The total number of crimes on and around Georgetown’s main campus dropped 5 percent from 2006 to 2007, continuing a drop from the year before, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Department of Public Safety.

In its annual Crime Awareness and Campus Security Report, DPS said that it responded to a total of 241 crimes last year, down slightly from 253 in 2006. The report also revealed a drop in the two most commonly reported crimes at Georgetown: burglaries, from a total of 22 to 20, and thefts, from 225 to 213.

“Overall, the Georgetown community is doing well,” DPS Director Jeff Van Slyke said. “For Georgetown, in a large metroplex, statistically we’re pretty good.”

Sex offenses, however, rose slightly, from five to six. The number of drug violations has been increasing since 2005, when there were nine, to 42 last year. Van Slyke attributed this in part to better enforcement efforts by resident assistants rather than just a general increase in drug usage.

Though reported alcohol violations also fell substantially – from 903 to 512 – DPS Associate Director Doris Bey said the drop was due to a change in what types of incidents were classified as alcohol violations, not a decrease in student drinking.

In 2006, violations reported included any incidents that violated Georgetown policy or D.C. laws. In 2007, though, only those violating D.C. laws were reported.

Van Slyke said the report, which shows a more significant drop in crime on the main campus than in nearby Georgetown residences, reveals some progress. For a criminal, “to come on campus is more of a risk,” he said.

But Van Slyke, who joined the university last June, hopes to see greater progress in fighting crime through increased community policing efforts, including the new Adopt-a-Cop program, designed to foster increased interaction between officers and students living on the Hilltop.

“Our hope is that Adopt-a-Cop, in having DPS more engaged with students and RAs, has the propensity to reduce [crime],” he said.

In addition to the new program, Van Slyke said he instructs DPS officers to try to positively interact with students each day with some tried-and-tested police advice.

“Be pleasant, be respectful and build some good will. That’s what public service is all about,” he said.

Van Slyke added that he welcomes student feedback on the report’s statistics and on DPS procedures.

“I’ve always been a firm believer in being transparent about stats. I’m approachable. I want to be able to provide info,” he said.

Van Slyke also highlighted the portions of the report that called for students to be more aware of their surroundings, saying student participation is vital to community safety.

“Being safe is a state of mind. All of us have a responsibility to take common-sense precautions. Take ownership of your personal safety and don’t be a statistic.”

The full report, which includes an explanation of all DPS policies in addition to crime data from 2005-2007, is available on the DPS Web site.

Van Slyke noted that one figure on the report, the seven reported “Possession of Prohibited Weapons” violations, was in fact incorrect. No such incidents were reported last year, he said.

The report was released in compliance with the Clery Act, which compels all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses.

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