Based on reports from both the Geneseo Village Police and University Police, crime has decreased in Geneseo this semester.
According to Chief of University Police Sal Simonetti, there has been a decline in the number of arrests made – largely for quality of life violations – as well as in the number of ambulance calls and hospital transports. The number of ambulance calls related to alcohol, however, has been steady.
Chief of Geneseo Village Police Eric Osganian said that crimes related to parties, alcohol, underage drinking and open containers have decreased as well.
“We had a grant last year for on-call enforcement … so we had more guys on the street, and we no longer have that grant this year,” Osganian said.
According to Simonetti, awareness of alcohol-related crimes has also increased on campus as a result of efforts on the part of both the school and the police.
“In the United for Change weekend, UP in conjunction with the Village Police participated in tabling in the [College Union]; we created a large poster that listed all the different types of local ordinances students could find themselves liable to,” Simonetti said.
Additionally, Osganian said the backlash from the volleyball hazing incident is connected to the decrease in crime.
“From our perspective, the volleyball incident was sad, but it has made our jobs actually easier because it brought more awareness that something bad did happen and that college won’t stand for it, the community won’t stand for it,” he said. “People often aren’t aware of the consequences of their actions,” Simonetti said.
“The incident was like a black eye for the community,” Osganian said. “Most of the time, things don’t go wrong, but this time something went wrong. It’s the times that things go wrong that get all the attention.”
Osganian said the decrease in crime this semester will not become a permanent pattern, and related the volleyball hazing incident to the death of Geneseo sophomore Arman Partamian in 2009.
“It’s like when Arman died from alcohol overdose, and the following year there was a lot of awareness. But after that people forgot; freshmen came and they didn’t know about it. People forget stuff like that, and it kind of passes, so we’ll see if that happens with this,” Osganian said.
Simonetti said that he hopes student attitudes toward University Police are changing because of the volleyball incident.
“We want to be viewed as a resource, not just as enforcers. We try to work collaboratively with everyone,” he said.
Simonetti said that, in the future, University Police wants to spread awareness about the consequences of alcohol-related crimes by creating a brochure to give to first-year students.