Public Safety Annual Security and Fire Safety Report


Fordham’s Public Safety’s Security and Fire Safety Report came out this week.

Sofia Donohue, Contributing Writer

Every year, an email is sent to Fordham faculty, students and staff to access the Public Safety Annual Report. In addition to policies, safety services and programs, the report also includes statistics on incidents across all three campuses: Rose Hill, Lincoln Center and Westchester. 


This year’s report, released last week in an email to the Fordham community, contains crime statistics from 2018, 2019 and 2020. The three years’ worth of statistics include particular types of crimes that were reported to have occurred on campus, in or on off-campus buildings or school-owned property and on public property adjacent to campus. According to this year’s report, the number of reported incidents across all three campuses decreased in 2020. The pandemic forced the cancelation of large in-person events such as homecoming, family weekend and spring weekend, and limited crowd attendance at sporting events, which may account for the slight decrease in safety incidents on Fordham campuses. 


According to the report, liquor law violations account for the largest percentage of offenses at both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, according to the report. At Rose Hill, there were 1,044 liquor law violations in 2018, 849 violations in 2019 and 561 violations in 2020. There was a 20% decline between the number of liquor law violations between 2018 and 2019 and a 40% decline between 2019 and 2020. When comparing liquor law violations in 2018 versus 2020, there is a 60% decrease in the number of incidents, likely because of the fewer number of students on campus in 2020 as well as the decrease of in-person events in and around campus.


Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus also experienced a decrease in liquor law violations. There were 70 liquor law violations in 2018, 74 violations in 2019 and 39 violations in 2020. The most dramatic gap is the number of liquor law violations in 2018 versus 2020. When comparing the two, there is a 57% decline in incidents.


Liquor law violations were not the only incidents that decreased during the pandemic. Overall, the report showed that incidents generally decreased across the board. Categories that saw a decrease in number included “burglary,” “rape,” “fondling,” “dating violence,” “stalking,” “drug abuse violations” and “hate crimes.” 


John Carroll, Associate Vice President of Public Safety, said he believes that the lower number of incidents in 2020 is directly related to the lower student resident population. When asked how the pandemic affected work in Public Safety,  Carroll noted that most Fordham students and faculty were either remote or hybrid last year;; Public Safety worked tirelessly, day and night, to protect the Fordham community. Public Safety faced complications such as staff contracting COVID and needing to rally staff members to serve as Contact Tracers. As a response to the pandemic, Public Safety regularly reviews its safety protocols, adapting based on the constantly evolving nature of the pandemic, said Carroll. For example, last year’s closing of Walsh Gate was a safety measure implemented because of COVID-19, he explained. However, with technology determining vaccination status through Fordham ID and Vital Check this fall, Walsh Gate was permitted to open for the 2021-22 academic year, said Carroll.


Christopher Rodgers, the assistant vice president and dean of students at Fordham Rose Hill, praised public safety’s dedication to protecting students. “I am quite proud that our staff and departments were able to help Rose Hill remain up and running throughout last year despite largely remote classes, a residential cohort reduced by a thousand or so students, and the many challenges posed by that phase of the ongoing health emergency,” said Rodgers.


When asked if he thinks the number of incidents will remain low this year, Carroll said he believes it is unlikely. “[Public Safety] anticipates with the increased resident population combined with one of the largest first-year student populations, crime statistics will rise,” said Carroll. 


Rodgers also noted the possibility for more incidents in next year’s report. “Now that the campus is once more fully alive with commuter and residence students, we hope to see a return to normal in multiple areas and are prepared if this includes mischief or even more serious misconduct,” he said.