I-Team: School Security - Part 1
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:09 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - There's been so much talk about guns and what to do to prevent mass tragedies.
But, numbers show your child is much more likely to become a victim of theft, assault, or bullying, than of murder.
Video of a fight appeared on YouTube, and according to the posting, it happened at Loy Norrix High School--where KPS has a police officer in the building.
Documents we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that school resource officer is a very busy person.
At Norrix alone, we surveyed 240 school days, wherein documents show there were 308 total calls for police service.
Of those calls, 41 were for simple things--rescues or welfare checks. However, 14 were for some kind of sexual assault, 56 for assault and battery cases or fights, 66 for larceny or theft.
That's in one high school in just more than one school year.
Loy Norrix was only a small part of the investigation, however.
We obtained police dispatch logs for most of the other schools in Kalamazoo Public Schools, along with some schools in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and Allegan.
Districts have an obligation to report, by law, just about every incident that would involve law enforcement on their campus to the state's Center for Educational Performance and Information.
As a result, we assumed the I-Team's data would match up with the state's.
After pouring through all the data though, there were some extreme anomalies that we couldn't understand.
For example, in Kalamazoo Public Schools we found 104 reports of assault and battery or fights; 17 criminal sexual conduct complaints; 2 robberies; and 63 larceny cases.
What was reported by the district to the state? Zero assault and battery or fights; zero criminal sexual conduct cases; zero robberies; and 23 larceny cases.
Even more odd, it seems the district hasn't reported an assault and battery to the state for the last four years, and there are no reports of sex assaults dating back five years.
Kalamazoo Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice issued a statement to Newschannel 3, saying that "WWMT's request is the first a parent, students, or community member has ever brought the CEPI report to our attention."
Our audit of Grand Rapids Public Schools, on the other hand, shows that the school is largely reporting to CEPI correctly.
"I believe in CEPI, but CEPI, like every other system, is only as good as the information put into it," said GRPS Security Director Larry Johnson.
Battle Creek and Allegan also passed the I-Team's truth test, so we wanted to know whether Kalamazoo's school leaders are going to get it right this year.
We didn't get an answer.
To find out the crime statistics reported by every school in the state, click here.