UC Berkeley suffered a multi-hour lockdown on campus on Thursday, April 21. During the lockdown, police have been looking for a suspect who they believe made serious and credible threats of violence towards the Berkeley community.
The university implemented the shelter-in-place order around 10 a.m. which lasted for several hours. The UCPD was able to locate the individual in question at an off-campus location and determine that the individual posed no immediate threat to campus or anyone there. The university has not released more specific details, prioritizing the confidentiality of everyone involved.
This recent event raises questions about UCR’s readiness to secure the UCR campus and provide security in areas that warrant a full review. Not long ago, the UC Riverside Police Department underwent a management transition. Lt. Anthony Frisbee of the UC Irvine Police Department was confirmed as Acting Chief of the UCPD and began working with Chief John Freese in January 2022 to ensure a smooth transition in February 2022 when Freese retired. Chief Freese was sworn in to Lt. Frisbee as Acting Chief on February 10, 2022. The UCR continues to conduct a national search for a permanent chief and they hope to find a candidate who can start before the next school year.
UCR UCPD has made strides to provide more comprehensive campus security. Decisions made by the UCR UCPD last year reorganized the police service into a holistic health, safety and welfare division. The new division also includes Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education, or CARE, Basic Needs, Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, The Well, Student Affairs Case Management and Student Disability Resource Center.
Crime statistics from the UCR Crime and Safety Report 2019 come from the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security data. It analyzes four types of crimes: violence against women, arrests for felonies, arrests for possession and disciplinary sanctions.
UCR reported 232 crime and safety incidents in 2019. These incidents involved students and occurred on or near campus or other school-affiliated properties. The overall percentage of offenses by category: 53.9% of disciplinary actions, 23.7% of arrests for major crimes, 12.5% of violence against women and 9.9% of arrests for possession.
In 2019, UCR Campus Crime Statistics reported 220 crime and safety related incidents involving students on campus. Overall percentage of crimes on campus by category: 56.8% disciplinary actions, 23.3% arrests for major crimes, 12.7% violence against women and 7.3% arrests for possession.
According to the UCR Crime and Safety Report 2019, it is not uncommon for a school to report no incidents for any or all of these categories: 56% of schools covered reported no no arrests for major crimes, 67% reported no violence against women, 70% reported no arrests for possession, and 68% reported no disciplinary action. However, no reported incidents of crime could indicate lax reporting. A high number of incidents may mean the school is stricter on enforcement and reporting. By maintaining a critical analysis of crime reports and focusing the safety of the UCR community, the campus can prevent simplistic or incomplete analyzes that may harm UCR students and staff.