At Loyola, police recently sent a campuswide email about a robbery at a McDonald's on York Road that is frequently patronized by students.
"We make a judgment call," Sawyer said. "The basic question is, 'If the students had this information, would it benefit them?'"
Others, such as Morgan State and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, choose not to post neighborhood crime reports, though the police chiefs at both said they send e-mail bulletins if there's a threat at an off-campus spot frequented by students.
Security officials try not to pelt students with too many alerts because they don't want them to seem routine and easy to ignore.
"We don't want to get into a position where people think we're crying wolf," said Samuel Tress, police chief at the University of Baltimore.
Tress' department of 34 officers patrols a stretch of 40 blocks centered around Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue. He sends a sergeant to weekly meetings of Central District police commanders and posts summaries of neighborhood crimes on the university's website. "We're taking it a step further than Clery requires," Tress said.