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Latest campus crime statistics released

Alcohol and drug violations see further reductions

The Ohio University Police Department has released its 2009 campus crime statistics, and a few categories are notable.

One positive trend is that the combined number of liquor law arrests and liquor law referrals decreased for the third consecutive year. There were 744 violations in 2009, compared to 801 in 2008 and 1,095 in 2007.

The same three-year decline was found in combined drug law arrests and referrals. With 197 violations in 2009, the numbers were fewer than the 263 reported in 2008 and the 281 in 2007.  

Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers said much of the credit for these reductions should be given to the Division of Student Affairs, which has developed some effective alcohol and drug education programs.

"I think we have to credit the decline in alcohol and drug violations to the tireless work of the Student Affairs staff," Powers said. "They have used their peer education programs to raise awareness and reduce offenses in those areas."

Burglaries were noticeably up in the 2009 statistics with 68 cases, including 44 in the residence halls. In 2008, there were 34 burglary cases, including 19 in the residence halls. In 2007 statistics, 48 burglaries were reported with 29 being in the residence halls.

Chief Powers said he partially attributes the increase to desirable theft targets being smaller than ever and easy to steal.

"Most of the burglary cases last year involved small portable items such as iPods, cell phones and laptops," Powers said. "These small items are hard to secure, so we consistently remind students to lock their residence hall doors and windows at all times, especially when they leave the room. That would significantly reduce the burglary numbers because only one of the 44 cases in the residence halls was by forcible entry." 

Another 2009 number that stands out is the one case of murder/non-negligent manslaughter.

Powers said that was the highly publicized incident where student Eric Hansen fell to his death from a fourth-floor window in Weld House in April 2009. Student James Tyler Wagers was recently indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges for providing Hansen the hallucinogenic mushrooms that allegedly caused the fall. A jury trial is scheduled for Wagers this fall.

The latest crime statistics report covers three years, 2007 to 2009, and satisfies the requirements of the Clery Act, a federal law requiring all federally supported college campuses to report their latest crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education and the public by Oct. 1 each year. The report includes statistics from Ohio University's five regional campuses and two regional centers, which annually have few reported crimes.
The link to the 2007-2009 crime statistics can be found by clicking here.