Drug arrests have fallen steadily for the past six years at Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus, according to college crime statistics released recently.
A focus on visible patrols and use of multiple drug dog units on campus have driven the decline.
A decrease in enrollment since a spike around 2009 has also contributed to an overall decline in campus crime, TSTC Police Chief Brian Davis said.
“The visibility and the interaction with our community is really our priority, because if you do that you have the ability to impact every type of crime we address,” Davis said.
Crime rates spiked on the campus in 2009.
“We had a lot more students we were dealing with at that time,” Davis said.
Total reported crimes dropped off in the next few years, and drug arrests have continued to fall.
There were 79 drug arrests on or directly next to campus in 2009, and that fell every year to eight drug arrests in 2014, according to federal crime reports colleges are required to file every year. The majority of the drug arrests each year have been in campus housing.
The TSTC Police Department began patrolling with a drug dog a few years ago, and campus housing officials have a private drug dog they regularly use as a deterrent for students to bring drugs into the dorms, Davis said.
Students consent to those searches as part of their housing contract, he said.
There have been minor fluctuations in crime in recent years, but nothing that amounts to a trend, Davis said. For example, there was a spike in burglaries a couple years ago, but one student who broke into several campus buildings was responsible for most of the increase, Davis said.
There were 36 burglaries at TSTC in 2014, up from 27 in 2013 but down from 43 in 2011.
McLennan Community College once again had very few reported crimes on or near campus, according to its annual report.
“We’re very fortunate that they’ve stayed low,” MCC Police Chief Larry Radke said. “You can’t keep everything from happening, but we try to be out and be visible.”
On the MCC campus in 2014, there were just two crimes reported — a weapons violation and a drug violation.
With concealed carry issues for college campuses in the news, officers have been keeping an eye out for people illegally carrying concealed weapons on campus, Radke said.
There was one weapons violation in 2013 and one in 2014, the first since 2009.
MCC is largely a commuter school, so not many students spend time on campus outside of classes, Radke said. There has been a single drug arrest on MCC’s main campus each year since 2009, according to annual reports.
The department has recently started focusing on walking patrols in campus buildings, and students and staff have responded well to the increased visibility, Radke said.
Officers just have to be careful to strike a balance between visibility in buildings and ensuring parking lots and roads are well patrolled, he said.
Crime on Baylor University’s campus has generally shown minor fluctuations in the past few years, according to annual reports.
Baylor officials were not available Friday to discuss the report.
The only major change was to sexual assault reports. No sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement between 2009 and 2011. Two were reported in 2012, and six were reported in 2013 and in 2014.
The increase in reporting coincided with educational efforts about dating violence and sexual assault that the university implemented in 2013. The university also hired a Title IX coordinator in the fall of 2014 to oversee the investigation of sexual violence on campus.