2011 UAPD crime report sees liquor law violations fall

Adrienne Burch

In 2011, 922 reported acts of crime occurred on and around The University of Alabama campus, according to the 2012 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report released last week.

The majority of the reported crimes consist of liquor and drug violations, with 589 reported liquor law violations and 162 drug law violations. Only 11 of the reported crimes involved acts of violence, including five robberies, three rapes and three aggravated assaults.

The UA police department releases this report annually to outline safety policies and crime statistics for the campus. This report is required by federal law in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Statistics for the last three years are included for crimes that have occurred on campus, in off-campus buildings or on property owned or controlled by the University and on public property within or immediately adjacent to campus.

UAPD reports 112 arrests for liquor law violations in 2008 and only six in 2012. However, the number of disciplinary actions or judicial referrals for liquor law violations has risen from 325 in 2008 to 583 in 2011.

UA police Chief Tim Summerlin said this drop in arrests from 2010 to 2011 results from a change in practice.

“When looking at methods that change student behavior and lead to student success, we determined that our in-house alcohol referral programs through the Office of Judicial Affairs proved to be one of the most successful,” Summerlin said.

Corrective measures for a first offense of liquor law violations include a disciplinary warning, an alcohol education workshop taught by law enforcement officers, community service and parental notification if a student is under the age of 21, Summerlin said.

“We simply cut out the middle man in referring students to the Office of Judicial Affairs,” Summerlin said.

There were 68 burglaries on campus in 2011, with 60 of these occurring in UA residence halls. Unlike the number of liquor violations, this is a decline from the 97 burglaries that occurred in 2008.

Summerlin also said no changes in the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report were a direct result of the shots fired on the Strip in the spring of 2012 or the shooting at a downtown bar in July.

“The UA police department is a fully-accredited law enforcement agency with highly trained professional officers who are prepared to respond to emergencies of all types, including gunmen or shootings,” Summerlin said.

Alyssa Grubbs, a junior majoring in restaurant and hospitality management, said she believes the University could do a better job of informing students about the crime that occurs on and around campus.

“They need to raise awareness,” Grubbs said. “Information like this report comes out, but no one knows about it.”

Will Travis, a junior majoring in musical theatre, said he thinks this is the University’s way of hiding the negative things that happen on campus.

However, he said most of the time he feels safe at the Capstone.

“The UAPD does a pretty good job,” Travis said. “Though sometimes I think they care more about traffic and parking than crime and safety.”

The UAPD encourages students to report any emergency situations on campus by calling 911 or the UAPD at (205) 348-5454.