Drug-related arrests were on the rise last year, according to CSUN police and crime reports.
There were 72 drug-related arrests near and on campus in 2005. In 2004, 37 arrests were on campus, and 24 arrests occurred in the residential areas surrounding CSUN.
CSUN police Lt. Scott Vanscoy said the increase of arrests are due to the increase in officers on the street and the CSUN Police Department’s partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department.
“We have more officers on the street doing patrol functions,” he said.
Vanscoy said the patrol functions fall under two categories, non-discretionary and discretionary.
“Non-discretionary is basically handling calls from the public, listening to the scanner – things like that,” he said. “Discretionary is no radio calls – it’s more proactive policing versus reactive. We’re looking for traffics stops, looking for people speeding being more proactive about it.”
But sometimes things come to them without even trying.
Vanscoy said a young woman recently came in dropping off a lot of drugs.
“A girl dropped off $10,000 to $20,000 worth of crystal meth, saying that it was just left on her car.” he said.
Vanscoy said that a lot of the drug problems are actually from non-students showing up at parties or hanging out at the dorms.
“The vast majority of-I’d say about 95 percent are non-students,” he said.
Vanscoy said that crystal meth is the drug of choice right now, but marijuana has and will always pop up.
“Cocaine is too expensive right now-on the market,” he said. “You don’t see crack; you see that more in poor areas, but we find marijuana everywhere, smell it all the time. It’s a huge issue.”
Vanscoy said a lot of the arrests or citations that happen in university housing are related to marijuana.
“Marijuana is everywhere and the university has a zero-tolerance for marijuana,” he said. “Even if it’s prescribed by a doctor, because federal law says it’s illegal.”
Walter Johnson, a 27-year-old student, said that he smells drugs from time to time around certain parts of CSUN’s campus.
“I sometimes smell it in certain (places), back at the dorms, or even when (I’m) just walking by,” Johnson said.
Vanscoy said that people who smell it or see it, typically call in and report it.
“One time a call came and through investigation we found someone growing a marijuana plant in their room,” Vanscoy said.
If people aren’t arrested Vanscoy said citations are issued or the university administers discipline through student affairs or housing.
Melissa Giles, associate director for residential life, said that intuitively she thinks drugs are an issue but the numbers are actually down.
Giles read a report showing that in fall of 2004 there were 25 total drug violations in housing, but in 2005 it went down to 19.
“I’d like to say (the reason) our discipline process is stronger,” she said. “But I can’t prove that.”
Giles also said that housing likes to take a different approach.
“We have a caring way of dealing with it (drugs) so we come and it from a counseling perspective.”
Giles said that students are usually encouraged to visit the Student health center or the Counseling Center.
Vanscoy said the biggest problem on campus is alcohol.
” Alcohol is a drug too and we had six drunk in public violations last year,” he said. “Oh yeah, that’s all over the place, you see beer bottles everywhere like behind the bushes or something,” he said.
When asked if people have to be taken into hospital Vanscoy said it rarely happens.
“Maybe three or four times a year-people need help, but I can’t remember last time it’s happened,” he said.
At the Northridge Hospital Medical Center Nicole R., who preferred to remain anonymous, is a crisis intake counselor, she said that there’s always someone coming in needing help form drugs and alcohol, but not that often from CSUN.
“Everyday at least one case per day, but rarely does someone come from CSUN-but it happens once in a while,” she said.