Alcohol and drug violations top annual campus crime report

This week, NKU’s 2013 Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Report revealed that drug and liquor law violations remain the top reason for arrests on campus and on-campus student housing in 2012.

In addition to details about the university’s current security policies and procedures, the report released statistics about crimes and fires on and near the university’s campus over the last three years in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

“We take this disclosure very serious, and we think sharing this information with the community is a top priority,” said University Police Chief Jason Willis, who came to NKU in 2010.

Drug abuse violations arrests increased both on campus and in on-campus student housing in 2012 over the last three years. However, the number of liquor law violation arrests has dropped to half of what it was on campus in 2010.

In addition, burglary offenses on campus in 2012 were down 10 times the amount in 2010. There were two forcible sexual offenses in 2012 on campus and one in student housing.

However, the NKU community and students do neglect to report incidents at times, and it is hard to determine how many crimes go unreported, according to Willis.

“I think one of the big reasons why people don’t want to report crimes sometimes is they don’t trust the police,” Willis said. “I think that is one of the big things; we’re trying to break the barrier, where students trust us and feel comfortable reporting crimes to us.”

He attributes this breaking of barriers, becoming more visible throughout the community and building relationships with housing as reasons why most violations have decreased throughout campus.

Due to bikes and a lot more foot patrol, security is “out and about a little more” throughout the area compared to the past, according to Willis. More visibility throughout the community has allowed more violations to be observed.

Alcohol and drug violations remain the top security violations among colleges around the area to be observed and reported in their annual Jeanne Clery Act reports.

At the University of Cincinnati’s main Uptown East and West campus, there were 18 drug law violation arrests, eight liquor law violation arrests and one illegal weapons possession arrest in 2012, according to UC’s crime statistics report. There were also 81 drug law violation referrals, 28 liquor law violation referrals and 19 illegal weapon possessions referrals that year.

Xavier University reported no liquor, drug or weapon law violation arrests on campus in 2012, according to the university’s crime statistics report. However, Xavier reported 114 drug abuse violations referrals, 665 liquor law violation referrals and two weapons referrals the same year.

In comparison, 26 drug abuse violation arrests, 23 liquor law violation arrests and one weapon violation arrest were made at NKU in 2012 on the Highland Heights campus. The same year, two drug abuse violation referrals, 13 liquor law violation referrals and zero weapons violation referrals were made on the campus.

More arrests were made at NKU for drug abuse, liquor and weapons violations than were reported at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier in 2012. However, a higher rate of criminal offenses were reported at UC and Xavier than NKU from 2010-2012.

At UC’s Uptown campus, there were seven forcible sex offenses, three robberies and 23 burglaries in 2012. At Xavier, five forcible sex offenses, one robbery and one burglary were reported the same year. NKU reported two forcible sex offenses and two burglaries in 2012.

“I think our [NKU] crime rate is fairly low because we do have a high commuter population where most of our students come to class then they leave,” Willis said. “The more we see students living on campus, the more those numbers will probably go up a little bit.”

Since Willis started at NKU in 2010, there has been one weapons arrest on campus. In 2012, a visiting 18-year-old from off-campus was pulled over in Lot N and found in illegal possession of a 9mm handgun and alcohol, according to Willis.

The possession of or use of any firearm or deadly weapon of any form is prohibited on NKU’s property. Forbidden weapons include martial arts weapons, bows and arrows, air guns, BB guns and knives, according to the NKU’s Campus Security Policy report.

Campus shooter security is one of the top two or three things Willis said he is always thinking about. In light of such shootings as Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, every week Willis helps train the community through ALICE training, an active shooter response strategy instruction program. At NKU, the organization has “probably trained over 2,000 faculty, staff and students,” according to Willis.

“I think we can do some things to empower our students and our community members to watch out for each other and make good, smart decisions,” Willis said.

To prepare for violent shooter situations at universities and other locations, ALICE training is a combination of response strategies and the components Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, according to the ALICE Training Institute website. The training “equips you with strategies to better prepare for life-and-death encounters,” such as an active shooter on university grounds.

NKU’s program offers lessons about the history of school shootings and the shooters’ motivation in addition to learning about response methods if a shooter was encountered.

Training for various scenarios can help because each situation is different and your response is dictated by the situation, according to Willis.

Free ALICE training for anyone from the university or visiting will be held by Willis and Melissa Moon, faculty member in the criminal justice department and certified ALICE instructor, in the next couple months. The dates will be announced on the university’s website.

NKU also provides additional security services, such as emergency call boxes located throughout campus, an escort program from dusk until dawn and Norse Alert, a voice and text message emergency notification system.

Under the Clery Act, by Oct. 1 each year, universities are required to publish and distribute their campus security report to current, as well as prospective, students and staff, according to the Clery Center for Security On Campus Incorporation’s website, a nonprofit 501(c) organization.

The act also requires institutions to have a public crime log; devise an emergency response, notification and testing policy; publish an annual fire safety report; and enact procedures to handle missing student reports.

“I think NKU is a very safe community, and I think the data reflected in the report shows that,” Willis said.