Annual Security and Fire Safety Report


Copy of 2021 crime stats

Alicia Dougherty, Campus News Editor

The Royal Purple had a chance to talk to UW-Whitewater police chief Matthew Keiderlen regarding the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (ASFR). The report shows significant highs and lows in their reported crimes on campus that Keiderlen explained were totally circumstantial. In 2021 there were only 261 cases of on-campus alcohol related incidents as opposed to 2020 with 431 cases. Reports of residence hall alcohol related incidents, however, went up by 70 incidents in 2021 from 2020 going from 181 to 250. 

“We are required to report numbers to the department of education and normally if you have a twenty to thirty percent change they usually want an explanation,” said Keiderlen, “But when we did the reports for 2019, 2020, and 2021 they didn’t pay any attention to it because they knew it was going to be all over the place.”

The chief went on to explain that due to the pandemic there was a spike in on-campus related alcohol reports because students were hosting larger gatherings where people could congregate in one place away from the residence halls where social distancing was heavily enforced.  After restrictions in residence halls were lifted in 2021, more people were able to gather causing the spike in residence hall alcohol reports. This also applied to on-campus drug reports as well. 

2020 crime chart

Aside from the annual report, Kiederlen shared some insight into how the data is collected for the ASFR. Besides the police, the data is collected by the Dean of Students office, housing, and athletics. All reports from the year are then collected from those offices and sent to the police in midsummer then they record to make up the report. 

Keiderlen also shared that numbers in the report look different from what they have to report to the FBI differences in crime definitions on various crimes. Currently the ASFR falls under different definitions in accordance with the department of education legislation known as the The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act which uses a different set of definition from the National Incident Based Recording System (NIBRS) which the FBI and all police national police departments in the US to measure define and report incidents. The Clery Act was implemented by President George H. Bush in 1990 after Jeanne Clery, a 19 year old student going to Lehigh University was killed in 1986. The enactment of the Clery Act then required all university campuses to report their crime data every single year in accordance with federal law. 

“It’s something I want people to be aware of that if you look at different reporting mechanisms numbers can shift or look different because of definitions under those reporting mechanisms,” said Keiderlen. 

2019 crime chart

There is, however, a push to make campus crimes measured under NIBRS for more consistent reporting to the public. Kiederlen is currently a member of the Uniform Crime Reporting Committee that strives to make this a reality.  

“It’s very easy for the public to look at the differences in reporting and think that we are trying to hide or change the numbers and that isnt it. We’ve been wanting this for a while, but it will take an act of congress to make it so we have consistency and that takes a lot more time.”

For a look at the annual report for 2021 visit the Annual Security and

Fire Safety Report.