WAAY 31 I-Team: University of Alabama in Huntsville federally required to release crime stats

WAAY 31 looked into the policy after a pursuit led to officers firing shots at a suspect.

Posted: Mar 22, 2019 6:30 PM
Updated: May 4, 2021 11:56 AM

A WAAY 31 I-Team Instant Investigation following a pursuit and officer-involved shooting Friday morning that began at the University of Alabama in Huntsville reveals a federal statute requires information about the university's policing to be made public.

The university releases a crime and fire log each month. It's supposed to be updated daily with crimes happening on campus. However, we learned the university is on spring break this week, so no updates have been made since last Thursday.

The university is also required to release an annual security report, as part of the government's "Clery Act." The purpose is to inform the public on crime stats on campus. We found it also explains the police department's priorities, and what they're doing to keep students and faculty safe.

The 2018 report shows all campus police officers are held to the same standards as regular peace officers in Alabama. That means they are required to go through state training every year, and learn about when it's okay to fire their weapons.

The report doesn't talk about the university's policy when it comes to police pursuits. We've requested that policy twice from the university, and our first request was denied. We still haven't heard back from them about our second one.

The annual report shows enforcing traffic violations is one of department's top 10 priorities. Friday's pursuit happened after Clifford Landers failed to pull over for a traffic violation on campus. The daily crime log shows another pursuit on March 9th was also for failing to stop for a traffic violation.

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