Last Tuesday, Miami University redacted Campus Crime Alert #4, stating that after further investigation the original report appeared to be unfounded. This update comes in the midst of a flurry of Campus Crime Alerts over the course of the past three weeks. It is understandable that the university does not take issuing Campus Crime Alerts lightly, and only does so according to specific criteria as determined by a special committee. The Miami Student editorial board commends the university and students for taking Campus Crime Alerts seriously and for following up on this initial report with police, and likewise encourages all parties to maintain vigilance throughout the semester.
According to the updated university report, this case was solved as a result of a cooperative effort between an investigation conducted by the Oxford Police Department and information brought forward following the release of the initial alert. Getting students’ attention and allowing them to potentially aid ongoing investigations is precisely the purpose of the Campus Crime Alerts and if there are students with information on the other four alerts, they should speak with police.
Campus Crime Alerts are issued at the discretion of a university panel tasked with evaluating police reports and should be taken seriously by students. Following the report of a crime, if it is determined that a suspect at large poses a continued threat to the community, a crime alert may be issued. A great deal of reports in a short period of time, like this fall, can have conflicting impacts: It can, on one hand, make students apathetic to each following alert. It can also make students truly realize the unfortunate potential for violent crime in Oxford. The board hopes the alerts have the impact of the latter.
And while it is difficult to discern a pattern to the crime alerts, it does appear as if there is often a concentration of them at the beginning of the school year. Whether this a result of students lowering their guards after returning to Oxford, or due to the return of such a large number of people to a small community, students must remember to exercise common sense and good judgment. First-year students in particular must remain cognizant that violent crime occurs in Oxford, and remember to engage in behavior such as locking doors and walking home with friends.
As the year progresses, this editorial board encourages both students and the administration to continue to remain vigilant with regard to issuing and following up on Campus Crime Alerts. While some people have criticized the reports for contributing to a panicked atmosphere around campus, it is important that the community remains informed of developments. In light of this, the crime alerts should continue to be followed up with updates, as was done in this circumstance.