The 2012 Campus and Fire Safety Report released last week by Texas A&M University-Kingsville showed an increased enforcement on drug and liquor violations.
The report, which is required under the Clery Act, showed that arrests for liquor jumped from 29 in 2010 to 70 in 2011.
The arrests mainly stem from parties that are thrown in the dorm, according to Thomas Martin, director of housing.
“It’s hard to hide a party, because it’s loud,” he said.
University Police Department (UPD) chief Felipe Garza says the jump in arrests is partially due to reaching full employment.
“We filled our empty slots,” he said. “We’ve got more officers out there that respond to these calls.”
UPD also began to change its mindset when it came to alcohol.
“We also started zero tolerance on any minor in possession,” Garza said.
Though drug arrests went down, the disciplinary action taken on drug violations by the school also jumped from 45 in 2010 to 70 in 2011.
Garza said that the jump in disciplinary action occurs because police do not always find enough marijuana and drug paraphernalia to make arrests, so they will refer the students to be punished through the Student Code of Conduct.
Martin finds that the most problems come from the new students on campus.
“Generally the problem we have is kids that are away from home for the first time,” he said.
Reported burglaries, which Garza calls “crimes of opportunity”, were cut down in half, from 36 in 2010 to 18 in 2011.
“We work really closely with the RA’s, and we have…the engraving program,” Garza said.
Though that number went down, it would still be best for students to keep an eye on their valuables, said Kirsten Compary, Dean of Students.
“As people get more comfortable in their environment, they start taking things for granted,” she said.
Garza says there’s still more room for UPD to promote safety, through presentations.
“We want to be out in the community a lot more,” he said. “I want to be able to do more presentations to the student body.”
Regardless of the numbers, Compary stressed that safety is the responsibility of everyone, not just a select few.
“The one thing I will say about safety is it’s not just UPD’s job and it’s not just the RA’s job,” she said. “Everyone has a job for safety.”