By William Pauldo
During the winter break, two violent crimes here in Decatur received state-wide attention. A robbery at a local Church’s Chicken on Dec. 18 resulted in the fatal shooting of an employee. Four days later, the body of 27-year-old Bondox Alceant was found at a local car wash, the victim of an apparent fatal stabbing. What was most alarming about these crimes was not just their violent natures, but also their close proximity to GPC’s Decatur campus.
The Dec. 18 robbery occurred three miles away from campus, and the Alceant was found less than a mile away from the campus. As of yet, there hasn’t been any explicit connections made between the crimes and the faculty, staff, or students of the Decatur campus. However, the fact that such violent crimes occurred so close to the school does raise concerns about security and safety on campus.
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, the city of Decatur saw 63 violent crimes (32 of which were aggravated assaults), 26 robberies, and over 500 cases of larceny in 2009. On the other hand, the number of actual crimes reported on Decatur campus was much smaller; there were no reported cases of murder, sex offenses (forcible or non-forcible), robbery, assault, burglary, or arson on the Decatur campus in 2009.
The only crimes reported on the Decatur campus were three incidents related to motor vehicle theft. There were no hate crimes reported, and the campus only reported one case of drug related disciplinary action. In fact, there has not been an arrest reported on the Decatur campus in over three years. The Decatur campus is the only campus without an arrest in 2009. Lt. Terry Payne refused to comment on the security measures being taken on campus.
While these statistics certainly don’t guarantee the complete safety of the campus, it does indicate that there’s a rather large disparity in the crime rate of the city and the crime rate of the campus. The crime reports for 2010 on Georgia Perimeter College campuses have not yet been made available. However the Federal Bureau of Investigation does have preliminary data for the city of Atlanta for 2010 available on its website. The data can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/preliminary-crime-in-the-us-2009