YSUPD embraces anonymous reporting

YSU police want students, faculty, staff and others at the university to know that they can report any suspicious incidents or concerns on campus without revealing their identity.

Via the “Anonymous Reporting” link on the YSU Police Department’s website, www.ysu.edu/police, reports can be filed and will be kept confidential, said John Beshara, YSU police chief.

“This is another step in our continuing efforts to use every possible means of communication and information sharing to make our university as safe and secure as possible,” he said.

The link on the YSUPD website is not new, but Beshara said the department never really advertised it to the campus. “You know what they say, ‘You may have the best plan in the world, but if no one knows about it, what good is it?’” he said.

The chief said that a process for anonymous reporting is required under the Clery Act, the federal law enforced by the U.S. Department of Education that requires colleges and universities to keep and disclose information about crime on or near their campuses.

Anonymous reports received by the YSUPD are investigated to determine the validity of the information and if further investigation and reports are necessary, the chief said. Depending on the type of information reported, YSUPD may be able to take some preventative actions to stop or mitigate a problem or crime.

“We know that some people do not like to get personally involved, so when an option is available to allow those persons to bring something forward, they are more likely to do so if they know they will remain anonymous,” he said.