The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Daily Crime & Fire log recently removed short summaries and advanced searches and made other changes, which police say were intended to ensure utmost accuracy and to protect people’s privacy.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Chief Hassan Ramzah said there were many inconsistencies in  how the crime log was set up, particularly with older archived cases. For example, how incident reports were classified at one point in time on the crime log is not the same as how they would be classified now, Ramzah said. As a result, Ramzah said he wanted to clean up these inconsistencies.

“My position is that if we’re going to put information out there publicly, it needs to be right and it needs to be accurate,” Ramzah said.

Ramzah said the intent behind the decision to remove the incident summaries was to increase privacy rather than lowering transparency. 

“I know there’s a need to know, or at least a want to know of what happened and specific details, but we also have to weigh that with what’s in the best interest of our students,” Ramzah said. “The goal is to try to get better at what we do. It’s not trying to hide anything.”

Ramzah said it is difficult to determine if the summaries will return in the future, but that the privacy and protection of UNL students are UNLPD’s top priority.

“This is an arduous task of changing all of this and so it is a work in progress,” Deb Fiddelke, UNL’s chief of communication and marketing officer, said. “The most important thing is to ensure that the information we’re providing is consistent and accurate and meets all of the requirements of the Clery Act, which this does.”

With the August protests against the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and sexual assault, and the general concerns of campus safety, Ramzah said he understands that these changes might not appear to come at an ideal time. 

“There’s never a good time to change the crime log, but there’s always a good time to do the right thing,” Ramzah said.