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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Campus arrests down from ’09

Ernie Somoza/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Officer Fernando Ugalde, stands outside the UAPD office as he explains common citations students have encountered during the first week of school. 

Officer Fernando
Ernie Somoza
Ernie Somoza/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Officer Fernando Ugalde, stands outside the UAPD office as he explains common citations students have encountered during the first week of school. Officer Fernando

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been edited since publication.

This fall, the University of Arizona Police Department charged a young woman with a Minor in Possession on her first day at school.  Although many students are deferred to the Dean of Student’s diversion program when caught with an MIP, this will be the woman’s only chance before she is charged with a criminal offense.

According to Sgt. Juan Alvarez, UAPD public information officer, “”Most issues have to do with alcohol violations and marijuana violations committed on campus.”” This year there was a significant decrease in crime activity from last year.

“”It’s not worth it,”” said Dan Judkins, educator and injury epidemiologist at the University Medical Center. Emergency room nurses say alcohol related injuries are absolutely an issue at the hospital during the first week of classes.  

“”Whenever there’s an excuse for partying, whether it be the homecoming, graduation, and especially during the first week of school we usually see several patients each evening who are sick enough to come to the emergency room,”” he said. “”And it’s not just drunk, it’s levels of alcohol toxicity that put a person at a high risk for death that lead them to be taken to the emergency room.””

During the first two weeks back at school in 2008, a total of 582 crimes were recorded by UAPD — 36 of which involved drugs or alcohol. During the same time period in 2009, 564 crimes occurred during that firstweek — 32 were drug or alcohol related.

This year, a lower total of crimes, 396, were reported during between Aug. 15, and Aug. 23.  

At the beginning of this academic year, 24 crimes involved drinking and drugs.  

However, an additional 10 offenses occurred involving driving under the influence.

To prevent a DUI, Bill Davidson, a marketing specialist at Parking and Transportation services, suggests getting a ride home from one of UA’s provided services. “”One of our best kept secrets is a shuttle at night called The Night Cat. It is there as a safe alternative to walking around campus drunk and receiving a MIP from the University of Arizona Police Department,”” he said. The Night Cat is free of charge for UA students.

According to Judkins, UMC receives approximately 5,000 trauma patients a year and 40 percent of those are alcohol related. Although UMC does not keep a record of which patients are UA students and which are not, he said the age group at highest risk for trauma is people in their teens to late twenties.

“”Make healthy decisions for yourself, not for what people think about you,”” Judkins said.

Crimes of opportunity such as bike thefts, shoplifting, and other forms of larceny are a popular crime at UA. “”Keep an eye on your property, and lock your stuff,”” Alvarez said.

The most frequent parking infraction on campus is parking in an area you don’t have a permit for, Davidson said. This is especially true around the first few weeks of school, when UA receives a high influx of visitor’s, parents and new students.

According to Davidson, parking violations can cost you anywhere from $8 to $500. “”Parking in a disabled parking spot is the one that’s taken the most seriously,”” he said.

David Heineking, director of Parking and Transportation, advocates against sneaking out of parking garages. It is a criminal offense, and violators will pay a price close to $500, around the same cost of buying a parking permit.

“”It’s important: you need to follow the law. If we come across you doing something you aren’t supposed to be doing, you’re going to get in trouble,”” Alvarez said. “”U of A is like a small city,”” adds Davidson. “”We always want to make sure everyone is watching out for each other.””

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