By Associated Press - Thursday, March 4, 2021

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island attorney general’s office reached an agreement with Brown University to improve the Ivy League school’s reporting of possible hate crimes to the state.

The agreement announced Wednesday follows a review by Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office that found Brown often failed to report alleged hate crimes to state police as required under state law.

Between 2016 and 2018, Brown reported 22 hate crimes to the U.S. Department of Education, but during the same period, reported only two to state police, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

“Through consistent identification and tracking, hate crime reporting can improve law enforcement’s handling of bias-motivated incidents,” Neronha said. “By requesting accurate and universal hate crime reporting from all departments across the state, it is our goal to ensure that hate crimes are documented, investigated, and prosecuted where appropriate.”

Under state law, police departments - including campus departments - must report crimes that appear to have been motivated by bigotry or bias to state police.

The agreement includes implementing a procedure that clarifies the university’s hate crime reporting practices, training on hate crimes for university officers, coordinating with Providence police and requiring Brown to file annual reports with the attorney general’s office.

Brown “values student safety, condemns bigotry and bias, and has always strived to comply fully with hate crime reporting requirements,” the university said in a statement.

“Based on feedback as part of this state review, we look forward to further enhancing our processes for making timely reports to the state in accordance with Rhode Island law, and ensuring close coordination with the Providence Police Department for the reporting of alleged hate crimes that occur within or near Brown’s campus,” the university said.

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