USA Drug Arrests Tripled in 1998

USA Drug Arrests Tripled in 1998
Posted by FoM on June 08, 2000 at 10:40:06 PT
By Rhoda A. Pickett, Register Staff Reporter 
Source: Mobile Register
The number of drug-related arrests at the University of South Alabama tripled over a one-year period, even as overall crime there dropped, according to survey results released by the Chronicle of Higher Education. USA tied Auburn for the lead in 1998 drug arrests with 33, compared to 11 in 1997,but reported only five alcohol arrests for that same year, according to the periodical's annual crime survey. 
Auburn University led Alabama schools with 60 alcohol arrests. USA officials said that while the number of drug arrests may match those of the state's largest school, most of the 1998 drug arrests involved those who did not attend the Mobile institution. Most of the arrests were for marijuana possession, school officials said. "Eleven of those were students, and the other 22 were non-students," said Dale Adams, USA's vice president of student affairs, whose duties include directing residential housing. "We have a zero-tolerance policy, and if people come through the campus, and they are stopped for speeding, we search their vehicle, and if we find something, we arrest them," Adams said. The Chronicle - a weekly newspaper that covers higher education issues - has conducted the survey for the past eight years, reporting crime statistics for 481 four-year institutions with at least 5,000 students. USA reported an enrollment of 11,999 for 1997. "I don't think that 11 students out of a student body of 12,000 is too bad," Adams said, referring to the drug violators. Many of the non-student arrests involved people who may have been visiting students, he said. Colleges and universities are required by federal law to annually disclose crime statistics. Community colleges are not included in the survey because they are largely commuter colleges and typically do not experience as many crimes as do four-year institutions. Adams said that USA police made 16 drug arrests in 1999, but only three of those arrested attended the university. There were no alcohol arrests, but 13 alcohol violations - which included alcohol found in dormitory rooms. The alcohol offenses were handled through the school's disciplinary committee, he said. "I tell every student in the fall that if they are caught with alcohol, they will be arrested," Adams said. "We don't coddle them, and I think the parents want us to be aggressive like that." The total number of liquor arrests on all campuses listed in the survey rose to 23,261, up from 18,708 in 1997. That amounted to a 24.3 percent rise in alcohol violations between 1997 and 1998 - the largest increase in seven years, the chronicle reported. Despite leading the state in 1998, Auburn's alcohol-related offenses had decreased from the previous year's statistics, according to the Chronicle's report. In 1997, Auburn, with an enrollment of 21,505, led the state's universities with 80 alcohol arrests in 1997. Auburn officials also have said that most of the alcohol and drug arrests involved non-students and occurred during football season. Also, many of the streets that run through the campus are also public thoroughfares, Auburn officials said. "We have a very aggressive policy and enforce the drug and alcohol laws on campus," Auburn spokesman Bob Lowery said. "Most of the streets that run through the campus are public thoroughfares. We don't have any closed streets or side streets. It's all open streets." Published: June 8, 2000 2000 Mobile Register. Related Articles & Web Sites:Students For Sensible Drug Policy Chronicle Of Higher Education Life - Campus Crime U. Adm. Needs to Make Code of Conduct Clear  Students Seek Reform of U.S. Drug War a Joint, Lose Your Loan 
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