Vandalism, theft, arson and other crimes against school property, personnel and students in Granite District cost the district $104,967 during the 1986-87 school year.
The figure embodied a 33 percent increase over the $78,598 lost in the previous year, but it also reflected an increase in the number of buildings and equipment items in the district, District Police Chief Jerry Nielsen reported Tuesday.A total of 658 incidents were reported last year, compared with 618 for the previous year, Nielsen told Granite School Board members. Vandalism accounted for 81 percent of total 1986-87 losses. Repair of windows and screens damaged during vandalism amounted to $47,134. Greater expense involved in replacing windows in modern buildings contributed to the rise in total losses, he said.
The chief noted that district losses from criminal activity, although showing a rise last year, are significantly below the $2 million figures registered in the 1970s before the district's police department was established.
The department has five officers, all of whom have completed state law enforcement officer training. They provide round-the-clock surveillance of the district's 94 school buildings, plus administrative and support buildings.
Many of the buildings share an alarm system that enhances the efficiency of the police department. The system was installed at a cost of $200,000, Nielsen said considerably less than comparable systems used in other districts around the country. The Granite department receives many inquiries from other areas regarding the system, he said.
The effectiveness of the district police system was proved when a plane crash in the southwest area of the valley required immediate evacuation of several schools, Nielsen said. The department also runs a vigorous prevention program that has helped keep losses at a low level.
He told the board he needs additional staff to keep up with the increasing demands. He suggested the use of volunteer officers.