Audit: UNM not meeting federal safety guidelines

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A new report shows the University of New Mexico has a lot of work to do on keeping campus safe, according to federal standards. The university audited its own procedures and found there’s no organized way to track crime and no plan if there’s a big emergency.

The audit, which is titled “Preliminary Assessment of Clery Act Compliance,” compared UNM’s current practices to ones the federal government wants in place by next year under the so-called “Clery Act.”

Among many other findings, auditors found that UNM doesn’t have an evacuation plan and there are significant holes in the role of campus employees reporting problems.

The missing reporting mechanism is something some students say they notice.

“I am not aware of what programs the university police have to bring these issues out to public light,” said Nikhil Addleman, a senior at UNM.

“I don’t think .. they have like told me much about what you can do if you see something wrong,” said Evelyn Carrillo, a sophomore at UNM.

The audit was released in late-August, giving a look at how UNM is stacking up against federal guidelines in the Clery Act. The act is a federal law that’s designed to get campuses to record and report crime to better inform and protect students.

One of the main findings says that UNM’s annual crime report was quote, “…unreliable, fire statistics are missing from the report, and the University does not have a University-wide evacuation plan.”

While the audit said UNM Police is doing its job keeping campus crime statistics that are released each October, it found that so-called “Campus Security Authorities” aren’t doing their job, or don’t know if or how to do their job. Campus Security Authorities or CSA’s are security guards, teachers, coaches and the dean of students who are supposed to report crimes and incidents that they hear and see.

The report said UNM hasn’t clearly designated, notified or trained CSA’s about their responsibilities.

The feds want to see changes by next summer and UNM Police says it’s confident they’ll be able to do it.

“I think that they should know that we’re pointed in a direction where we can go forward where we can take these recommendations and deal with them individually and come into compliance with the Clery Act,” said Lt. Tim Stump of the UNM Police Department.

In response to the audit, UNM Police put has since put its deputy chief in charge of making sure they meet all of the federal guidelines of the Clery Act. The university says that the Safety and Risk Services Department is now drafting a copy of a campus wide evacuation plan.

More than 50 universities are on a federal watch list because of they’re not meeting the Clery Act’s rules, however, UNM is not one of them.

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