter, president at Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, LLC who also worked with the Department of Education as a key individual in writing federal regulations for the Clery Act.
Carter stated that it is generally regarded that public inspection does not allow limits to be placed on the inspection of the daily crime log.
Iannone explained that the reason they are not allowing the daily crime log to be photographed is to prevent the release of confidential information that may jeopardize an ongoing investigation or jeopardize the safety of an individual.
“That makes no sense,” Carter said. “If there is any material that they are electing to keep confidential, which there are provisions in the statute and regulations for them to do that, then they shouldn’t be letting you view it at all.”
Carter also stated that Florida Tech’s discretion is very limited. “There are very limited circumstances where they can withhold information from you and that is to be disclosed in the log,” Carter said
Iannone stated that the university is looking into the policy and updating it and the technology as they go along.