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Crime rate down on Cumberland campus

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:17 PM

On Friday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released its annual Crime on Campus Report for the 2013 calendar year, with Cumberland University reporting little to no crime in numerous categories.

The TBI’s annual report gives figures and statistics for the nature, volume and extent of reported crime on campuses and in the housing of Tennessee colleges and universities each year.

According to TBI Director Mark Gwyn, the report is based on data submitted to them through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System program that collects data on all crimes occurring in the state.

“This report will hopefully assist law enforcement, institution administrations, and government officials in planning their efforts in the fight against crime and continue to create an awareness that crime exists as a threat in our communities,” Gwyn said.

Statewide, the report shows that crime on campuses decreased by more than 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, with 6,698 offenses reported last year compared to 7,576 offenses reported in 2012.

The most reported crime across the state last year were larceny/thefts, totaling 33 percent of all offenses reported in 2013.

Cumberland’s report numbers show last year there were reports of one burglary, five larceny/thefts, one stolen property offense and one vandalism case. The thefts reported include two thefts from a building, one theft from a coin machine, one theft from a motor vehicle and one theft of motor vehicle parts.

There were 16 total liquor law violations.

Additionally, the report shows there were zero cases of homicide, sexual offenses, assault, fraud, drug violations, gambling, prostitution and weapons law violations.

“Cumberland has an excellent security company that handles most of their needs,” Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said. “Parents should feel very comfortable in sending their children to school there.”

Cumberland President Harvill Eaton said safety is one of the most important things and something that is “critical” to him.

“I’m speaking as the president, but also as a parent and a grandparent,” Eaton said. “There is nothing more important than the safety of our children, and in my case, the safety of students.”

After reviewing this year’s Crime on Campus Report, Eaton said he felt Cumberland’s numbers were good, “but we try to always be better.”

“You can never assume it’s safe; you have to always be diligent,” Eaton said. “And we do our very best to keep at the top of the list of safest places.”

Eaton attributed some of Cumberland’s low crime rate to the area.

“In part, it’s really because we live in a great community. I couldn’t be prouder of Lebanon,” Eaton said. 

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