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APSU police chief says TBI report shows APSU is ‘safest campus'

Austin Peay fared well in the recently released report, Crime on Campus, published by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The report compiles data of all higher education institutions in Tennessee for calendar year 2003. APSU Chief of Police Eric Provost says, After comparing our statistics with those of ‘like institutions, I am comfortable in saying Austin Peay is the safest campus in Tennessee.
Austin Peay fared well in the recently released report, “Crime on Campus,” published by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The report compiles data of all higher education institutions in Tennessee for calendar year 2003. APSU Chief of Police Eric Provost says, “After comparing our statistics with those of ‘like' institutions, I am comfortable in saying Austin Peay is the safest campus in Tennessee.”

“Like institutions,” as defined by Provost, are ETSU, MTSU, TSU, TTU, University of Memphis, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Knoxville, UT-Martin and Vanderbilt University.

APSU had only one violent felony in 2003, which Provost said was an acquaintance rape. There were 31 reported sexual offenses among the “like” institutions. All but two reported at least one sexual offense on campus last year, and four institutions reported two or more.

In 2003, there were no murders at any of the institutions. However, there were 24 robberies, 41 aggravated assaults, 11 arsons and one kidnapping.

Provost says, “Austin Peay is the only ‘like' institution in the state that had zero offenses in all five categories.”

According to him, although the number of thefts rose at APSU, from 64 in 2002 to 70 in 2003, APSU still had the fewest thefts reported and the third lowest rate of thefts per capita. He indicated that the overall incidence of crime at APSU occurred at a rate of 25.5 per 1,000 students. In comparison, four of the “like” institutions had rates above 46 per 1,000.

In summary, Provost says, “Austin Peay had the lowest violent crime rate and the fewest overall number of crimes reported.”

He attributes this record to APSU's zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs on campus, the proactive, positive working relationship between the campus police and the student affairs staff, an expanded student patrol and the sense of community on campus.

For more information or to review a copy of TBI's “Crime on Campus, 2003,” telephone Provost at 7786.
—Dennie Burke