The Department of Public Safety released its Annual Security Report for Drew University on Friday, Sept. 28. The report is a requirement for all universities that participate in federal financial aid programs under the Clery Act, a 1990 law that also mandates the availability of a crime log and other historical statistics.
The Security Report, which must be released by Oct. 1, covers only the calendar year, not the full school year. The report for the 2017 calendar year shows that crime at Drew is down in most areas, and in many cases at a three year low. Incidents of burglary remained the same, two for the year, but no instances of robbery were reported. There continue to be no cases of aggravated assault reported on campus.
COURTESY OF DREW UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The most significant decrease occurred in liquor law violations reported to the dean, dropping from 223 cases in 2016 to 124 in 2017. This decrease by almost 100 incidents puts liquor violations at a three-year low. There were no arrests due to liquor law violations. Director of Public Safety William Ortman reported that 2017 “saw a dramatic decrease in drinking issues, a dramatic increase in psychological episodes and transports, as well as a general increase in drug violations, almost exclusively marijuana.” This is reflected in the increase in drug law violations reported to the dean. The number rose from 78 in 2016 to 96 in 2017, reaching a three-year high. Surprisingly, the number of drug law violations that resulted in arrests dropped significantly. Only five arrests were made in 2017, as opposed to 16 in 2016. According to Ortman, “the abnormally high number of drug arrests in 2016” was due to a large amount of off-campus visitors who had small amounts marijuana in their cars. None of the visitors claimed responsibility, so the police “arrested the 3-4 occupants in each case and then sorted out any related charges at police headquarters.”
Public Safety gives a potential reason for the decrease in liquor law violations and increase in drug law violations as a result of less social engagement among students. Ortman stated, “Large drinking parties have been somewhat on the decline, while individuals or pairs smoking pot have increased.” Audra Tonero, Assistant Director of Outreach and Education at the Counseling Center, said that while the center does not track specific trends, the increase in transports may be due to an increase in students using Drew’s Good Samaritan Policy to call for assistance.
The city of Madison has also been ranked in the top 25 safest cities in New Jersey this year, according to home security company Safewise. College ranking website Niche also named Drew the second safest college in New Jersey for the 2018-2019 school year.