UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies releases report on UCPD activity

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly listed fraternity houses as UCLA-owned properties. In fact, fraternity houses are UCLA-affiliated properties.

This post was updated on July 22 at 9:55 p.m.

A minority of UCPD policing events involve force, the threat of violence, or follow-on actions, UCLA researchers said in an April report.

The UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies released the report, which analyzed UCPD response data from 2014, 2018 and 2019, and found that less than 10% of incidents involve force or the threat of violence.

Paavo Monkkonen, associate professor of urban planning and public policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs and author of the report, said the report found that many of the calls the UCPD responds to are low-risk situations, such as property damage and traffic. calls that do not require officers to carry weapons such as guns.

However, UCPD spokesman Scott Scheffler said in an emailed statement that he disagreed with the report’s findings on the percentage of incidents involving violence, as these incidents can escalate at any time.

“It is inaccurate to classify an incident as not involving a threat of violence solely on the basis of the final index offense,” Scheffler said.

The report also found that more than 80% of cases investigated by the UCPD have no criminal follow-up by the UCPD.

Grace Kyungwon Hong, a professor of gender studies and Asian American studies and a member of the UCLA Divest/Invest faculty collective, said when the UCPD does not track criminal activity, it begs the question of why the service of police is so present on Campus.

Scheffler said that while many incidents such as the theft of bikes or the breakdown of a dispute often involve potential criminal activity, investigations may lack sufficient evidence to proceed. These investigations are then marked as closed, inactive or without a lead, he added.

Information regarding criminal incident classifications comes from the Clery Act, a federal law that requires colleges and universities to create a log of all crimes on or near campuses, Monkkonen said. Although these logs are meant to create transparency around college crime rates, some crime descriptions are vague, he added.

Although the police department’s official jurisdiction includes only UCLA property, about a third of UCPD responses in 2019 took place off campus or other UCLA-owned property, according to the report.

Monkkonen said the UCPD’s activities outside of its official jurisdiction could be a matter of concern for those wondering how the UCPD budget is spent.

“Even someone who doesn’t fully agree with police funding might wonder why the University of California is spending its money on police locations away from campus,” Monkkonen said.

However, Scheffler said there are several UCLA-affiliated properties in Westwood within the official jurisdiction classified as off-campus in the report, such as UCLA housing, commercial buildings and fraternity houses.

Scheffler added that the police department’s jurisdiction extends to areas immediately surrounding other UCLA facilities if a disturbance occurs nearby. UCPD officers are required by state law to respond to incidents they encounter while traveling between UCLA facilities.

Monkkonen said the intentions of the report were to raise awareness of UCPD activity to the UCLA community.

“The goal of the report was really just to present the data in a way that makes it understandable to the campus community and activists,” Monkkonen said.

Contributing reports from Maanas Hemanth Oruganti, Senior Executive of the Daily Bruin.

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