Federal law requires universities to have 60 days of crime data available for public view during business hours, but a new online incident log from the University of Wisconsin Police Department aims to make UW-Madison's data more accessible.
According to UWPD Capt. Karen Soley, who worked on implementing a web version for about 18 months, the log was placed on the UWPD website in mid-October. It lists every case number university police have generated within the last 60 days.
Prior to the online version, a daily crime log was available upon request weekdays in the UWPD office at 1429 Monroe St. Soley said the online crime log will also be updated weekdays.
Soley said a key difference between the hard copy and the online log is the addition of a status column, which lists whether a case is open, complete or if no further action will be taken. If a case is listed as open, it means UWPD records personnel have not yet entered possible updates from police reports.
[The] goal is just to make it easier for people who want to know what's currently happening on campus, at least take a look [at the log] and have some sort of sense of what kind of calls we're dealing with,"" she said.
Soley said common police calls include traffic stops, check persons and area, and request for assistance. ""In terms of crime, the most common crimes are disorderly conduct, criminal damage and theft.""
In the 60 days prior to Oct. 31 - the day the log was last updated - there were 76 reports of theft, 58 detox conveyances and more than 100 liquor law violations, which mostly occurred at campus residence halls and Camp Randall.
The University of Michigan also has a daily crime log, which has been on the Internet since the late 1990s, according to Michigan's Department of Public Safety public information officer Diane Brown. Other Big Ten schools that offer online logs include Ohio State University and Michigan State University.
Associate Dean of Students Kevin Helmkamp said those in the dean of students' office think the new log is a good idea.
""We're generally supportive of finding any way that works for students to get more information about safety issues on and around campus, and certainly hopeful that students will take advantage of this additional effort,"" he said.
To view UWPD's 60-day incident log, log on to www.uwpd.wisc.edu.