Arrestees' names not in campus crime log
DPS hasn't directly answered questions on reporting law compliance
September 26, 2013, 9:36 pm · Updated September 26, 2013, 11:32 pm·
The Division of Public Safety has not answered inquiries from The Daily Pennsylvanian regarding the lack of names and addresses of people arrested on or near campus in its daily crime log.
The DP raised concerns to DPS about the absence this information, citing the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting Act — which says that colleges and universities must publish a public daily crime log that includes “the names and addresses of persons arrested and charged and the charges filed against those persons.”
DPS did not directly say what steps must be taken by community members interested in obtaining that information.
Previously, the names and addresses had been available on the PDF posted on DPS’ website. Since last month, however, the information has been omitted. The changes were made after the DP alerted DPS that the crime log included the names of juveniles who were arrested in the Penn Patrol Zone — the area around campus patrolled by Penn Police. The disclosure violated a Pennsylvania law protecting the identities of people arrested under the age of 18. The names and addresses of arrested minors were written in white text, making them invisible to the eye but accessible via copy and pasting and through search engines.
The updated version does not include the names and addresses of anyone who has been arrested, regardless of age, nor is it searchable.
In response to questions — including what measures DPS has taken to ensure compliance with reporting laws — DPS referred to a statement issued regarding the initial problems with the crime log.
“When DPS began posting a PDF version of its daily crime log on the DPS website, we took measures to secure the identifying information for juvenile offenders; as per the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act,” the statement reads. After being alerted that the names of minors were available, “DPS, working with ISC Security, [took] immediate action to ensure that this data is secure.”
In the past, DPS kept two separate crime logs — one conforming to federal crime reporting laws which do not require the names of arrestees, and one conforming to Pennsylvania reporting laws, which mandate listing the names and addresses of people who were arrested.
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In 2008, the two logs were combined in part because of lack of public knowledge about the information available in the second log.