Report: Fewer burglaries, more alcohol arrests

Cameron Koch

The recently released Annual Campus Security and Fire Report revealed burglaries on campus are down dramatically, while instances of public intoxication and liquor law violations are up.

In 2010, the WKU Police Department recorded 71 instances of burglary — also known as breaking and entering. In 2011, WKUPD received just 32 reports of burglary, a 39-case drop.

The number of simple assaults on campus also dropped from 17 in 2010 to 10 last year.

Mandi Johnson, public information officer for WKUPD, said there could be any number of reasons for the drop in recorded burglaries, but that she likes to think that increased student awareness has helped contribute to the drop.

“Hopefully, through education people are realizing that it’s important to lock their doors,” Johnson said. “We stress that at all the (Academic Transition Programs).”

Johnson also said WKU police officers speak to the university experience classes to stress campus safety.

Other possible factors include the freshman class and recent increase in police presence on campus in the past year.

“A lot of times it has to do with the new freshman class,” Johnson said. “Sometimes they’re a little bit rowdier than other classes. Also our staffing levels have gone up, so we have more officers out, and that could be contributing to it too.”

While instances of assault and burglaries are down, instances of liquor law violation, DUIs, public intoxication and drug abuse are all up over the previous year.

Cases of drug abuse have risen dramatically in the past three years. In 2009, only 42 cases of drug abuse were reported. The numbers then sharply rose in 2010 to 116 and then to 129 in 2011.

Liquor law violations rose from 16 in 2010 to 30 last year. Reports of DUIs rose by four, from 32 in 2010 to 36 in 2011. Alcohol intoxication rose from 89 in 2010 to 99 last year.

Johnson said football game weekends and tailgating on campus have not contributed to the increase of alcohol related incidents.

“Tailgating has changed drastically over the last few years,” Johnson said. “We no longer patrol tailgating areas. It’s up to HRL and other volunteers to do that. Our arrests for football games have gone way down.”