Mustang News Staff Report
Cal Poly’s annual Clery report, published Monday by the University Police Department (UPD), showed a shift in drug and alcohol punishments.
The annual security report, also known as the Clery Act, covers all offenses reported to UPD from 2010 to 2012. Violent crimes are rare at Cal Poly. Most crimes involve drug and alcohol offenses and property crimes.
After 25 arrests for drug law violations on campus in 2011, UPD made just one arrest in 2012.
There were 34 drug and alcohol disciplinary actions on campus, which mean an arrest was not made but the student was referred to campus judicial affairs. This is a large increase from the eight made in 2011. The numbers for residence community properties are similar.
“We are taking more of an educational approach in dealing with these violations,” Police Chief George Hughes said. “Our goal is to change the behavior. When dealing with these situations we ask, ‘What do I think is going to be the best way to learn this lesson?’ I think the officers are doing a good job in determining if an arrest or a citation should be made.”
The type of drug, however, does influence the type of enforcement action. If the student is in possession of a prescription drug or hard drug, UPD takes a harder stance, he said. Marijuana is only an infraction, and the offender will more likely face disciplinary actions than an arrest.
The number of on-campus burglaries dropped from 29 in 2010 and seven in 2011 to three in 2012.
“I would imagine the preventative educational outreach we have done in the last three years has helped reduce property crimes,” Hughes said.
These programs include teaching students to lock and secure their valuable items and register their bikes with UPD.
One rape case was reported on an off-campus property this past year.
UPD’s jurisdiction only reaches a mile off-campus. The department typically leaves off-campus offensives to the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD). The numbers in the Clery act do not include actions taken by SLOPD.
In comparison, UC Santa Barbara’s 2011 Clery Act showed 955 alcohol-related referrals and 492 drug-related referrals.
Benjy Egel and Sara Natividad contributed to this staff report.