SUNY Oswego Ranks #2 in Drug Arrests

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A recent report by “Project Know,” a website that provides help for those fighting drug addiction, ranked college campuses based on the number of drug and alcohol arrests that occurred in 2013. The “Drugs on Campus” report ranked SUNY Oswego at #2.

In 2013 SUNY Oswego reported 335 drug related disciplinary actions or arrests. This includes both alcohol and illegal drugs and what seems to have landed the University in the hot seat.

The Oswego City Police Department has received numerous calls from concerned residents all looking for answers; is it safe and where are these drugs coming from?

Lieutenant Zachary Misztal says, “It’s not something that you can ever designate to one class, one group, we can’t say it’s just the locals, we can’t say it’s just the college students, or just affluent people, or people in poverty…drugs have hit people of all realms and we find it in all those locations as well.”

Possession of marijuana is the most common drug related arrest in the City of Oswego followed by intoxication and according to school statistics these numbers on campus are true as well.

[su_quote]I don’t think it’s a reflection of college students, I don’t think it’s a reflection of SUNY Oswego. – Lt. Zachary Misztal, OPD[/su_quote]

Officer Misztal feels the article highlights the number of drug arrests on college campuses in order to educate the public about the work being done by law enforcement in the area.

Other universities on the list include SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Plattsburgh all in the top ten.

Courtesy of Project Know
Courtesy of Project Know

SUNY Oswego University Police Assistant Chief Kevin Velzy offered his insight on these phenomena.

“Many private Colleges and Universities across the country do not have full service police departments, so they are not arresting students for similar violations of law and some choose to send students through a [college] judicial hearing rather than a public court,” said Velzy. SUNY schools such as SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Oswego all maintain a full service police department on campus and is one of the reasons Velzy believes arrests on these campuses are higher.

Misztal continued by adding that police have a duty to promote the positive reasons for living in a community.

[su_quote]We’re doing something against the issue of not just the illicit drug use, but that police are stepping in and trying to maintain the safety so people who want to come to school for the positive reasons and people who want to be in the community for the positive reasons do have that safety. – Lt. Zachary Misztal[/su_quote]

At the current time University Police and the City of Oswego are taking steps to stop drug problems in the community before they become bigger issues.

Officer Velzy has already identified that 2014’s numbers are improved and hopes that reports like this don’t deter students from attending SUNY Oswego.